A Rant About Bar Scenes In Movies

You know what pisses me off?  Enter RANT.  Yes, people that leave their visors down in cars after they leave.  Sure, that’s annoying.  But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

Bar scenes in movies.  Could we get some realism, please?  I’m watching a movie last night called Bad Match.  I would give it a B-.  Decent flick, solid acting, but predictable plot points and twist at end.  But whatever.  This is what pissed me off about the movie.

The two characters are at the bar, the bartender comes up to take their order, and the guy’s schtick is, he can figure out what his “Tinder-like” date drinks.  Wait, gimme a sec…it’s a VODKA CRANBERRY.  Oh my God, I can’t BELIEVE you just guessed it.

On a side note before I go on, I’ve noticed a lot of the ladies ordering Moscow Mules.  Is that becoming a girl drink?  I’m impressed.  It seems to have started out being a guy’s drink, but now I’ve noticed a lot of women are ordering it.  I approve.

So the guy orders his “Scotch” (cool drink for a millennial he says with a dash of bitters), and a Vodka Cran for the lady.  Moments later the bartender brings the drinks, and the Scotch is whatever, but the bartender plops down a “funky” martini glass, with a red liquid in it.  Hell-LOOOO.  No dude, just stop.  That’s wrong on so many levels.

Even my Mom God bless her knows what a Vodka Cranberry looks like.  It should always go in a rocks glass, or maybe a tall glass, with rocks, ounce and a half of vodka, and cranberry juice.  It’s NEVER up (without ice), in a damn martini glass.  What the bartender brought her basically looked like a Cosmo.

When you’ve bartended as long as I have, and have experience on a movie set, these details matter.  Without attention to detail, there is CHAOS.  Hey, director, why don’t you take a bit more time with the research, and find out what a Vodka Cranberry looks like, so you won’t PISS ME OFF.  Yes, I know, I know, the drink in the martini glass looks so much more appealing.  Well, then, have her order a martini, and there you go.

You know what else irks me?  When the character asks for a cocktail, and in two seconds, there appears the cocktail in front of them.  That’s bullshit.  Time it out, directors.  Guy orders drink, bartender leaves frame.  Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue (lasting approximately 12-15 seconds) THEN drink gets set down.  Make time for that truth.  The whole scene will play better, and more realistic.  And another thing that is important, which I grant the director of Bad Match played up on, is every character has a signature drink.  Writers need to be in tune with that.  If you’re writing a scene in a bar, take two seconds to describe what the character is drinking.  You can tell A LOT about a character by what they drink.  Are they a domestic guy, don’t give a shit?  OR more of a craft beer guy?  An IPA, perhaps?  What is the lady drinking?  Talk to a bartender, do the research.  What are the ladies drinking nowadays that would be an interesting choice?

I don’t know…how ‘bout a Moscow Mule?

-Clint

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