Hollywood is in the business of selling illusions and fantasies to the public. When this is done well, you can have an excellent film that immerses you in a different world and inspires you to care about its characters. When it’s done poorly, you’ll have a brainless piece of filler in your hands that, instead of making you suspend your disbelief for a bit, will just leave you annoyed and angry at all of its lazy writing choices.
Given all of this, it shouldn’t be surprising that certain tropes have found their way into Hollywood screenwriting. Even tropes that are used to great artistic effect can often be inaccurate.
We often see this in Hollywood scripts that involve foreign countries or the people who live in them.
Even a film that is well done on its own merits might be plagued with inaccuracies and might give those watching a false impression of some distant land.
Realizing this, one redditor recently decided to start a thread asking people, “What does Hollywood get wrong about your home country?” If you want to learn the truth about a country, your best bet is to ask the people who live there.
Here are some of the results.
It’s long been a stereotype of the Irish that they’re drunks. America itself has had a sordid history around this very thing, treating newly arrived Irish immigrants with contempt at an earlier point in its history. And while it’s certainly true that many Irishmen enjoy a good time at the pub, so do many people from other countries. In any case, it’s certainly unfair to paint the Irish as alcoholics.
If you only learned about Russia from Hollywood, you’d think it was a land where snow rains down perpetually and everyone guzzles down copious amounts of vodka. Apparently, it snows so much and so often in Russia that, even on a sunny summer day in America, snow barrels down on the Russian people.
Of course, none of that is true. Russian winters can be extremely cold, but taking things that far is ridiculous. There are summers in Russia just as there are in every other country.
In any Hollywood film taking place in France, it seems that every home has a window view of either the Eiffel Tower, a vineyard, or both. What makes this even funnier is that the scenes of those vineyards are almost always actually shot in California.
One Italian responding to this Reddit thread expressed his annoyance with the tendency of American films to depict all of Italy as crawling with mobsters. But he expresses this annoyance with more than a little good humor, saying wryly, “In Italy, there’s isn’t Mafia in every city. Only 80% of them.”
Hollywood films depict Americans as brave, resourceful, competent, natural leaders, especially in films where there’s some sort of global crisis going on. Though it’s natural that Hollywood might want to portray its own people in a good light, perceptive and honest Americans know that this is not always true.