I have a peculiar habit of stressing or obsessing about completely inconsequential matters - things like whether or not Jesus had acne. Often, due to my interest in film, this habit extends to the wide world of cinema. Just the other day I grew terribly concerned that in Beauty and the Beast (either version), Belle and the Beast had premarital sex , which is undeniably bestiality, and yet is the subject of a children's movie! (The Disney version, anyway). After I watched Jurassic Park recently, I was consumed by the central paradox: if this guy Hammond is brilliant enough to resurrect dinosaurs, wouldn't he also be brilliant enough to know that no man-made structure could tame and contain a T-Rex? And furthermore, if he's so smart, wouldn't he also know that an island of just plant-eating dinosaurs would still be a scientific miracle, make him billions and cement his place in history without anyone getting eaten? Alas. But there's one plot hole of sorts that I haven't been able to shake for years. Something way less catastrophic and/or disturbing than the previous examples, ultimately inconsequential, and probably present in dozens of other films. And yet I can't stop thinking about it.
I refer to the 2003 film The Recruit, with Al Pacino and Colin Farrell. Haven't heard of it? Don't worry, it is overwhelmingly insignificant. I watched it passively on DVD with my dad, an action movie hound who spent my childhood trying to get me amped about movies like this (unsuccessfully). Anyway, the film features Farrell training to be a CIA agent, with Pacino as his shady mentor and Bridget Moynahan as his love interest. I barely remember anything about the film, except the following.
So Colin and Bridget are in a parking garage, heading to his car to go home after a long day at the office or whatever. They can't control their passion and start making out in the garage. Then it cuts to them making out on Colin's bed at home. That sequence probably seems fine to you - a natural cinematic progression. But all I could think about then - and now - is HOW SEXUALLY TENSE AND AWKWARD OF A CAR RIDE THAT MUST HAVE BEEN.
In 2003, when the film was released, the average American commute to work lasted 24.3 minutes, according to a press release from the U.S. Census. So let's say Colin has to drive for that long to get to Casa de Farrell. He clearly just started something serious with his lady friend in the garage - I should specify that this wasn't a delicate peck type of kiss, it was more of a "fuck me now." But they kinda have to keep a low profile, what with it being the CIA and all, so bumping uglies in the car would be a bad idea. So they have to get in the car, buckle their seatbelts, and keep their hands to themselves for 25 minutes. That sucks! I can't get over this. Here's what I believe would have transpired during that car ride.
Bridget: (panting, feeling the luck of the Irish) How close is your place to here?
Colin: 24.3 minutes.
Bridget: Aw, seriously? But baby, I want you NOW!
Colin: Me too, baby, but I can't blow my cover. I'll drive as fast as I can.
Bridget: Alright, hurry.
(Bridget grabs Colin's crotch, Colin lurches forward)
Colin: What the hell are you doing? I can't drive when you do that. You'll get us both killed.
Bridget: You're in the CIA, I thought you liked danger.
Colin: There's danger, and there's getting your balls crushed by the steering wheel!
Bridget: Baby, I'm sorry.
Colin: It's okay. Hey look, it's a red light!
(He leans over and they make out. The light changes to green but they don't notice. Someone behind them starts honking.)
Colin: Hey, fuck you! (starts driving again)
Bridget: Sooo...are we almost there?
Colin: We have 21.8 minutes to go.
Bridget: (sighs) Oh. Um...
Bridget: If you could be any kind of tree, what kind would you be?
And so it's awkward for those remaining minutes, when the two realize that short of attempting the ever-hazardous "road head" maneuver, they must remain celibate until they arrive at their destination. I wonder if filmmakers ever worry that their carelessly constructed plots will make people like me ruminate on them for years. Probably not. Then again, good ol Roger Donaldson (the director of The Recruit) would probably just be glad to know that someone thought about his movie that much in any capacity.