Drive has been rather controversial in a year so far filled with audience ire aimed squarely at Television and Netflix, likely in part due to a fairly uncontroversial slate of movies (though, if James Gunn’s Super had gotten a wider theatrical release and any marketing mojo, it would likely have stirred some of those same ultra-conservative Won’t somebody please think of the children! pots). But while those things are “controversial” due to their actual content, Nicholas Winding Refn’s latest film starring Pajiba favorites Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Christina Hendricks has been “controversial” due to what some viewers feel was due to a lack of content. Or, rather, for having too much content when all those poor moviegoers wanted was for cars to go zoom and other things to go boom.
Well, one audience member, Sarah Deming from Michigan, is mad as Hell with slow burning character driven stories billing themselves as action-packed thrill rides, and she’s not going to take it anymore. Instead, she’s attempting to teach all those manipulative movie trailer editors a lesson the hard way, by suing Drive’s distributor FilmDistrict for promoting the movie “as very similar to the Fast and Furious” and failing to deliver on that promise. A million LoL Cats scream “OH NOES!” in unison as — heaven forefend — a movie not live up to its trailer .
Ms. Deming’s suit also states: “Drive bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film… having very little driving in the motion picture.” In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve yet to see the film, so I can’t comment on its merits, but I have seen the film’s trailer, which is the sticky wicket in this farce. Having watched it a few times, it’s almost unfathomable that someone would have assumed the movie was really going to be Faster and Furiouser. In case you somehow missed it before, despite being a reader of this site, here’s the Drive trailer in question (pay close attention to the change that occurs 97 seconds in):
See that moment right there, at 1:37, when the Baby Goose and Mulligan are in the elevator, when everything goes slo-mo and the classical score marches toward its full crescendo? That’s the moment that pretension kicks into overdrive, running down needless destruction in the name of nuance… and pretentiousness. Granted, that change occurs about 60 seconds after Sarah Deming and those emotionally scarred viewers she claims to represent probably stopped paying attention to what was happening onscreen and settled into their buttery, salty, mindless explosion coma. So, it’s somewhat understandable that she may have missed the glaringly obvious fact that the movie was striving for more artistic heights than high speed chases and man-on-man wrasslin’. But that does not excuse her, or anyone else, from missing the movie’s posters that they must have seen at least once prior to purchasing a ticket. Those posters almost exclusively feature Ryan Gosling in a silver Member’s Only jacket that neither Vin Diesel nor The Rock would ever be caught dead in. Unfortunately.
Seriously, Ms. Deming? You thought this poster represented an action movie? At best, it’s the portrait of a 1980s gay man setting out to seek revenge against his sexually confused abusers, ala so many Raped Woman Attacks Her Attackers narratives. But a Fast 6 type vehicle? Oh, hell, no. The association with Cannes is an even bigger giveaway that Ryan Gosling probably isn’t going to channel Paul Walker. Ah, but there’s more, apparently, because not only is Drive a lying liar that lies, but it’s also anti-semitic:
“Drive was a motion picture that substantially contained extreme gratuitous defamatory dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith.”
I’ve yet to read any stories about people of the Jewish faith being attacked on the street, much less any of God’s Chosen being run over by WASPy drivers in their muscle cars. But again, I haven’t seen the movie so I can’t comment on the veracity of that claim. Though, Rob Payne personal favorite Albert Brooks does co-star in the movie, and I find it hard to believe that he would appear in something that would incite violence against his own people (Jews, not wealthy actors). After all, “self” is the most important word in the phrase “self-hating Jew,” right? But the religious connection is silly in the end, and is only there to make her case seem more credible than it really is. Because all Ms. Deming really wants is her ticket money back, and for those dastardly editors to stop making their movies look so damn good to the mindless masses.