Contrivance #5: Men Talking Nose-to-Nose

I had to Google "Top Gun locker room" to find this. The sacrifices I make for this blog...

Take a second to think about your last face-to-face interaction with a human being. How far away was your face from their face? Five feet? Seven feet?

If you lived in the movies, your face would have been less than a foot from your conversation partner. If it was a heated discussion, your noses may have touched.

See the difference between reality and the movies?

Granted, filmmakers have a tight frame to work with. This heated discussion between Iceman and Maverick wouldn’t be nearly as erotic if they were across the room from one another. But surely there’s a happy medium?

Believe it or not, I starred in a movie during my year abroad in Japan. Granted, it was a student film, and I am a terrible–terrible–actor, especially while speaking Japanese. But I actually was the star.

There was one fight scene where I had to duel with a karate master to prove my love to a beautiful alien woman. The scene started with the karate master and I glaring at each other face-to-face before the duel.

Seriously, we must have done 30 takes of a 5-second staredown. I could not keep a straight face. Because people simply never get that close to other people’s faces unless you’re about to make out! And yet we accept this as normal in movies and TV shows every day.

Finally we got a decent take, and I proceeded to throw the karate master into the arms of my trusty ninjas (they weren’t even in the movie–I simply had ninjas follow me around on a daily basis). But the experience left me with a newfound respect for actors. How they violate each other’s personal space on a daily basis, I do not know.

22 thoughts on “Contrivance #5: Men Talking Nose-to-Nose”

    • Oh, Anne, it’s TERRIBLE. Seriously. And it’s on one of those little digital tapes, making it hard to get on the computer. Plus it’s like 45 minutes long! Maybe I can snag a clip of it and post it online.

  1. Acting is awkward, but fun. If you think nose to nose talking is awkward, try kissing someone you met 20 minutes before with a “cover” shirt on (so it looks like you’re not wearing a shirt). AWKWARD.

  2. What about quiet bars where broke 20 somethings hang out and pay for beer every night? Maybe I’m a loser, but I’ve never had a bar I went to every day. And don’t even get me started on the bar in Crazy Stupid Love. Narnia is more likely to exist than that place.

    • Both good points. There was a time after college that I went out for beers a few times a week, and it adds up fast! As for the Crazy Stupid Love bar, though, you don’t find every bar to be fully stocked with beautiful women who will go home with the same guy night after night?

      Perhaps more shocking about that bar is that it didn’t have thumping music in the background that prevented any semblance of conversation. That’s just not realistic, unfortunately.

  3. I specifically asked you not to get me started on the Crazy Stupid Love bar. What did you do? You started talking about it. If my anger comes through the Internet and destroys your site, well, it’s on you.

    Here goes…

    1. Is it a nightclub or a bar? There is no loud techno music, so it’s a bar. Everyone there is dressed up, so it’s a nightclub. Gosling is shown eating NACHOS, so it’s a bar. Steve Carell gets an $8000 bill, so it’s a nightclub. Steve Carell hangs out there during the day, so it’s a bar. There are individual couches throughout the place, so it’s a nightclub. There’s no dancing, so it’s a bar.

    2. What is the clientele of this nightclub/bar? You have serious law students, Barney Stinson wannabes, older women, attractive women, insurance guys and whatever Carell’s sad sack friend who brings him a gift is. There is not a place in America this socially diverse.

    3. Speaking of the attractive women, the place is crawling with them, yet there appears to be no line to get in and no one working the door, as evidenced by Emma Stone just barging in and Steve Carell getting in at all.
    And, as it appears there are no men other than Carell and Gosling in the entire bar, are these women just waiting around on the individual couches waiting for creepy Ryan Gosling to come up to them?

    4. Yep, creepy Ryan Gosling. He has horrible pick up lines (Seriously, Barney Stinson blows him away every week on a network comedy.), dresses like he’s in Saturday Night Fever and is always there by himself. Note for all you future bar hoppers: WOMEN DO NOT GO HOME WITH GUYS WHO ARE AT THE BAR ALONE. This is why you bring a wingman. I’m not saying you can’t approach a woman alone, I’m just saying that she needs to see you with other people at some time so she knows you’re not going to kill her and wear her clothes when she goes home with you. Serial killers never work in groups.

    I’ll stop now. The length of this post is your fault, Jamey.

    • Brad,

      Obviously, you are just Jamey writing under a pseudonym because no one else would try to find so many reasons not to like an awesome movie like C,S,L.

      It is also obvious that you don’t live in LA. I mean, sure, I live in Virginia where we have normal bars and sketchy night clubs all of which are filled with normal looking humans (well some are sub-normal looking), but I’ve seen enough movies and TV to know that LA is filled with crazy bars where you can dance or not dance, and sit on couches or at bars, and order whatever you like at any time of day. And the hallmark of any LA bar/nightclub/dreamland is that any expensively dressed Tiger Beat cover-boy can walk out at any time with any girl he wants no matter what he says or does. Its like you don’t even know what LA is. Haven’t you see The OC or 90210 or Battle: Los Angeles. If you want a normal bar with ugly people you should go to Boston, like in Cheers or any Ben Affleck movie.

      That bar is real. I’ve seen it….in other movies. And who says Narnia doesn’t exist? All you have to do it get behind the fur coats at the back of the wardrobe.

      • Wow, looks like Bryce is also making a strong run at comment of the month. Impressive. I think my favorite part is that “Battle: Los Angeles” was included in a list with The OC and 90210.

  4. Jamey,

    As a Manchester CBG, GSGIS, Wash U, futbol playing NERD, I realize that you have never actually scene a fight break out in real life. However, as a public school teacher I can assure you that many conversations occur nose-to-nose, at least those between aggressive, sexually-frustrated teenage boys. I saw this quite frequently and, as you know, I taught exclusively in the suburbs, most of which were upper middle class. I would be willing to bet that almost all conversations between boys in the halls of inner-city St. Louis public schools are conducted nose-to-nose. Consider yourself lucky that you have the economic privilege to enjoy “personal space.”

    Now I realize that your contrivance says “Men,” so maybe you are specifically saying that this is something that “boys” grow out of. But if movies teach us anything at all it is that boys do not grow-up…at all…period.

    ps. I’m disappointed that Netflix is reporting a “very long wait” for your movie in blu-ray on my queue but I’m glad to see that it is “coming soon” on streaming (…which I no longer get because Netlix sucks!)

    pps. What kind of word is “queue”??? Two “ue”‘s in a row? That’s not English, that’s ridiculous!

    • What kind of high school fights were these? Did the kids start snapping their fingers and dancing?

      Sorry about the long wait on Netflix…trust me, it’ll be worth the wait. Oh, and it’s not subtitled, so you can learn Japanese while you’re waiting for it to arrive.

      • No Jamey, its not the 1950s, no one snapped their fingers… they slapped the floor and spun around on their heads. Geez, just watch Step Up 3D, why don’tcha???

  5. Ok, Bryce, sit down, grab some paper and write some of this down.

    Deep breath…here goes.

    No, I have not seen Battle: Los Angeles because I do not accept Aaron Eckhart as a leading man. But I have seen LOTS of 90210 and The O.C. And by “90210”, I’m assuming you mean the Luke Perry version and not the childbirth currently on The CW, which is actually titled “90210”. That was your first mistake.

    Second, neither 90210 nor The O.C. is set in Los Angeles. I would overlook this mistake except for the fact that THEIR LOCATIONS ARE THE NAMES OF THE SHOW. Beverly Hills is an inland suburb of Los Angeles (which makes the Beverly Hills Beach Club an impossibility), while “O.C.” stands for Orange County, which is southeast of Los Angeles county, where the city of Los Angeles is located. Therefore, repeated viewings of these shows cannot be used as a basis for Los Angeles expertise.

    Third, even if these shows were in LA, their main hangouts – The Peach Pit and The Bait Shop – were not singles bars. The Peach Pit was a diner, while the bait shop was an acoustical masterpiece run by an emancipated 17 year old bisexual. Neither of these places resembled the bar in Crazy, Stupid, Love.

    Fourth, Crazy, Stupid, Love was not good enough to be referred to by its initials.

    That is all for now.

    • Wow Brad, you got a lot going on there.

      I take back the thing about you being Jamey in disguise, we all know from reading his blog that Jamey does not write with that much venom (nor does he write that eloquently).

      All I can really say is: uhhhhh, Thank You For Smoking??? That movie was amazing!

    • Ok, Brad, I lied, there’s more, I was just a little busy earlier

      1. C’mon man, that’s a crazy narrow definition of LA. You mean to tell me that if I struck up a conversation with some dude for Newport in an airport he wouldn’t tell me that he was from LA. Of course, he would. And Beverly Hills has been the very picture of LA for 99% of Americans ever since those hillbillies found their bubbling crude. (A notion supported more recently by Weezer).

      2. We all know that your favorite characters did not exclusively hang out at the aforementioned dives. In fact, I’m sure you remember that in Season 1 Episode 22 “The LA” the gang from Newport went to a bar/nightclub exactly like the one I described IN LOS ANGELES and that was where Paris Hilton uttered the immortal line “The OC…ewwww!”

      3. C,S,L is awesome enough to be referred to by anything at all. In fact, I’ve started calling it “Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad Crazy Stupid Love” just because I can.

      4. Seriously, Thank You For Smoking is one of the best movies of the last 10 years and its largely because of its leading man who carried it with great aplomb.

  6. Brad’s first comment is classic. I love it.

    And I have to agree with Bryce on the fighting… have you seen any fights in person? Because the ones I’ve seen the people are definitely in each other’s faces for a bit before any blows start being thrown around. Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s turning into a very serious make out session or violence.


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