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phoenyx's avatar

Is your profession accurately portrayed by Hollywood?

Asked by phoenyx (7388points) January 14th, 2010

For example, let’s say you are a geologist. In movies, tv shows, etc. that have someone playing a geologist, is the role accurately portrayed? Does that geologist do or say what a real geologist might do or say?

If it is not accurate, what are some common mistakes? Does it do a disservice to your profession? Which movie, tv show, etc. is the most accurate?

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48 Answers

mowens's avatar

Nope. Technology is rarely realistic in movies.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I’m a nurse and no it isn’t.

grumpyfish's avatar

I’m a Theatre Consultant and… oh, wait. Nobody’s made a movie about Theatre Consultants =)

Shield_of_Achilles's avatar

As a collage student, I don’t feel they are.
I do drink, but I’m not a frat boy partier that goes off and tried to sleep with every girl I see. Sorry National Lampoon’s.

janbb's avatar

I’m a librarian and I’m beautiful without or with my glasses on. Need I say more?

HGl3ee's avatar

Hahaha I’d have never expected to see the words “Hollywood” and “accurate” together…

Likeradar's avatar

I’m a nanny. The nannies I know are largely females age 20–30 who have a background in child development or education, truly love their charges, and English is their first language.
I’ve never met a nanny who wants to have an affair with the dad, rob the family, would work for someone who would treat them like a servant, and I’ve met very few who spend all day on the phone or mistreat the child. So no, I don’t think my job is portrayed accurately.
That’s just what I observe in my area, I know it might be different somewhere else.

fireinthepriory's avatar

I don’t think my profession is portrayed by hollywood, unless I missed all the movies about evolutionary biologists. Well, I guess Jurassic Park could count, in which case the answer would be no, since no one I know would be insane enough to try to clone dinosaurs. Talk about it, totally, but go for it? Doubtful. :)

CMaz's avatar

I work in TV. Enough said. :-)

Truth is stranger then fiction.

Aethelwine's avatar

I am nothing like the Real Housewives of Atlanta, New York or wherever the hell they are from, and I’m not desperate. ;)

Fyrius's avatar

Let me know when you see a linguist in a film.

I’m still a student of course, but even if I’m only preparing to practise it later, it is my profession. And surely I could tell if Hollywood would ever bother to get it wrong.

Likeradar's avatar

@Fyrius Is Henry Higgins a linguist?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

My profession as a patient navigator isn’t portrayed by Hollywood – I am kind of like a social worker but those aren’t portrayed by Hollywood either.

frdelrosario's avatar

Journalists are not accurately portrayed in movies. Neither are writers. Writers in movies so often have great fucking houses.

Two chess teachers have been prominent characters in movies.

Sir Ben Kingsley played my friend Bruce Pandolfini in “Searching for Bobby Fischer”. The character was bigger than life, and the character also had a most exceptional student. I guess it was accurate, just amplified.

Larry David played a Woody Allen doppelganger in “Whatever Works”. I laughed and laughed. The character’s mental abuse of his students plus his harsh assessment of them with their parents was how we chess teachers wish we could do it occasionallly. Funny as hell but wishful (the part about having an affair with Evan Rachel Wood — yeah, old chess teachers get that all the time) parody.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Research Scientists and Psychologists are both portrayed in TV and movies.

Things take longer to reach the “eureka” moment than either medium have patience for!

Fyrius's avatar

From My Fair Lady?
Hm, quite possibly. But I’m not very familiar with that film/play…
But if what he did for a living was giving speech lessons, that’s enough for me to tell he’s at least not the scientific kind of linguist. He’s a prescriptivist, the kind of guy who tells others how to talk instead of wanting to investigate anything.
Meaning he’s either not an example of my profession, or, if the word “linguist” was mentioned at any point, a misrepresentation of it.

rockstargrrrlie's avatar

I am an assistant to two talent managers. My profession is rarely portrayed in Hollywood, although the Devil Wears Prada is pretty accurate.

Jeruba's avatar

My profession is rarely portrayed at all. If I ever see an editor in a movie, the character is apt to be judge, antagonist, or surrogate parent to the author character. Nobody (nobody) wants to watch someone marking a manuscript, looking things up in reference works, and pausing for long periods of brain wrangling.

For reasons I don’t really understand, we seem to be fine with the idea that people in all professions, walks of life, ethnicities, races, sexes, types of disability, etc., are individuals. We don’t expect everyone around us to be representative of something. But the minute we see them on the screen we want them to be Everyman and Everywoman for each category they belong in. If they are too typical, we call it stereotyping, and if they are too idiosyncratic or (heaven help us) disagreeable, we scream Misrepresentation. You can’t even invent a new race and skin color and profession and planet for your bad guys without somebody claiming them as their representatives and then taking issue. I am thankful not to be trying to make movies in this age of PC nuttiness.

scotsbloke's avatar

I was a Soldier, Singer, Deejay, Bingo Caller and Manager and all 3 have been in movies through the years. Now I’m a chocoholic….......can’t think of a film….....Charlie and the Chocolate Factory maybe?

Shield_of_Achilles's avatar


I’m jealous and creeped out at the same time.

scotsbloke's avatar

OOM PAH OOM PAH – it just makes me wanna eat more candy!!!!

casheroo's avatar

No. Same with @jonsblond.

I see stay at home mothers in movies as completely organized, perfect homes, perfect lives…yeah, okay.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Fyrius Wasn’t Daniel Jackson a linguist in Stargate?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Fyrius Those two links were precious, and true!

TexasDude's avatar

I guess you could call me a professional college student.

Considering the fact that I don’t stand around wearing Viking helmets with a red plastic Solo cup in hand, watching naked chicks do keg stands on a regular basis, I’d say that Hollywood is pretty inaccurate in their portrayal of my kind.

Judi's avatar

Anyone in any aspect of real estate is usually portrayed as a bubble head, (Especially women.) and the Apartment industry gets slammed. The worst is my poor 2 son in laws. They are correctional officers in California Prisons. They are never portrayed in a positive light in movies or on TV.

Ghost_in_the_system's avatar

Only once, in the movie ” Waiting”. It really didn’t paint things in a positive light, even if accurate.

dalepetrie's avatar

Aren’t too many movies about Accountants (though Dead Man starring Johnny Depp was my favorite of the ones I have seen), though it seems that whenever Accountants are portrayed in film or television, one thing I think that’s often assumed is that the people are as boring as the job…some are, but then again there are boring people in every field. I don’t fit the accountant stereotype, but then again, not many accountants I’ve known have fit that. Another misconception is that CPAs are the people who prepare your taxes. Actually, CPAs are experts in the field, who are licensed to audit the books of other companies, which means reviewing and testing to form a professional opinion as to whether the financial results reported are an accurate assessment of the company’s financial position, and are in compliance with all regulations. Many CPAs don’t do taxes, and if you go to like H & R Block, it doesn’t matter if you have a GED or a Doctorate in Accounting, they are going to train their employees using their tax prep methods, no CPA required.

evil2's avatar

@Shield_of_Achilles what exactly is a major for a “collage” student?

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@evil2 Art history. :-)

evil2's avatar

@Fyrius didnt money penny call james bond a cunning linguist?

gemiwing's avatar

@Jeruba – I think that anytime I’ve seen an editor portrayed they are either viciously gleeful or manipulative. It’s sad.

I’m a housewife. So yeah, no go there. I’m not boinking pool boys, trying to castrate my husband or eating bon bons.

Shuttle128's avatar

I’ve yet to see a rocket scientist portrayed even close to the real thing. Why is the idea of aerospace so abstract to so many people?

gemiwing's avatar

@Shuttle128 I always wonder why that is. I mean it’s there it’s right there. It’s not an idea in someone’s brain- it’s a real thing.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Too many people allow the media to be their main source of “facts.”

BhacSsylan's avatar

Ha! Chemist, and in no way, ever, really. I think this sums it up pretty well.

filmfann's avatar

Phone company splicer. I climb poles, go into manholes, and work on equipment.
People who do this in the movies are completely inaccurate.

I kind of feel like the welders in “The Full Monty” watching “Flashdance”, and commenting on how her oxygen mix is all wrong for a good weld.

Jack79's avatar

Geologists are portrayed ok, but they always make serial killers like myself look really bad in Hollywood movies. They portray us as crazy or violent. They don’t understand

ubersiren's avatar

My chosen career path is massage therapy. It’s not portrayed much at all, but from what little I’ve seen… it’s way off. No happy endings! Great question, btw.

rhodes54's avatar

if I could mashup “Five Easy Pieces”, “That Thing You Do”, “Bird”, “Almost Famous”, “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and “This Is Spinal Tap” into a single movie, it would be a fairly accurate representation of my occupation.  “Fame”, “A Star Is Born”, “Hard Days Night”, “Get Rich Or Die Tryin”, “Purple Rain” ...not so much

ubersiren's avatar

@rhodes54 Rock star! Who are you?

LethalCupcake's avatar

I run a porn store – and I guess it is portrayed right in the few movies ive seen porn stores in (outside of the ones I sell) lol

rhodes54's avatar

@ubersiren I guess musicians are like massage therapists; no happy endings

Nullo's avatar

You will never see a movie portray the positive aspects of pushing carts. Like not having to put up with grouchy customers, or getting paid for what amounts to eight hours in the gym.
Public Relations rarely gets a fair shake either.

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