DC on film is kind of like DC in person. Think about it -- nearly every film that takes place in DC since Mr. Smith Goes to Washington almost universally falls into three categories, all of which have a common tool-magnet theme:
- Political thriller (Absolute Power, Enemy of the State, In the Line of Fire, Independence Day, Murder at 1600, No Way Out, The Pelican Brief, etc.);
- Political drama (All the President's Men, The American President, JFK, etc.); or
- The often mono-syllabic political comedy (Dave, Dick, The Distinguished Gentlemen, etc.).
There are a few exceptions, of course, to the rule. One of the most famous movies to take place in DC that didn't have anything directly to do with either a) killing the president, b) saving the president, or c) uncovering the misdeeds of the president, is St. Elmo's Fire, which, perhaps even worse for this city's reputation, simply chronicled the douchey lives of Georgetown graduates with coke habits. Likewise, another classic that took place in the District, The Exorcist, didn't have anything to do with politics either -- that would've been much too horrifying. Instead, we get to watch a scary child (although aren't they all scary?) spew puce-hued vomit while the good-looking priest takes a nasty fall. That demon was such a douche.
Anyway, I'm not trying to say any of the films I listed aren't entertaining (I mean who doesn't find aliens zapping the White House fun to watch? JK, U.S. government! I really meant to say, "How dare those aliens! USA! USA! USA!"), but with nearly every plot hinged on the same redundant theme, Hollywood has helped perpetuate the idea that everything that goes down in DC either revolves around the federal government and/or crazy (yet handsome) douchebags.
And sadly, Hollywood isn't making a lot of this sh*t up (well, except for the handsome part -- senators tend to look more like this opposed to this). I can't tell you how many times I've been out and had to suffer through conversations (often with tools) about the government. I got it. We live in Washington. A lot of our jobs either have us directly or indirectly working for or with the government. We know a lot about politics, policy and the goddamn FY 08 budget.
But we also have a lot of other thoughts (or at least some of us do) that might be fun to have a conversation about. We have hobbies and interests. For instance, am I the only one who'd like to discuss whether New York and Tailor Made will make it? Or can I not discuss the pros and cons of metrosexual men?? And surely I can't be the only one who has a repertoire of Snoop Dogg jokes just waiting to be told, am I?! (What does Snoop Dogg use to do laundry? Blee-atch! Classic. And trust me when I say there's more where that came from.)
While I enjoy having "intelligent" conversations (I'm the first one to admit I know far too much about very traditionally Washingtonian matters), I sometimes feel the urge to hold an ether-soaked rag over the collective face of this city, drag it to a 150" flat-screen and make it watch 12 straight hours of Best Week Ever, with its eyes held open Clockwork Orange style.
In short, DC needs to chillax.
I know there are decent people in this city. My friends (yes, in fact, I somehow do have some) attest to that. So why has Hollywood solely concentrated on highlighting only the douchiest of DC scenes? Well, for one, the douches are much more visible. Those of us not in that category are scattered about with little organization. We're the non-union underground that Hollywood producers don't see.
But instead of just complaining here, I'm going to *gasp* propose some sort of action. What we need is for someone to write a screenplay about cool people in DC doing cool, non-government things in non-douchey neighborhoods. If seen by a wide enough audience, perhaps a greater variety of people would be enticed to move to DC, thus breaking this vicious circle of tool. No presidents, no Congress and no politics allowed.
So who's in it to win it? I'll be in LA next week (serendipitous, n'est-ce pas?) so we have a week to throw this magic together. Think about it. Romantic comedy? Film noir? Western? Let's do work.