If you know a lot about one subject, maybe gardening, or law, or the history of Roman armaments, or police procedure, or whatever, you will probably have noticed that the film and television industry gets a lot of the details wrong. I understand. They’ve got a lot to do to get a story on the screen, and most people don’t care about the details, but sometimes, it gets to be too much.
One of the worst areas of screen offense is in the depiction of vegetable gardens. I would love to gather a bunch of stills from all the ridiculous vegetable gardens I’ve seen on screen, maybe make a Tumblr of them. (Let me know if any come to mind!)
[Erik here: see the Meryl Streep vehicle It’s Complicated for a vegetable garden that combines cool and warm season veggies all at once.]
I’m on this rant because Erik and I saw the worst garden last night in the film Maze Runner. Now, I’m embarrassed to even admit we went to see Maze Runner–but–well, there’s no excuse. Let’s just leave it at that. Yet I’m going to ‘fess up to doing so because I have to talk about this garden
[Erik here: the plot is, basically, a Gnostic Crossfit Gym overseen by evil archons and patrolled by the same biomechanical spider thingies seen in Starship Troopers.]
A part of the plot involves a pack of feral teenage boys tending a survival garden. The garden seems to consist mostly of an extensive trellis system made out of twigs. Vertical gardening! OK! The set designers had probably picked up on some of the recent vertical gardening hoopla and were using that to make for interesting use of visual space. But what was growing on the trellis? Cloth ivy fronds, my friends. Cloth ivy. The sort used to festoon wedding tables, or is sometimes found creeping dustily along the molding in B&Bs.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to offer a pack of hungry teenage boys a bowl of cooked ivy, much less fake ivy.
Now, of course, the intended audience, teenage girls, are NOT looking at the ivy as the hot boy leads discuss their survival problems in the garden. They are, in fact, at this moment, laughing riotously at my boring middle aged concerns. (“Plants? You were looking at the plants?”) Yes, I was analyzing the background foliage while yummylicious Dylan O’Brian and Thomas “Elf Boy” Sangster were talking about…something. But yeah, I was looking at them, too.
But seriously, ivy??? This may be an all time low.
And to add insult to injury, they also have an upside down tomato planter strung between two of the trellises. It’s like those plastic ones the big box stores sell, but it is instead constructed of suspicious vine material, a la Gilligans Island. To its credit, though, it did seem to be a real tomato plant, a yellowish, straggly one (and that, at least, is a realistic detail) and it has a couple of tomatoes hanging off it–though those tomatoes may well be clipped on. These were the only edibles in the scene. Seems the boys can have a tomato garnish on their ivy bowls.
I wish I had a still for you, but for some reason the garden is not featured in the publicity stills.
Since I’m rolling on this rant, after the jump here’s a few of other things that perpetually peeve me in film. Please do contribute your own!