Cinematic Certainties

If you are ever tempted to try to write a screenplay, here are a few essentials to keep in mind, or you’ll look a complete amateur


There is no need to lock your car even in the Bronx or downtown LA

Don’t bother with a seat belt

Joe Ordinary can outrun a professional getaway driver

Even if he is driving a school bus while the baddie has a 1968 Oldsmobile 442

Or a Chrysler Neon versus a Ferrari 308 GTB

(Note. This rule does not apply if the goodie has a perfectly ordinary saloon car capable of 0 to 60 mph in about 9 seconds, and the baddie has a lumbering 18 wheel Kenilworth gas tanker painted matt black.)

A good guy’s car will never be disabled by damage sustained in a car chase, and may even be able to repair itself between corners


A good guy with a 6 shot revolver is more than a match for two bad guys with fully automatic Uzis

And is a safe bet for winning an exchange of fire with a world class assassin with a sophisticated sniper rifle

If you are a woman, you can fire 386 Magnum with total accuracy and without breaking your wrist  (Note. In certain genres of film you won’t be able to fire a shotgun without falling over to humorous effect.)

Your desk or the counter in a bar or hotel will provide you with effective cover against armour piercing bullets


When somebody says, ‘Honey, it’s only the wind.’ it isn’t.

When there is a slasher in town, a power cut during a thunderstorm is a sure sign that your number is up

When there is a slasher in town, a power cut during a thunderstorm is the ideal time to don a flimsy nightdress and investigate strange noises by candlelight

Candles never blow out

Until the slasher is coming up behind you

When the slasher is apparently dead is a good time to reload the shotgun

But you won’t


All alien species are adapted to terrestrial life

The only good alien is a cute alien; aliens with big jaws, multiple mandibles, and razor sharp limbs are unlikely to be majoring in humanities (but are often good mothers)

By the 23rd century, old fashioned fly by wire technology on spacecraft will have been replaced by more reliable mechanical systems

If you are going exploring strange planets, you’d better like eating blue goo with unidentifiable lumps in it

More planets than we thought have ring systems


You’re very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of  being the one who makes the most wisecracks

Or you end up in a tight corner with the guy you had a roughhouse with in the early scenes

When the SWAT team is coming up in a lift, it is perfectly safe to go down in the other one, or use the service stairs

If you are a policeman searching for a multiple cop killer, enter the darkened house alone without calling for back up, or if there are several of you split up to make it easier to pick off individuals

Entering a room with light creeping through venetian blinds suggests very strongly that you are about to find out what you are made of – literally


That first meal you cook for your new potential paramour? It has to be spaghetti (Note. This rule does not apply to Barbra Streisand who makes a great potroast.)

Except that you will end up burning the sauce while having your first kiss

Good news is that you will both find it hysterically funny

More good news is that your new partner makes ‘a GREAT salad’ and you happen to have all the ingredients in your refrigerator – and it will all go so well with the obligatory French bread in your shopping bag

More good news is that your new partner does not snore or have early morning bad breath

If your new partner has a cute blond kid who is paradoxically savvy and vulnerable, book the church now

Ditto if YNP has an unfeasibly large and ugly dog of indeterminate breed, and even more so if you both thought it was a male and it has a litter of adorable puppies

On the other hand, keep all your pets indoors and change the locks if things go wrong

2 thoughts on “Cinematic Certainties”

  1. Candles that don’t go out in shows always creep me out a bit. Not sure why, but it can be leagues scarier than the other stuff going on… 🙂

    Also, alternatively, your boyfriend could make GREAT scrambled eggs– Bridge Jones’ style. 🙂

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