Them’s the first lines of a blog post by Ben McGrath over at some niche magazine called “The New Yorker.” (I believe I am pronouncing that right.) The whole post is great, and succinctly explains why I can’t watch movies anymore. Well, that was not McGrath’s point—to explain why I, Dennis O’Toole, some guy no one heard of, can’t enjoy movies, though it may as well be.
The Truth is rarely good enough for Hollywood. The Truth needs a stronger jawline and could lose about ten pounds. (Or gain about 75, in Jonah Hill’s case.) “Make it entertaining” is the idea. But to a brother like me, I find the embellishment less entertaining. So, I don’t go to the movies no more.
The examples of Hollywood Truth-Stretching are legion. Let’s just look at sports movies: Take Rudy. (The entire Notre Dame football team did not actually threaten to quit if some dork wasn’t allowed to play.) Take Cool Runnings. (The East Germans did not try to ostracize the Jamaican bobsled team; someone decided a villain was needed when in real life the other teams loved the Jamaicans, even the Commies!) Take Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch. (In real life, Bud’s puppies were not kidnapped by a raccoon named Rocky in order to clone a race of super-athlete dogs.)