When I was thirteen, Josie Gellar from Never Been Kissed was my ultimate hero and inspiration. Josie, who was a total nerd in high-school, grows up and becomes a copy editor for the Chicago Sun Times, proving that just because you were uncool in high-school, doesn’t mean you won’t become a quirky journalist. If you’re familiar with the plot (and if you’re not, drop everything you are doing and watch it), then you know Josie somehow gets away with posing as a high-schooler like it’s no big deal. I mean, no one even questions it. While this worked for this magical ’90s rom-com, it doesn’t translate so well in reality.
This past week, a 34-year-old woman from Texas made headlines when she was arrested for posing as a student and pulling a real-life Never Been Kissed. It was a sobering reminder that you can’t get away with the same stuff you can in movies. In fact, much of cinema’s finest moments would be technically illegal IRL. Here are our top ten Don’t-Try-This-At-Home movie moments.
1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ferris is the ultimate ’80s trickster. He decides to skip school, which in itself is relatively harmless, but then he steals his best friend’s dad’s Ferrari. He also crashes the annual Von Steuben Day Parade, which I’m pretty sure you can’t do without being dragged off by the police.
Superbad, a movie about two guys just wanting to get some before they head off to college, probably wouldn’t actually happen in real life. Seth and Evan need some alcohol, and they need it pronto. How else do you impress the ladies? Fogell, with his fake ID that reads “McLovin” leads the way, and tries to buy a bushel of various liquors until a robber interrupts the transaction. McLovin runs into some cops, but these guys are like, “whatever, come hang out and do cop things with us,” because that’s what cops do. McLovin gets to spend his evening with The Law, and even when these guys reveal they knew he wasn’t 25 the entire time, they still go and wreck their police car and shoot at it. In real life, if two cops allowed a high-schooler to hang out with them, let alone buy alcohol, they would probably be in huge trouble.
3. The Hangover
You’re telling me the wolf pack destroyed half of Las Vegas and came away with no jail time? Um, they steal a tiger, a cop car, Alan admits he drugged everyone, and they make out with $80,000 (which is so not clean money).
4. Cruel Intentions
Cruel Intentions was the original Gossip Girl for sure. Sebastian and Kathryn who are insufferably rich and terrible, blackmail and con people all the time, exploiting them and using sex as a weapon. While that may not be illegal per se, blackmail sure is, and so is sexual harassment. Also, Kathryn hides drugs in her cross necklace!
I’m pretty sure you can’t actually get away with killing your frenemy with liquid drainer. Or shoot two jocks and fictionalize a relationship between them. Or, I don’t know, blow up a school. I think Veronica and the hot, but psycho J.D. would have been caught after murder number one, but I guess that would ruin the genius point of the movie.
6. Kill Bill (I & II)
YES I know this is a revenge fantasy and YES it’s incredible and an utter masterpiece that made a tremendous impact in film culture, but come on. How is Beatrix Kiddo able to get away with killing Buck (who deserved it), O-Ren and the Crazy 88, Vernita Green, Budd, Elle Driver, and finally…Bill? Just because you belong in an assassin club, doesn’t make you invisible from the law, right?
A group of ancient vampires pretend to be high-schoolers, and one even uses her magical vampire ability to predict the stock market. Hello, vampire Martha Stewart.
8. The Nightmare Before Christmas
A skeleton completely destroys his town’s sacred cultural traditions and replaces it with infinite Christmas. Which isn’t bad on its own, but then Jack kidnaps Santa, leaves him with the Boogie Man, and destroys Christmas and terrorizes everyone’s homes because he has no actual idea what he’s doing. Yes, Jack gets reprimanded, but if I tried anything like that, I would probably be excommunicated from the country. Which is why I never take it upon myself to bring you Christmas, clearly.
9. She’s The Man
A modern day Mulan or Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, She’s The Man is an important movie for feminism and for Amanda Bynes. Viola Hastings can’t play soccer anymore because the girls soccer team has been cut, and she’s not allowed to join the boys team because the coach is sexist. Instead of giving up, Viola pretends to be her twin brother, Sebastian, who is supposed to start attending Illyria, a boarding school. Impersonating your brother? Probably illegal.
10. The Big Lebowski
The entire plot is one big law-breaking mess, starting with Bunny Lebowski, who frames her own kidnapping. Throw some German nihilists in the mix who terrorize The Dude and practically kill Donny (poor Donny!), and you have one incredibly unrealistic scenario. But a great one. Long live The Dude.
Gigglers, did I miss any?!