DID YOU READ

Movie Pet Peeve #14: Characters Hanging Up the Phone Without Saying Goodbye

Movie Pet Peeve #14: Characters Hanging Up the Phone Without Saying Goodbye (photo)

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So today I’m watching the movie “Wild Things,” the 1998 erotic thriller with Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, Denise Richards and Kevin Bacon. One scene in particular caught my eye — no, it wasn’t the make-out session between Campbell and Richards. It was an otherwise innocuous phone call between three characters who shall remain nameless for reasons of spoilers. Here is the transcript of their one-sided conversation:

Character #1: Now, look. We gotta stay calm, all of us. Now since the settlement, people think I’m rich. So I’m out there spending money, doing what rich guys do. Now this cop, Duquette, he’s gonna try and fuck with you. Don’t let him.

Character #2: Yeah, that’s easy for you to say!

Character #1: [Character #2]! Don’t fall apart! Only people who can fuck this up is us.

Character #1 hangs up the phone.

I know a transcript isn’t the ideal way to analyze a scene in a film, but do you see the problem here? No? Let me rewrite the same scene as if it actually took place in the real world, and let’s see if it becomes clearer.

Character #1: Now, look. We gotta stay calm, all of us. Now since the settlement, people think I’m rich. So I’m out there spending money, doing what rich guys do. Now this cop, Duquette, he’s gonna try and fuck with you. Don’t let him.

Character #2: Yeah, that’s easy for you to say!

Character #1: [Character #2]! Don’t fall apart! Only people who can fuck this up is us.

Character #1 hangs up the phone.

Character #2: Hello? Hello? [Character #1]? Are you still there? [To Character #3] I think we lost him. Should we call him back?

Yes, that’s right: Character #1 never says goodbye. He’s talking, he’s explaining their plan, and then he just suddenly puts down the phone without any verbal indication that the conversation is over. This is a major movie pet peeve of mine: characters hanging up the phone without saying goodbye. Think about it: how many of your own phone conversations, out of the thousands upon thousands of phone conversations you’ve had in your life, end without you saying goodbye? Maybe 1% at most? In movies this is how almost every phone call ends.

Other than the occasional angry hang-up on a girlfriend or a parent, I can’t think of any examples from my own life. Even the most dramatic phone calls I’ve ever made — job offers, deaths of relatives — they all have goodbyes. But in movies, no call ends naturally. Whoever has the most dramatic thing to say just stops talking and puts down the receiver and stars off into the distance dramatically, like a weird game of verbal chicken.

After I posted this Movie Pet Peeve on Twitter, a few people forwarded me this supercut, which is a good illustration of what I’m talking about, though it’s far from comprehensive.

Except maybe the example where an asteroid is on a collision course with earth — and you have to figure that you’ve got bigger things on your mind at that point than social graces — those are just ridiculous. Why can’t anyone just act like a normal human being in movies? It’s awful. It would be like ending a piece in mid-sentence with no conclusion and without even

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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