Quite a few years ago, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, there was a news story in which a woman was heading back to Oakland (one of the three larger cities here) from somewhere else in the United States. As the story is told, an announcement came over the airport loudspeaker stating that the flight to “Auckland” (that is, in New Zealand) was boarding at such-and-so a gate, and, misunderstanding the city’s name, she got on board that aircraft and took a much longer flight than expected. (Perhaps that is why, these days, the airline crew is emphatic about WHERE that particular aircraft is going…….)
Anyway, the article also mentioned that someone had already bought the rights to the story in case they wanted to do a movie about it. I was quite puzzled at this, because I wondered to myself: how is this any more interesting than a two-minute story one might share at a cocktail party and have a couple of laughs about? You can’t make a MOVIE out of this little anecdote, can you?
Norm MacDonald, a comedian whose subtle humor I love, was thinking along these same lines when he claimed to own the story rights to the Sully landing on the Hudson River back in January of 2009. The whole interview from February 2009 is below, although the Sully part begins about 5:15 into the video (the whole thing is fun to watch, of course). So before I go on, check it out……..and keep in mind, the emergency landing had taken place the month prior:
You’ll excuse my surprise that now, seven years later, they’ve actually made a major big-budget big-star movie out of this goddamned anecdote. Now, listen, I think Sully is cool and all, and this beats the Auckland anecdote by a couple of minutes (in terms of cocktail party chatter), but for the love of God, this is ridiculous. I watched the trailer, and they seem to have padded the holy hell out of the story (as you shall soon see). Here, just watch the clip and save yourself twelve bucks. You’re welcome.
If I may be so bold, I think the producers behind this are going to see a Ben-Hur-remake style loss on this sucker. I can be wrong judging the public tastes at times, but this is just plain silly.