Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Bad Casting or Bad Writing? Unbelievable Careers in Movies

The local cinema - a place of escape.

For the visionaries of the world to transport their audience to fantastical lands of wonderment far from the humdrum of waiting for buses, office fax machines and overdue water bills. The brain convinced that reason, logic and science are all meaningless as the trailers begin.



Is that Meg Ryan as a helicopter pilot?

The illusion of the impossible broken as the cold draught of reality seeps into the dark warmth of the screening room. All is lost.

Here are just a few examples where the casting department undermine credibility:
  • Kate Hudson playing a high-powered city lawyer in Bride Wars. It is difficult to argue that anything in this film was remotely enjoyable. Aside from being utterly hateful to seemingly everything. Oddly the level of misogny is tantamount to misandry in this film. The overwhelming memory is the confused gasp that rose to the ceiling of the theatre as Hudson revealed her implausible vocation.
  • Ben Affleck as a man who writes the blurb on the back of hardback book sleeves in Forces of Nature.
  • Sandra Bullock as a crossword puzzle compiler for a local newspaper in All About Steve.
  • Woody Harrelson plays a successful yoghurt mogul in Management. Somewhere in a dimly lit room, a man possibly with a university education and a respectable family background thought that this would be a perfectly plausible plot line.
  • Meg Ryan as a helicopter pilot in the film Courage Under Fire. This does not require any explaining at all. The fact that these words are aligned next to each other in that order should seem daft enough - who was responsible for that decision?
  • Sarah Jessica Parker as an emergency room doctor in Smart People. "Scalpel, towel, suction, forceps...GUCCI SHOES!"


  1. These people are actors and should be capable of playing any role!
    I don't agree with your opinion but I wish you luck with your blog.

  2. I think you're missing my point.I agree that as actors they are capable of playing any role (within reason). But as Hollywood stars they are ultimately viewed from the realm of reality.

    You can put a helmet and some flying goggles on Meg Ryan but the vast majority of the audience will still be thinking of romcoms, arsey Parkinson interviews and faked orgasms. A bad casting choice threatens to undermine the plausibility of a film as much as any plot hole.

    Thanks for the comment though!