I think learning a new language and living in a new culture has ruined the movie-watching-experience for me. I spent majority of the time watching thinking about the nuances of American English and if my friend was understanding most of the dialogue. I was struck by how quickly things were said, and how much of it was cultural discussion . . . for example, when the audience is introduced to the main character, he is playing poker and talking about his friend's girlfriend. If I spoke English, but didn't know anything about poker or American dating relationships, or even what American's feel is appropriate interaction between friends, I would have been entirely lost!
I have often heard it said that the rest of the world perceives American culture to be exactly what they see in movies. So I began to wonder, while watching Eagle Eye, what does this film say about American culture. Here are the assumptions I would draw if I was an outsider:
- Car chases happen on a regular basis in everyday life.
- The person driving the get-away-car in said car chase may get some bumps and bruises and a few dents in his driver's side door, but he will walk away with a scratch on his head.
- Cool things only happen to beautiful people.
- Those people still look beautiful no matter what they've fallen into or been hit by.
- Not only does everyone own a cell phone, but also every piece of the most current technology created.
- Slang is used . . . a lot.
- Cars and trucks and airplanes blow up and everyone's got a gun and can hit a target, even if they've never used one before.
- Beautiful people can fall in love anywhere, at anytime, under any circumstance.
- The non-important extras can get killed by simple punch to the face . . . so everyone must be skilled at unarmed combat.
- No matter how many times the good guy gets shot and everyone thinks he's dead, he ends up walking away with a few scratches and a shoulder sling on his right arm (bummer . . . especially if he's right handed!).
- There are only sleek, fuel-efficient, top-of the line cars on the road. And should you not have your own, a kind stranger has run off leaving his keys in the ignition for someone else to use.
- Rockband is not an international phenomenon.