Disgruntled Moviegoers Sue Drive, Hangover 2Richard Foreman/FilmDistrict
Ravaged by robots and reboots, attacked by apes, and asphyxiated by the ‘80s, the moviegoing public has had enough. But how best to express their outrage? The old Muppet-y trick of hurling your popcorn and candy at the screen is both ineffective and cost-prohibitive, especially since, due to inflation, a single jujyfruit is worth approximately 2.2 Argentine Pesos. There’s always civil disobedience but Occupy Burbank fizzled out after the die-hard cineastes camping out in the middle of Barham Boulvard realized the only people who stick around there after dark are Jay Leno’s mechanics. So enterprising consumers are instead doing the most patriotic thing of all: suing.
A Michigan moviegoer named Sarah Deming recently filed suit against Film District, the distributor of Drive as well as the local theater in which she saw the Ryan Gosling jacket-fetish flick. The charge? No, not “being awesome.” (That was our guess too.) It’s misrepresentation: Deming and her attorneys claim the film’s trailer led her to expect a Fast & the Furious-stye action romp, not a meditative synthpop video featuring arterial blood gushing like the Trevi Fountain. Deming is seeking to form a class-action case to put an end to studios’ shell game of making everything — and we mean everything — seem as crass and base as possible. (Which, apparently, is the way Ms. Deming likes it.) But while Deming is seeking justice for all, another aggreived subscriber to Cahiers du cinema, Michael Alan Rubin, is going the all-American route and looking out for only himself. The aspiring screenwriter filed suit in federal court last week claiming that the producers of The Hangover Part II stole his own real life sex-and-drugs-fueled marital misadventure in Thailand for their terrible, terribly profitable picture. (The lawyers for the smoking orangutan on YouTube didn’t want to comment but we’d have to imagine their client has a more plausible case here.)
Beware, Hollywood: you are not too big budgeted to fail. We are the 1% (of people who did not receive a screenwriting credit on Cowboys & Aliens)! And we will have justice!