Films Which Have The Opposite Effect On You To That Which The Makers Intended

What films elicit from you precisely the opposite reaction to that which the makers were shooting for? For me, it’s movies in which a “lovable” workshy loser takes on a challenge out of selfish short-term interest, and ends up transforming his own life and the lives of those around him, sticking it to “The Man” in the process. An Officer And A Gentleman set the template, and everything from Police Academy to Good Will Hunting - as well as every Adam Sandler movie ever made has followed the same basic formula.

The one that really pissed me off, though, was School Of Rock, with Jack Black mugging and gurning as the supposedly charming out-of-work muso who touches the lives of the children he teaches, challenging “The System” and triumphing: he was an irritating, irresponsible oaf, a sponger who in real life would be universally loathed. He leeches off those around him, he blithely commits fraud in his friend’s name, he scams his way into a responsible job he has no intention of doing: and yet we’re supposed to fall for his antics because he’s remained true to his dream. And the one character who dares to point out that he’s a useless slovenly mooch, his flatmate’s girlfriend, is portrayed as a shrill and uptight bitch.

God, I hated that movie and its blandly packaged notion of rock as rebellion, where fucking around was rewarded and the idiot was king, and I hated Jack Black and his smirking smugness: a happy ending for me, rather than the treacly redemption of that concert where the kids triumphed in front of their newly adoring parents, would be one where they were bottled off stage by angry drunken louts and Jack Black went to jail.

Was that the movie where Jack Black eventually learned humility, admitted that the kids were better musicians than he would ever be, realized he wasn’t good enough to be a rock star, and ended up a teacher?

I think you may have missed the point of the film. It was about a useless slovenly mooch who finally grew up, found out what he was good at - that being teaching - and became a useful, productive member of society.

Really? I thought it was basically a scene-for-scene remake of The Music Man.

Look, the very first thing Black does in the movie was stage-dive onto a concrete floor. The chatracter was *intended * to be seen as a smug, self-important buffoon. We were supposed to laugh at him, not with him.

Mrs. Doubtfire. I couldn’t help feeling that a guy willing to be that bizarrely manipulative in order to be close to his children, just might decide one day that they should all go see Jesus together.

I had the exact same reaction to this movie.

Any movie wher a deabeat takes a bunch of loser kids under his wing and coaches themto be a world beating sports team… Usually, i just want the kids to suffer crushing defeat.

I viewed “Falling Down” as a black comedy. I suspect the creators (and Douglas) probably meant it as a straight serious movie.

I liked School of Rock and I generally liked Jack Black, but this aspect of his character did bug me. He didn’t know thing one about rock music, so for all his enthusiasm, he’s not going to teach the kids a whole lot about, yunno, music. He taught them to have fun, which is great, and I understand he’s a very different character if he’s a music geek as opposed to some loser who doesn’t understand anything except how to act rock and roll, but kids imitating some guy who’s only imitating rock stars himself… I don’t know. Seems like the kids would have to unlearn a lot of the shallow gunk he taught them before they were really able to use their talents.

“The Notebook”

I hate that movie with a passion. It was supposed to be seen as romantic but to me Allie is a dirty whore who doesn’t deserve happiness. If it were the fiance who cheated people wouldn’t think it were sweet and romantic, but view him as a despicable person, and rightly so.

Amen! I hated, hated this movie, and this was one of the reasons (besides the movie being treacly sentimental manipulative bullshit).

But the movie did portray him as a bit of a music geek. For one, they show him giving classes on the history of rock. For another, he did manage to transform a bunch of admittedly talented kids into a halfway decent rock band in a handful of weeks. That takes some ability.

“A Few Good Men”. When Jack gave his “those walls need to be guarded by men with guns” speech at the end, I totally agreed with him. Some pissant lawyer who is just punching a ticket until he can get out of the Navy and start billing $1200/hr in private practice takes down a decorated combat officer, and I’m supposed to admire that?

oh yes!

i think it’s a bit of both.

but 15 years later, it really seems more like a black comedy.

I am actually at least 90% certain that the intent of the movie was to be a black comedy. I haven’t thought about it in years, but I vaguely remember reading about how they were upset that no one understood it was supposed to be a black comedy. It could be that I am making that bit up though. Anyway, I have always viewed it the same way.

Donnie Darko didn’t make me realise anything about the sacrifice of one life for the greater good or the interconectedness of all things…but it did make me wonder if my life wouldn’t have been better if I could go back in time and not have watched Donnie Darko.

Yeah, I remember that chart - mostly because he appeared to leave the Allman Brothers Band out of the Southern rock heading. In general, and maybe even including that scene, he didn’t seem to know anything about music that you couldn’t have learned from a short special on MTV.

In real life, definitely. (And Nicholson’s character could have used a dressing-down, an explanation of the rights and responsibilities of military personnel, and a serious ass-kicking by a real officer.) But it was a hokey Hollywood movie, for sure, and some ridiculous courtroom action.

In the James Bond movies with Roger Moore, I always found myself rooting for the villain.

Yeah, from some social contract standpoint Nicholson may be right. But he thinks that means he doesn’t have to answer to anybody, and he’s wrong about that.

I agree with Colonel Jessep’s argument in theory. I’ll even grant that the Code Red is probably a useful element of training and that it should not have been outlawed. The thing is, I don’t believe that Jessep’s ostensible motives were anything more than a rationalization. His **actions ** were dishonorable; he was willing to let the two noncoms go to prison when he knew that they were, in fact, following his orders. How is his doing that possibly conducive to good discipline? Had the railroad succeeded, the only persons to know the truth would have been the three officers responsibile for the conspiracy and its two surviving victims. Anyone under his command who suspected truth would have gotten the message that they would not be supported if they did the right thing and got in trouble for it.

The rightness of Jessup’s position does not alter the wrongness of his actions after the whistle-blower soldier died.

One I’ve mentioned before is the romantic comedy “Sweet Home Alabama”, with Reese Witherspoon. I hate the way she treats her family, friends, romantic partners and all Southerners and wished at the end that Matthew McConnahottie and whoever the fiancee was would end up together and leave Reese in a trailer in 'Bama.

BTW - I think in “Good Will Hunting”, Will’s never been a slacker. He worked a fulltime (albeit menial) job and studied everything at night. True, he wasn’t living up to his potential, but he was definitely a worker.

StG