All the best bits are in the promo

I just finished reading On Beauty by Zadie Smith. I picked it up to read because I heard a portion read on air on some NPR show, and it made me cry. So I’m reading, and not really liking any of the characters, and waiting and waiting for the quoted portion to appear and this wonderful realtionship to be revealed, and I realize I’m much more than halfway through the book! Finally that scene arrives, and shortly thereafter the book ends, and I become aware that the best lines, the most moving part of the whole thing, was contained in that previewed portion.

I felt cheated. Like I felt when I went to see the movie Saturday the 14th and found out that every single one of the good jokes was in the promo, and there was absolutley nothing else funny in the film.

I’m not upset about promos and trailers giving away important plot points…that’s for a whole 'nother thread. I’m upset about the apparent inability of an author to come up with more than one transcendant scene in a whole, lengthy book! I’m glad I read that scene…I will cherish its language forever, and even copied those pages to remind me of the emotions it raised. But dang! She’d have been better off starting the book with that scene and then expounding on it! I’m so glad I just borrowed it from the library, and didn’t spend money on it!

So what have you read or watched lately that would have been better as just a promo, or short story, or just a trailer?

Liar. There were no good jokes in Saturday the 14th!

Hey, I was what, eighteen at the time? They seemed funny then!

The trailer for Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves springs to mind. Especially the arrow zooming through the forest. You see that, you’ve seen the best part of the movie.

That Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn movie The Break-Up looked like it might be a mildly amusing comedy from the trailer, but the movie itself was actually sad. The only laughs in the movie were in the trailer, the rest of the movie was depressing.

Not recent, by any means, but the trailer for the movie Cops and Robbers basically told the entire story. There was no need to see the movie if you saw the coming attractions.

Not exactly the same thing, but I’m annoyed by promos that grossly misrepresent the film. After the decided that people liked John Goodman, they showed trailers for Arachnophobia that featured him. Only Goodman had ionly a tiny part in that film, so the trailer showed most of his scenes.

Even woerse was an utterly forgettable movie that was a compilation of bits and skits by various comedians called if You Don’t Stop You’ll Go Blind. About the time it was released, Robin Williams because really big. So the promo featured the only scenes that had Williams in them. They lured people in with the false hope o seeing more Robin Williams.

I dislike it more if the promo gives a totally false impression of a movie.

The best example is The Man Who Loved Women. The promos seemed to indicate it was a Blake Edwards Laff Riot, but when you saw the movie, there was only one comic sequence (and it wasn’t all that good), while the rest was a drama musing on the nature of love and loving.

This sort of thing is ultimately self-defeating: if you promote a non-comedy as a comedy, the word of mouth is going to be terrible and the film will flop. Whereas if it had been promoted as a drama, it might have done OK.

My son (who was about four at the time) watched the movie “Racing Stripes” (about the zebra who wants to be a racehorse), and when it was over he looked at me and said, “All the good parts of that movie were in the commercial.” It really cracked me up that he figured out that concept at such a young age.

The trailer for “The Convenant” is one of the longest commercials in recent memory and I wouldn’t be surprised if it laid out every single major plot point. I don’t even know if it’s out yet…

I haven’t seen the movie, but I feel that the promo for that Adam Sandler movie Click pretty much covers it.