Question of the Day

Teeing off on somewaterytart's post about irritating movie constructs, I got to thinking about all the other cinematic plot gimmicks that drive me crazy. Therefore...
What's your nominee for the most annoying movie cliché?
Mine's below the fold.

They range from aforementioned race to the hospital with the pregnant woman and everyone acting like she's having the World's First Baby to the sexist woman-being-chased and twisting-her-ankle and endangering-the-mission. But the one I hate the most is the Tom Cruise scenario. He plays a cocky young guy who's full of himself. He's got a cranky seen-it-all mentor who teaches him the ropes of a certain profession and lets him get his ass kicked by a stern-jawed rival with a kick-ass haircut (i.e. Val Kilmer) so that he learns some deep lessons about Life. Along the way he meets a girl who's not at all impressed with his attitude but likes his ass so they end up having steamy slow-motion sex while a Top 40 song written just for the movie plays in the background. For a subplot there's a smart-ass best friend who ends up dead by page 57. This makes Tom squint and look Determined to Win. In the end, he and the girl drive off in his classic car to a reprise of the song. Examples: All the Right Moves, Top Gun, Cocktail, Days of Thunder, The Color of Money, and even A Few Good Men and Rainman to a degree.

Aside from the cut-and-paste plot, what gets me is in all those films Tom Cruise always played Tom Cruise. Different character name, different profession, different girl, different song, but he was always the same character. And what's also interesting is that his co-star, the craggy sage, was played by actors who just plain blew him off the screen: Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Duvall, Jack Nicholson...each in their own way made it glaringly obvious that Tom Cruise -- both the actor and the character -- were so one-dimensional by comparison that it was like he wasn't even there.

But the pay was good and he got laid a lot, and to some people, that's all that matters.

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