Things I Would Like to do in Real Life That I’ve Only Seen On Screen

THE SPECTACULAR DANCE
I’m at some function, everyone’s dancing, but as soon as my partner and I start dancing, the crowd parts to watch and cheer us because we are choreographed to perfection and are SPECTACULAR!

Grease dance

I don’t think my one will be in a school gymnasium, but other than that, very similar

THE POOL CHALLENGE
I walk into a dive bar, I’m a stranger. Some jerk is playing pool with his jerky buddies. They make disparaging remarks about me, so I challenge the jerk to a game of pool. Him and his jerky buddies laugh, but he takes the challenge anyway. I totally thrash him while remaining super-cool at all times. At first he looks like he’s going to get angry, but at the last second his buddy touches him on the arm which miraculously turns him into Mr Super-Nice. He has a change of heart, smiles, congratulates me, and welcomes me to the bar.

Movie pool table

There’ll be a lot more people here at the time to watch my victory game

THE VENTILATION DUCT
I could have just listened at the door, but that’s no fun. Instead I crawl along the ventilation duct which positions me just above the room where the two baddies are having the crucial reveal-all conversation, which starts just as I arrive, and finishes when I move 1mm and create a creaking sound that makes them look up to exactly where I am. It’s ok though, I’ve got all the information I need to save the day.

Bruce Willis scene

Thankfully Bruce Willis will be there to help light the way

THE GREAT ESCAPE
I’m driving through a city to escape the baddies. After crashing my car into some crates of fruit, I leap out and carry on by foot. I will run at high speed across several busy roads while looking behind me and  not getting hit by anything, and will then join in with a St Patrick’s Day parade that is conveniently passing through, enabling me to hide long enough for the baddies to lose me.

Taylor Lautner

I’ll be like Taylor Lautner, only in high heels

THE SPONTANEOUS SPEECH
I walk into a bar (again), there is some reason why I need to have my say about something to someone in there. As soon as I utter the first few words, the jukebox music screeches to a halt, and everyone goes silent. I deliver an award-worthy speech; I’m making it up as I go along, and yet it is word perfect, everything flows, it is poignant, dramatic (but not overly so), and leaves everyone in awed silence. There may follow some applause, I’m not sure, maybe even a few tears. Either way, I’m pretty sure I’ll be looking fabulous throughout.

Movie glamour

I’ll be looking pretty much like this when I deliver the speech

What have you only ever seen in movies that you would like to do in real?

(This post was inspired by a recent post on Slouching Towards TV that you may like to read too.)

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64 responses to “Things I Would Like to do in Real Life That I’ve Only Seen On Screen

  1. Ha! I’d love to do all of them, in particular the first and last ones because (a) I have two left feet and (b) I’m hopelessly inarticulate in speaking situations.

    And why *is* it always St Patrick’s Day? (Or Thanksgiving? Or Mardi Gras? Or Veterans Day? Or any of the other days on which they have parades in the US.) :-)

    Besides that, I’d settle for scoring the last-second winning touchdown in a big game, which wins the heart of the girl of my dreams in the process. I’m sure that’s never been done in films before …

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  2. Scenes I wish I’d written or played in:

    Casablanca – Bogart as Rick: Rick: Don’t you sometimes wonder if it’s worth all this? I mean what you’re fighting for.
    Victor Laszlo: You might as well question why we breathe. If we stop breathing, we’ll die. If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die.
    Rick: Well, what of it? It’ll be out of its misery.
    Victor Laszlo: You know how you sound, Mr. Blaine? Like a man who’s trying to convince himself of something he doesn’t believe in his heart.

    and of course: [Rick gently places his hand under Ilsa’s chin and raises it so their eyes meet]
    Rick: Here’s looking at you kid.

    Maltese Falcon – Bogart as Sam Spade:

    Spade: When a man’s partner is killed, he’s supposed to do something about it. It doesn’t make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you’re supposed to do something about it. And it happens we’re in the detective business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed, it’s-it’s bad business to let the killer get away with it, bad all around, bad for every detective everywhere.

    Sam Spade: All we’ve got is that maybe you love me and maybe I love you.
    Brigid O’Shaughnessy: You know whether you love me or not.
    Sam Spade: Maybe I do. I’ll have some rotten nights after I’ve sent you over, but that’ll pass.
    Sam Spade: I hope they don’t hang you, precious, by that sweet neck. Yes, angel, I’m gonna send you over. The chances are you’ll get off with life. That means if you’re a good girl, you’ll be out in 20 years. I’ll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I’ll always remember you.

    AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

    I’d love to play a flamboyant queen like Patrick Stewart (Sterling) did in Jeffrey (1995):

    [Jeffrey regarding his brush with Mother Theresa]
    Jeffrey: She looked good.
    Sterling: Please, she’s had work done.

    Darius: Who’s Martha Stewart?
    Sterling: She writes picture books about gracious living. Martha says that nothing else matters if you can do a nice dried floral arrangement. I worship her.
    Darius: And, um, who’s Ann Miller?
    Sterling: Leave this house.

    Sterling: [putting on a red shawl] Can I do this, or will I look like some sort of gay superhero?

    Skip Winkley: Who is your biggest sexual fantasy?
    Barney’s Waiter: [wipes the side of his mouth seductively] Den-ZEL Washington.
    Jeffrey: The guy at the gym.
    Sterling: Yoko Ono.
    [everyone looks at Sterling with a suprised look]
    Sterling: To see the apartment!

    Darius: Yes, I am in CATS. Now and forever. The way I see it, I was too young for Chorus Line, and too “happy” for Les Mis. I never did get that show. It’s about a guy, who steals a loaf of bread, and then suffers for the rest of his life. For toast! Get over it.

    Thanks Vanessa for a great blog :-)

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  3. I’m a little concerned about how often you have to walk into a bar – have you discussed this with your therapist/significant-other/teddy bear? and if not, why not?
    Kirsty McColl has a fabulous song which might suit you as a theme piece,
    ‘Honey, in these shoes?’….just a suggestion.

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  4. I can always come up with the very best speech about three days after I actually needed it.

    How about the one where I lay to waste a snobby waiter or a greasy investment banker trying to hone on in my honey with a perfectly aimed biting remark? Or this one…I trade witticisms with a beautiful woman à la Bogie and Bacall or Tracy and Hepburn and she ends up sleeping with me?

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    • Yes, I either come up with the great speech three days after it was needed, or sometimes three days before a situation where I think it might be needed, but never is.

      I’m seeing a pattern to your wishes here Mark, I guess you’re not alone in these!

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  5. Sorry I can only think of a few sex scenes… and that is only to make others jealous… Pretty Woman comes to mind… no I can’t put this down as a comment, or I think of Titanic and a vintage car… stop now…
    I get worried as well about the amount of times you keep entering a bar… you don’t have a problem do you… but then as for the dancing, I remember your dancing whilst singing back up on that video you shared… I’d love to see you dance some more…

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  6. Ooh, many of these are extrovert-type activities, Vanessa. Better psyche yourself up before attempting… (By the way, I didn’t find any significant research about hormones and introverted/extroverted natures, but I did find some research that suggested our faces can hint as to what our personality types are.)

    As for what I’d like to do that I’ve seen in the movies? I’d like to be able to stuff myself with all sorts of high-calorie foods and fancy drinks like the Sex and the City girls do and yet stay as slender as Carrie Bradshaw. Things like that only happen in fiction. Sadly.

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    • You’re right, but then our fantasies often involve us being able to do things that we would never dream of doing in real life! I like the food and drink one, I suspect a large number of people would be up for that one! It’s a bit like the people who in movies and on TV who have pretty low paid jobs, like waitressing, but live in fabulous big city-centre apartments and wear fancy clothes and eat at fancy restaurants…actually, it’s not really like your one, but it’s another one!

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  7. I think I’ll skip out on the airduct action. Too claustrophobic and I’d be scared my hips might be too wide. I mean seriously, those vents can’t be that wide.

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  8. Fabulous scenes. High heels, traffic and all – what an image.

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  9. Hi Vanessa, I’m not one to show off, but:
    I’ve done 1) and it was exactly as you described; I’ve also done 2) but lost and it didn’t work out the way you describe; I daren’t do 3) due to claustrophobia reasons and fear of a weak bottom (of the shaft!); and I do 4) when I leave work everyday. There’s only 5) I haven’t done, and can’t really see myself doing it in the near future either.
    Now then; I would love to be able to run faster than a speeding locomotive and leap tall buildings with a single bound – that way I’d save a fortune on petrol! Inspired post!

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    • You know Tom, I’m really not surprised that you’ve done some of these already, in fact when I was searching for photos for this post I was expecting to find some of you in action. I guess you’re too modest though to post those pics online.

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  10. I actually want to give a speech about winning pool while dancing in an air duct.

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  11. Ahem. You seem to spend a lot of time in bars.

    I’d like to dance with my husband like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. But he has two left feet so that is not likely to happen.

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  12. I’d like to make perfect sense while talking in front of a group and life would be so much better if teleportation (is that a real word yet?) were available instead of wasting time flying or driving. :-)

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  13. This could be a really long reply if I listed everything I’ve seen in movies/TV/read in books that I’d like to do, but I’ll pick just a few … fight like I’m in the Matrix, fly like Superman (well, I’ll just take all of his powers actually), I’d totally do the whole running through traffic thing while looking back, hair bouncing perfectly – not a curl out of place – but I’d be wearing cool leather boots (Matrix again), hack and program all sorts of computers, have access to technology like Iron Man, Sing fabulously, and well… I guess that’s enough :)

    Great post!! This was fun. Oh and I’d love to hear what Carrie found in her research about what our faces can tell us about our personality types.

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  14. How about run through a shower of bullets to rescue someone and yet never get hit?

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  15. Wonderful!! I’ve often thought about nipping into a telephone booth and morphing into a super hero, but I know i’d have to run back and see if I could find where I had left my glasses.

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  16. i recently watched a movie from the past … so it fits here …. Mask of Zorro … and to only be Zorro in order to be with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

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  17. Walk in slow motion with an inspirational soundtrack blaring all around me.

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  18. I would like to burst into song during emotional moments. With instrumental and choral accompaniment. And choreography. And I want everyone around me to react to my actions this as if doing so is completely normal.

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  19. Yes, what did Carrie learn in her research? Inquiring minds want to know!

    I would love to give that inspirational speech that leads people to renounce all that is evil and selfish in the world and work for what is right and fair. Hmm, why do I feel like everyone is now leaving the room as unobtrusively as possible….?

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  20. “the Spectacular dance” – HELL yes! Or the “super choreographed dance and everybody in the joint turns out to be professional dancers and we all spontaneously start doing the same steps.”

    Why can’t life be like a musical?

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  21. Split my own arrow like Robin Hood at will. I’ve had three but it is hard to do.

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  22. Great post. It does always seem to be a passing parade that saves the day.

    I’d like to have had a karate kid kind of moment where you battle back to win the day against the bullies.

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  23. I’m with you on every one but the ventilation duct–too claustrophobic for that. Dancing with John Travolta would be right up there, though!! :)

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  24. I’d love to try my hand at escaping the demonic horses in Lord of the Rings the way Liv Tyler’s character did when she was saving Frodo. I think that’d be very cool! :)

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  25. Sooo funny. I think my favorite is “The Speech.” It’s hilarious how often they write scenes like this in movies and TV (pretty sure Grey’s Anatomy is almost entirely comprised of dramatic speeches). It never really comes across this way in real life. If you get the chance to speak that long without someone interrupting you then it’s probably coming out as a manic rant and not some impassioned discourse on a life well lived.

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    • I think the dramatic speeches work for everyone involved – the script writer likes to craft the speech, the actor likes their big monologue moment, the director and cameraman have a fairly easy bit of work there (although if there are any directors or camera persons reading this, and I am wrong about that being easy, I apologise!).

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  26. Haha, this is a great idea for a post! I wish I could be in a high speed car chase, sometimes driving in reverse – of course I never crash but manage to fly from one side of the bridge to the other that is separating and rising to allow a boat through.

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  27. These are awesome. I would love to do the I just realized I can’t live without you rush to the airport/train station that ends with a kiss.

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