The Free Online Dictionary defines cliche as :
“A cliché (from French, klɪ’ʃe) is a phrase, expression, or idea that has been overused to the point of losing its intended force or novelty, especially when at some time it was considered distinctively forceful or novel. The term is generally used in a negative context.”
The operative word here being ‘overused’ & Hollywood is good at it!
It sucks to go to the movies these days. Ever since Iron Man came into the circuit 2 months ago, Malaysian movie goers have been hit with one superhero movie after another! There is the Incredible Hulk, Wanted, Hancock, Hellboy 2 ………….. We are completely inundated – I mean it was fun at the beginning but then we’ve seen one too many unassuming fellows, millionaires & even drunkards turning into buffed up superhero types. Why is Hollywood so cliched? It’s like flogging a dead horse I say. Please GIVE US A BREAK!
It doesn’t just happen with movie themes. Let’s take the film stars or should I say the babies of film stars for example. When one starts having a baby, suddenly everyone’s having babies. It’s suddenly fashionable to show baby bumps, to wear designer maternity evening gowns down the red carpet etc with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Christina Aguilera, Nicole Ritchie, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Alba etc. (Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against pregnancy or babies but it is the overpublicity and hype that goes with it now. 10 years ago when movie stars became pregnant, they avoided cameras, much less strut down the red carpet … hardly any designer would be interested in dressing them then – but that was the cliche back then).
It is also suddenly fashionable to be adopting babies i.e. Angelina (AGAIN) , Madonna, Nicole Kidman (although she professes to be Aussie – but lets face it Nicole, Hollywood made you) . Hey, we’re not even talking about adopting American babies, we are taking it one humanitarian step further! They adopt Vietnamese children, African, Cambodian children etc. Well, good for the kids really but then how cliched it all is. I sincerely hope that these are genuine moves and not publicity stunts. Are these children going to actually get the sincere love and attention of these glamourous stars or are they just going to be part time children – raised mainly by expensive nurses & nannies. You tell me.
Talking about cliches, reality shows top the list. It all started with ‘Survivor’, and then you have all the other shows ‘The Amazing Race’, ‘The Apprentice – Donald Trump’, ‘The Apprentice – Martha Stewart’, ‘Project Runway’, ‘America’s Top Model, “Bachelor’, ‘Bachelorette’, ‘The Contender’, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’, ‘Restaurant Makeover’, ‘Trading spaces’, ‘While You Were Out’ (The list is endless) …. And then the reality shows took it a step further by tying in with phone companies to sweeten the deal further – so you end up with shows like ‘American Idol’, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ & god knows how many more which sizzled out early….
It’s all fine at the beginning to see all these contestants or reality show participants fight it out for the million dollar contracts or prize money or dream job, from surviving the jungle to boxing to modeling to cooking – you name it …..(umm, wonder if there are any reality shows for porn – oh dear…don’t tell me – I don’t wanna know!!!!!).
In short, you get hit with one series after another. You wonder ……. have they run out of fresh ideas???? The original brainchild behind this idea struck gold really. It not only boosted network ratings, it was lucrative too from the merchandising and advertising point of view especially shows like Project Runway & The Apprentice. Don’t we just love the back biting, back stabbing, the politicking etc of it? Now the wonderful thing is, based on the ratings, it is evident that some of these shows have been highly successful – so in essence, we love seeing people scratch & claw their way to success.
Then you begin to wonder……Is society too becoming cliched? Yikes, God help us!
Give us something new before we turn into walking cliches!
P.S. Check out this link for more Hollywood cliches related to Movie Plots….. Good one!
P.P.S. I have another Hollywood cliche to add to the link above … there is almost always a token Asian role created nowadays & most times they are either the supporting roles or the baddie roles …. sigh!