“It’s so predictable!” he’ll blurt, standing and screaming at the TV. “I could write these things!”
The problem is, he’s always 100 percent wrong.
Take Titanic, for example. Years ago, we rented it on VHS and watched it as a family.
“I know exactly what’s going to happen,” my relative said, pausing the tape so he could rise and make a speech. “They’re going to sail to America, and Jack and Rose are going to go their separate ways. And then Rose will divorce Billy Zane and take all his money, and then her and Jack will get back together later in life, when they’re both old.
“Am I right, or am I right?” he said. “What a formulaic, paint-by-numbers script. I could write these things!”
And then we all watched as the Titanic sank and Jack froze to death in the freezing-cold Atlantic.
“Hmm,” my relative said.
The same thing with The Shawshank Redemption.
“I know exactly what’s going to happen,” my relative said. “Tim Robbins is going to be proven innocent, so he’s going to get out of prison and dedicate the rest of his life to proving that Red was innocent, too. Only Red’s going to die in prison, so Tim Robbins will have to seek out his family and explain how Red was a good guy after all. And then it will end with Tim Robbins marrying Red’s ex-wife.
“Am I right, or am I right?” he said.
Having seen the movie before, all I could say was, “Um.”
But my relative didn’t stop there. Instead, he leapt from the couch to deliver a speech:
“I’m tired of these predictable storylines,” he said, raising a finger in the air. “There’s no originality in Hollywood. They just regurgitate the same stupid plot over and over. I never feel any suspense, because I always know what’s going to happen next.”
Not surprisingly, he concluded his rousing oration by proclaiming, “I could write these things!”
“Why don’t you and make us some money?” his wife asked.
“I think I will!” he said. “Obviously, writing screenplays doesn’t take any imagination at all. Am I right, or am I right?”
We resumed the movie and watched as Tim Robbins’s character escaped from prison by tunneling a hole through the wall. Red then got paroled and went to join Robbins in Mexico.
“Hmm,” my relative said.
Not long ago, we all sat down to watch The Sixth Sense. It came out back in 1999, but my relative was going to see it for the first time.
“I know exactly what’s going to happen,” he said, pausing the movie and jumping up to make a speech.
“Oh no,” I said, burying my head in my hands.
“Oh yes!” he said, raising a finger in the air. “I could write these things!”
Spoiler alert: He was 100 percent wrong.