The other night Emily and I were watching “Mike and Molly“, and there was this scene where Molly (played by Melissa McCarthy – one of my favs right now) convinced her husband Mike (played by Billy Gardell) to go with her to a Rolls Royce dealer and “test drive” a car so that Mike would get to live out his life-long dream of driving one of these beautiful vehicles. The scene that followed was pretty entertaining – Molly pretended to have a really bad uppity English accent while Mike only spoke “right, right” just as poorly – and the two got to have some fun taking one of the cars out on the road. But even though it was funny, I didn’t get to enjoy it for long.
Because I couldn’t help but feel bad for the poor salesman who just had his day hijacked by two jerks out for a joyride.
On the surface this may seem ridiculous, but hear me out. It seems as though in movies and television we never really pay much attention to the “other” people. The salesman I mentioned above is a good example of this. Sure, it’s funny when the main characters do something either daring or stupid or silly and we as the audience get a few laughs, but in the example above, this guy just got taken advantage of by two people pretending to be something they weren’t so that they could get into one of these cars. They never had any intention of buying a car, but the salesman didn’t know that – he thought he might be getting a sale this day, especially considering that Molly specifically said she wanted to buy a Rolls Royce TODAY. I mean, think about it. This guy has a family to provide for. He conceivably just lost a sale by riding along with these two jerks.
This isn’t a new problem that I have, by the way. I’ve had this one for a while.
For example, do you recall that scene in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade where, after having “crash landed” their plane and needing an escape, both Indy and his father steal a car from an old man who was just trying to change a tire on it? Yeah. I enjoyed the next scene, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that guy. What if his wife had just died and he was fixing up this car because he had so many wonderful memories of her with it? Or what if he was fixing it up to sell because he couldn’t pay the mortgage and this was his only way to survive? Or what if this was the prized piece of his collection that he’d just spent a fortune on and he was just cleaning it up for show? Either way, these two assholes just took it without asking and dropped it into giant hole that was just created by a bomb dropped from a Nazi fighter plane because screw this guy and his needs, Hitler wants our asses!
By the way, I was 9 when I had that epiphany.
I was also 9 when I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit and couldn’t help but note that I felt horrible when Roger destroyed all those plates in the diner because the record wouldn’t stop skipping and, being the rascal that he was, he couldn’t keep himself from trying to be cute. I’m a cartoon! he surely thinks, I can break whatever I want because the hell with your stuff!
Or how about in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where in just about every other scene, the next door neighbors’ stuff keeps getting destroyed by Clark Griswald because who-cares-it’s-funny-and-those-people-are-rich-and-have-everything-so-they-probably-deserve-it-by-virtue-of-being-successful. Are we supposed to believe these people don’t have feelings? Am I really expected to laugh when I see the guy’s CD Player (which back then probably cost as much as two iPads) explode due to some bumbling nonsense from the next door idiot?
Okay, well… I did. But I didn’t feel good about it.
Does you have this problem? Are there instances in other movies or television shows where you’ve had this happen?