By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com October 9, 2011 at 2:37AM
We've all had that feeling where we walk out of a movie and realize that we've been sold something quite different from the finished product. It's particularly prevalent with more "difficult"' projects; distributors will play up the sexier, genre-led elements in order to bring in the crowds. It's a fact of advertising, and one that most people are accepting of -- we've certainly never been left particularly angry by a trailer that feints one way, and a movie that goes another. In a world where so few surprises are left, it can actually be kind of exciting. But not for Sarah Deming.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Deming, a spectacularly thick Michigan woman, has launched a lawsuit against FilmDistrict, the distributor of "Drive," claiming that the trailers sold a "Fast and the Furious"-style actioner, when the film is anything but. The lawsuit states that the company "promoted the film "Drive" as very similar to the "Fast and Furious", or similar, series of movies. "Drive" bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film… having very little driving in the motion picture."
Furthermore, Deming, who has the time to file frivolous lawsuits, but apparently not to Google a review of the movie she's about to go see, also claims that the film is anti-semitic, an attempt to rile up the audience into committing violence against Jews, saying "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." Deming, who, despite appearances, is a real person, and not a character on "The Simpsons," hopes to have her ticket refunded, as well as bringing an end to misleading Hollywood advertising, and hopes other quote-unquote victims will join her in a class-action lawsuit.
We'll deal with Deming's second complaint, about the anti-semitism, below, but for the moment, let's do a quick compare and contrast. The trailers for "Fast Five," the summer hit in the "Fast & The Furious" series, and the clip FilmDistrict cut for "Drive," are below.
Hopefully, you, unlike Deming, are able to spot the differences here. Not a lot of opera in that "Fast Five" trailer, is there? The curious thing is that the five-star moron has picked a pretty bad example to launch her crusade; FilmDistrict actually do a very good, honest job in representing "Drive," with about the same proportion of car chase to other stuff as the finished film. Maybe there's someone that Deming can sue for giving her shitty taste, but it doesn't really seem to be anyone else's fault.
And as for the anti-semitism? The word 'kike' alone doesn't make Nicolas Winding Refn the next Leni Reifenstahl. There's one character stated as being Jewish, Ron Perlman's villain (it's possible that Albert Brooks' character is as well), who uses the racial slur once, in the context of complaining of his anti-semitic treatment at the hands of the east coast mob. It's certainly not condoned, and *spoiler* when Perlman meets his end at the hands of Ryan Gosling's protagonist, it's not because he's Jewish, it's because he's the bad guy. We can't actually believe we have to explain this.
All in all, Deming, who has somehow managed to go through life without sticking her wet fingers into a plug socket or opening the emergency exit on a moving airplane, doesn't appear to have a chance, and it's unlikely that the case will ever reach trial, but we hope FilmDistrict manage to wring every penny of their costs out of her. In the meantime, might we suggest that Deming lower her blood pressure by checking out Pixar's latest charming family tale, "The Human Centipede?"