Saturday, November 27, 2010

Based on a True Story

I think most people have seen movies that are "based on a true story". A close cousin to this type of movie is the "based on actual events" genre. As inspiring as these movies may be, I always wonder in the back of my mind which parts are accurate and what parts Hollywood chose to spice up or exaggerate.

Take a war movie for instance. Is the reference to an actual war or battle the true part and the rest just an embellishment? Where do you draw the line? I would love to make a movie about myself and promote it as based on a true story. The real part would be my name, the fact that I'm a man, and enjoy eating pastries, but I would probably elaborate a little about the martial arts skills, being a secret agent, and the part about playing in the NBA.

Even when a movie based on a true story is good like Rudy, Gifted Hands, Flash of Genius, Patch Adams, Erin Brokovich, 8 Seconds, October Sky, Glory Road, The Pursuit of Happyness, etc. it still makes me wonder what parts were not quite accurate. I can tell you one area that is almost always embellished. It entails using attractive actors for the lead characters in the movie. When you watch one of these movies and then see the special features on DVD after and they interview the person the movie was about, they seldom look like Brad Pit or Kate Beckinsale.

I'm proposing that any time someone makes a movie based on a true story, that they are required to list in small print on the poster "Except in real life this person is not that good looking." I hope I haven't ruined inspirational movies based on real events and true stories for you with my cynicism, but this is something I have always struggled with.

PS- This post topic based on an actual post from The Movie Guy blog.

7 comments:

Kelly said...

Like your post script. What parts did you change in the writing of this post?

Tom said...

I added some movies, edited some content, and ran a spell check.

Kristina P. said...

I have it on good authority that Lifetime movies are pretty much documentaries.

M-Cat said...

And now you gotta go and ruin Rudy for me? LOL

With you on the never as good looking part. Although, I have made it known that when I die, and they do my movie - that Sandra Bullock is the dead ringer for me.

ISRAEL CARRASCO said...

You really see this in re-enactments on ghost shows. They interview the actual people and later they show the actors and 90% of the time the actors are much more attractive.

Eric said...

I had heard that the piglet in the film 'Babe' was much more beautiful than the one from real life.

Cheeseboy said...

What about this new movie with the dude that cuts off his own arm to stay alive. I am pretty sure I am good to not know if that is real or not - even though I know it is.