Maybe it's me. But every time I see someone in a movie or on tv driving, they invariably turn to the passenger next to them and ... in defiance of all logic and learned behavior ... hold an extended conversation LOOKING RIGHT AT THEM AND NOT ON THE ROAD AHEAD.
Look, I can understand taking a quick glance over at your passenger for a beat or two. But not staring at them as if you were on a couch in the family room yakking casually over beers. "Hey, you want another brewski?"
Honestly, I want to shout right there in the theatre "Hey, you dumb jamoke. (One of my dad's favorite words, which loosely translated means idiot). Whadda ya think you're doing? Pull over and give me that wheel. NOW! You wanna get us all killed?"
Yes, I understand how movies are made. I know that actor is not really driving. That vehicle heading down the road is on a flatbed or it's being towed. The driving is faked. I get it.
Still, that doesn't make the slightest bit of difference to me. My brain refuses to accept that anyone—anyone—would be so stupid as to not look where they're driving.
Allow me to lay it out for clueless directors. You want your movie to portray real life? Then have the driver talk exactly how we all do when we're behind the wheel. Talk with only a quick glance at the passenger. That's it. Nothing more.
So there we were in a theater last night watching a highly-recommended movie. Not a true classic like "Night Of The Living Dead" but few movies are. As you might have guessed, the main character spent a lot of time behind the wheel ... fake driving all over the place ... and all the while yakking and looking (you guessed it) everywhere but at the road ahead, or at the guardrail, or at all that oncoming traffic.
Damn right we knew it was fake. But you know what? That made absolutely no difference. We found it incredibly unnerving because our brains found it unnerving. Carefully programmed over decades of driving, our brains rebelled. They sounded alarm bells all over the place. And we stopped paying attention to what the actors were talking about. We couldn't care less.
Basically, I was tempted to shout something that was probably going through the minds of everyone in that crowded theater: "Pay attention to the road, you dumb jamoke! You wanna get us all killed?"