Stop It, Hollywood: Photo Fondling

Certain actions (some of them completely absurd and unfounded in anything resembling real human behavior) have become so overused in movies and television that they’ve actually transcended being clichés to become parodies of clichés, which is just all sorts of weird. Even if a cease and desist can’t be issued against these incidents, the least we can do is complain about them. Here is an example of the kind of foolishness we never want to see on the big and/or small scream ever again.

Looking nostalgically/forlornly at photographs – and touching them

Dear God, please, no more of this. You’ve seen it literally dozens of times. Someone is sitting isolated and alone, thinking about the past, pondering the concept of loss and the inevitable passage of time, reflecting on some tragedy, all of the above – and they’re looking at a photograph of someone: a dead wife, an estranged child, a group of buddies who died on a fishing trip, a dog that got hit by a truck, you name it. What’s even worse is when they touch the photograph, as if that somehow makes them able to maybe telepathically actually touch the person’s face, or makes their memories stronger, or who the hell knows what.

A recent culprit of this silliness is Taken, in which Liam Neeson is sitting sad and alone in his sad divorced dad home and he’s looking at a photo of his daughter, back when she was young, and maybe they were happy, and he’s thinking about how he missed her childhood because he was out killing dudes to keep America free, and now he feels guilty, and he should’ve been a better dad, and he touches the goddamn photograph. Goddammit. And you just know there’s going to be about 53 photo-fondling scenes in Peter Jackson’s upcoming The Lovely Bones, which is about a young girl who gets killed by some creep and her family spends the rest of the movie feeling sad about it.

There has to be a better way, Hollywood, to convey a sense of loss, guilt, loneliness, constipation, whatever it is. And watching old home movies of frolicking on the beach while crying in the attic isn’t it.

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