Go to the movies these days and here’s what you probably see: A famous Hollywood star, pretending to be something they obviously aren’t. There is a simple solution to this.
ME TO HOLLYWOOD STUDIO EXECS: “Let me get this straight. Not only do I have to pay [Insert regional movie ticket price] for a simple movie ticket—but now I have to be able to somehow forget that Matt Damon is not an international spy? That Will Smith is not a doctor? That Jennifer Lawrence is not a hardscrabble low-income mom? That Tom Cruise is not, also, an international spy? I am supposed to forget, somehow, that I know damn well that all of these extremely familiar people are, in fact, famous Hollywood actors? As if!”
HOLLYWOOD STUDIO EXECS: [Pulling their collars while sweating as all the starlets swoon at my comment]
You all know what I mean. We’re all urbane “cinema”-goers are we not? We are. And we all have had the experience of trying to lose ourselves in a movie only to look up and exclaim, “That is NOT Batman, it’s Michael Keaton, from BeetleJuice.”
“That is NOT a crazy woman who has kidnapped an author, it’s Kathy Bates.”
“That man doesn’t have a developmental disability that allows him to count cards at all—it’s actually Dustin Hoffman.”
It’s pathetic. Do they think we are really that stupid? Even a charitable explanation would have to assume that regular people possess the magical power to walk into a darkened movie theater and forget, for at least two hours, facts that we already know—namely, who famous people are. What else would they have us forget? Where we parked? How to breathe? It’s not only impractical, it’s unsafe.
When I pay [regionally accurate price] for what I as a buff call a “film,” I do not want to be left sitting for hours ridiculously trying to convince myself that the very famous actor Denzel Washington is, in fact, the deceased Malcolm X. It’s neither fair nor plausible to expect me to work that hard (mentally). When we go to the movies, we, the public, are the losers, because we have to watch stories that we can’t believe. And who are the winners? The rich actors in Hollywood, who make a bunch of money from doing all these movies, and also they get to be famous.
Fair? Philosophy tells us no.
There is an obvious and practical solution: Every actor only gets to be in one movie. Once you’re in one movie, that’s it. You go get a real job. The next movie, they find some new people to act in it. And so on and so on. Hollywood may say, “That would require thousands of new actors every year!” And I say, “No problem. There’s 300 million people in America.” Let’s give everyone a chance to act in a movie—exactly one time.
HOLLYWOOD ACTORS THEMSELVES: “But acting is hard! Our talents! You’ll never find enough good actors! Boo hoo.”
Conflict of interest much? Yeah, the rich actors themselves will tell you this is a bad idea. Big surprise. Meanwhile they never mention the good things about it: 1) Just about everyone will get a chance to be in a movie; 2) Since everyone only gets one chance to be in a movie, the actors won’t wanna be in bad movies, so they’ll be forced to only make good movies; and 3) When you watch the movie you won’t have to hit yourself in the head with a hammer to forget who Charlize Theron is, so you can believe she’s actually a serial killer. All you’ll see is some person you’ve never seen before. So you can really get into the whole experience in a better way.
This idea is prima facie good and those who oppose it have ulterior motives.