We’ve all watched them. Scenes that make you go huh? and not in a good way. To be honest, sometimes my favourite way to relax is to put on a silly movie and pick it all apart. But it’s easy to trash talk movies that are objectively bad, movies that don’t even try to make sense, movies that revel in telling stories that are riddled with more holes than Stanley Yelnats’ ever dug up. But what about those movies that are actually good, the ones that are beloved, cult classics, even critically acclaimed – is it possible for a movie to be great if it has scenes that make no sense?
Short answer: yes. And I’m going to prove it to you.
#5 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Barty Crouch Jr. & Harry compare marks
If we’re going by how many times I’ve watched it, Goblet of Fire is my favourite Harry Potter movie, but this scene never made any sense to me. Mad-Eye Moody is revealed to actually be Barty Crouch Jr, and soon as he’s himself again, he pushes up his sleeve and says, “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours.” And Dumbledore drags Harry forward, pulls his sleeve up, and brings it toward Barty. On Barty’s forearm is the Dark Mark, of course, and on Harry’s forearm is a regular old bleeding cut. Harry, struggling, says, “Sorry, sir, I couldn’t help it.” Huh? I’ve watched this movies over fifty times, I love it with all my heart, but I can never make any sense of this interaction. Is it suggesting Harry’s cut is the Dark Mark? Or that – no, I literally have no other explanation. If you do, please let me know. It drives me insane. Because otherwise, this is a stellar adaptation.
#4 – Enchanted – the King and Queen’s Waltz
I love Enchanted, a lot. That How Does She Know? number is catchy as anything. Plus it introduced me to one of my favourite singers – Jon McLaughlin (he sings the gorgeous song in this scene; check him out). Anyway, great movie. But this just makes no sense. So, Giselle and Edward make it to the ball, they meet Robert and Nancy, and then the guy on stage says, “Well, folks, it’s that time of night,” – and you’re thinking, what time of night? Are they going to play karaoke? Nope! He continues, “I’d like to ask each gentlemen to invite a lady he did not accompany this evening to dance the King and Queen’s waltz.” Huh? I’m sorry, but really, huh? Talk about convenience! Not only does it completely not make sense in that why would you dance with someone you don’t know under any circumstance at all. But to dance the King and Queen’s waltz – of all the dances! Surely that should be danced with your date. I mean, come on! I’m almost glad Nancy breaks the couple up halfway through. Talk about inappropriate! Sure, it’s true love. But that doesn’t mean you stare lovingly into each other’s eyes while your actual lovers watch on. Gross.
#3 – Pirates of the Caribbean – Jack and Will speak underwater
In this scene of another otherwise perfect film, Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner are escaping. They steal a rowboat and walk underwater with it, and the camera goes underneath the boat and shows Jack and Will to be not surrounded by water, as you’d expect, but completely dry, and also able to have a conversation. Huh? There’s some debate online whether it’s possible, and there’s lots of talk about air bubbles and buoyancy but I think the general consensus, given how heavy that boat is, and how far down underwater they’re walking, it’s not possible. Which is tragic. Surely they couldn’t found some way around this. Like, I don’t know, just swim to the ship they end up stealing! Just a thought. Sorry, but this is more unrealistic than the undead pirates aboard the Black Pearl!
#2 – Clueless – Elton and Tai’s picture
Clueless is, to me, the best teen film there is. Possibly because the source material is by the great Jane Austen. Yes, it is an adaptation of Emma, and it is a masterpiece. However, adapting a book from the 1800s into a 90s teen flick is no easy task, and surely you’d expect some things to not translate well. In the original, Emma paints a portrait of Harriet, with encouragement from Elton, and Elton (who is holding a major torch for Emma) praises the likeness to hell and back and insists on taking it all the way to London to be framed. In Clueless, Cher (Emma), very randomly, starts taking photos of her group of friends, and then takes Tai (Harriet) aside to take a portrait shot. Elton, again very randomly, follows and watches, and then says, “Why don’t you make me a copy of [this photo], ok?” So Cher does, and Dionne reveals later that Elton has the picture of Tai hanging in his locker. All this would be fine if he actually liked Tai. But, soon after, he reveals that’s not the case when he tells Cher, “I have the picture you took in my locker.” Huh? In both Emma and Clueless, neither Emma or Cher would be blamed for thinking Elton liked Harriet/Tai, but only in Clueless does his explanation of the situation make no sense. Emma painted a whole portrait. Cher only took a few photos. And she had already taken about twenty before taking Tai’s photo! Not only that, but Elton also hung it in his locker, which, first of all, isn’t something teenage boys do, and secondly… huh?
#1 – A Cinderella Story – Austin doesn’t recognise Sam
Hilary Duff was my favourite celebrity, many moons ago #noshame. Lizzie McGuire was my jam. I’m still sad they canceled the reboot. A Cinderella Story is a brilliant film. No, really. It’s one of the best teen Cinderella adaptations that has come out – and there have been a LOT. Anyway, greatness aside, there’s one major glaring flaw. Austin Ames doesn’t recognise Sam. Now, it’s true, people have been poking fun at the original fairytale for decades, wondering how on Earth the Prince didn’t know what Cinderella looked like – to the point where he had to try her shoe on EVERY FOOT – like, really, narrow it down a bit, my guy. But, in the end, all debates can be beaten by saying it was all down to the Fairy Godmother. She magicked it so Cinderella was unrecognisable to everyone, to keep her safe from her stepmother and stepsisters. Same goes for the glass slipper – her Godmother magicked it so it wouldn’t fit on anyone’s foot but Cinderella’s. She even made it so that one slipper fell off and didn’t turn back into Cindy’s dusty slipper after midnight, because she’s on Cinderella’s side. She wants Cinderella to get her happy ending. But none of that can be said for Sam in ACS. The Godmother role is taken up by the manager at her dad’s old diner, and, though Rhonda is pretty kickass, she doesn’t have any magic. So the fact that Austin Ames, who has two perfectly working eyes, can’t recognise a girl who he’s actually spoken to face-to-face just because she’s wearing a mask really makes no kind of sense. She has the same hair colour, the same eye colour, the same VOICE, for crying out loud. To be honest, I think maybe he knew all along and just wanted to deny it. Damn Austin, waiting for him is like waiting for rain in this drought – useless and disappointing.
BONUS – Willy Wonka – literally every scene, seriously what is this movie?
Don’t get me wrong. I would die defending these movies – no joke – but these scenes do always make me scratch my head a bit when I rewatch them for the hundredth time. But I guess they only add to their appeal. They’re definitely not going to stop me watching them!
Do you agree with me? Do these scenes make no sense? Or do you have your own theories as to what they mean? Tell me some scenes you’ve come across in great movies that make you go huh? I’m always up for finding more things to be confused by.