Know your movie cliches

Years ago when censors controlled what people saw at the movies, one major sticking point was that a married couple had to be shown sleeping in separate beds. If there was a single bed, only one of them could be shown in it. And on those rare occasions when a man was on the bed with his wife, he had to have one foot on the floor.

Movies aren’t censored anymore by religious hypocrites, but the modern daybedroom scene is always the same, whether the man and woman are married: call it the uneven sheets rule. The man is always shown bare-chested and the woman always has the sheets almost up to her neckline.

It’s the ultimate movie cliche. Almost as predictable: 99 times out of 100, the man is always shown getting out of bed. And 99 times out of 100, the woman is not.

Here are some other movie cliches that are as predictable as a bad comedy that has to resort to cheap laughs showing a guy getting hit in the junk by a baseball or a golf club.

1. The Cagney rule: When an escaped convict is on the run or has someone held hostage at their own home, the bad guy will always turn on the radio in the car, or the TV in the house at theprecise moment a newscaster is warning people of the criminal’s escape.

2. The “Smokey and the Bandit” rule: A really bad comedy will always show out-takes at the end of the movie while the credits are rolling. And the out-takes aren’t even funny, but you waste your time watching them anyway (possibly to prove to yourself that the movie could actually be worse than it is.)

3. The “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” rule: In every movie script written by a woman, there will always be insulting comments about a man’s sexual performance and derogatory comments about his private parts. The same treatment is also given to scripts written by and/or directed by men who know what it’s like to be a woman.

4. The “Have sex and die” rule: You can always tell who will die (and usually in which order) in those teens having sex on camping trips slasher movies.

5. The “Fools them everytime” rule: When a camera shot begins at ground level showing a man and woman’s clothes scattered as if in a hurry on the floor and a couple sounding as if they’re doing the nasty, by the time the shot pans up to show the couple in bed, they are doing anything else but having sex.

6. The “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit using cliches” rule: In every movie involving jetliners or airports, a pilot and/or air traffic controller will pronounce every number correctly except for the number nine —- which is alwayspronounced “niner.”

7. The “War, what is it good for” rule: In every modern day action and/or war flick, whenever the good guys are ready to take on the big mission, someone will always yell, “Let’s rock ‘n’ roll!”

8. The “Splish-Splash I was taking a Bath” rule: When a man or a woman is in the bathtub and the clothed couple enters the bathroom it will always be to tell the person who isbathing some good news. And the scene will always end with the person who is taking the bath pulling the clothed person in with them.

9. The “Little Orphan Annie” rule: When a character in a melodrama tells someone of some authority that they were orphaned as a child, it will always be because both parents were killed in a car accident at the same time.

10. The “That’s what Friends are For” rule: Women always have gay male friends in movies, but never lesbian friends, unless on that rare occasion when they happen to run into one they “experimented” with in college. Men never have gay male friends —- that they’re aware of.

Sidebar: Gay male characters are always played for laughs in movies. Lesbians are never funny.

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