This is a first in a new series on this blog that I’m calling Contrivances. It will consist of tropes and cliches that occur in movies, books, songs, etc that don’t make sense because they never, ever happen in real life. Feel free to submit any that you notice to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The other day I was watching a fair disappointing R-rated comedy called Hall Pass. In one scene in the last third of the movie, a beautiful, naturally tan woman asks Owen Wilson if he wants to sleep with her. As seen above, she presents herself to him by slipping off her shirt while standing about five feet away from him so he can admire her assets from afar.
We’ve seen this dozens of times in movies: women presenting themselves to men before sex. It always involves the woman standing a safe distance from the man, undoing her shirt from a single clasp and letting it fall to the floor (that’s how shirts work in the movies), and standing their proudly, as if to say, “And now I present to you…my breasts!”
We’re so used to this scene by now that we don’t even stop to think that it never happens in real life. Man or woman, doesn’t matter. When you’re about to climb into bed with someone (to snuggle or exchange butterfly kisses, of course), you don’t stand five feet away from the person, get naked, and pose for a while. Can you imagine what women would do if I posed like that, as if to say, “What do you think of this?”
I challenge you this weekend to go home to your wives, husbands, doormen, neighbors–whoever is available–to take off your clothes in a single gesture and pose there for a minute. Don’t say anything. Just stare defiantly and jut out your chest. Report back to me on Monday.