If there’s one thing I learned from the recent documentary Hot Coffee, it’s that we can’t judge a lawsuit by its superficial silliness. Not that the woman suing over the alleged misleading marketing of Drive could possibly be suffering from unknown serious burns like the woman we all made fun of in the 1990s for suing McDonalds over a scalding cup of joe. Still, we all have had our share of annoyances with false advertising, whether in movie trailers or some other type of commercial. We just accept these things rather than trying to at least make a statement by yelling “LAWSUIT!” To answer Scott’s post on this story from Friday, I consider this woman a hero.
Well, that is until she makes a truly terrible error in her protest and becomes a total goofball by calling Drive out for being anti-Semitic. I don’t want to take away from her belief that it is. However, the combination of the fact that she’s very much in the minority and the fact that this has really nothing to do with her lawsuit weighs heavily against her other case, even if it were simply a complaint rather than legal matter. She might as well throw in the other Ryan Gosling movie, suing The Ides of March for not being the tense thriller it’s marketed as, while also including issue with its stereotypes regarding politicians – no, men, in general – and sex with interns. She almost had something there, and then she just crashed and burned.
Were you relatively okay with this Drive lawsuit until the bit about it committing Lars von Trier-level war crimes against the Jewish race? If so, you’re in tune with the conversation going on the web. Here’s what they’re saying on the blogs and Twitter:
I’m with her until we get to the part about “dehumanizing racism” pointed toward Jews, since two Jewish gangster characters do not racism make. And it also seems to muddle the point of her argument. Is she against Drive because it’s racist, or because it’s not a fast-paced action film? I feel like if you’re going to start a class-action lawsuit, you should at least carefully choose the direction of your battle. – Katey Rich, Cinema Blend
We’re not entirely sure what she’s talking about there at the end, but we have a feeling that Deming’s lawsuit probably doesn’t have a whole lot of a chance either way. – Scott Harris, Next Movie
Her next objection is where she really loses me. The suit also states that “Drive was a motion picture that substantially contained extreme gratuitous defamatory dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith.” Wait, what? To be honest, it wasn’t until I read that sentence that I even remembered that some of the characters were Jewish. The characters’ faith isn’t a central part of the movie and has very little to do with the violence perpetrated by or against them. By Deming’s reasoning, should any movie in which a villain or victim happens to be Jewish be illegal? – Angie Han, /Film
I saw Drive, and I actually had to do some Googling to understand what the hell she was even talking about with the Jewish racism thing. Apparently she means Ron Perlman’s character, who had violence done against him and also happened to be Jewish. Which is a real shame. It’s too bad Drive couldn’t be more of an empowering story of Hebrew identity, like, say The Fast and the Furious. – Vince Mancini, Film Drunk
I also love the weird detour the suit takes into the film’s possible anti-Semitism, even though that’s clearly not what the lawsuit is about and you couldn’t sue for that anyway but also she doesn’t actually seem to care at all about that and just wants the cost of her ticket back because something something Paul Walker?! Good lawsuit. Very justice. – Gabe, Videogum
Deming is seemingly fine with the elements she’s deemed antisemitic, but she is asking that FilmDistrict refunds her ticket money and promises to stop making “misleading movie trailers”–like those that have guys driving cars, even when the films in question are not like the other movies with guys driving cars. – Mark, I Watch Stuff
@ggfevans: Lunatic in the US suing makers of ‘Drive’ because there’s not much driving (true) and it’s somehow antisemitic (crazy)
@tomcoates: I was also a little unsettled by the representation of the only Jewish characters in Drive, so she may have a point there.