I suspect I’m not alone in wondering, while eating my popcorn at the movies, “What is the real rate of brides being left at the altar in the wider community?” 


Personally, I haven’t experienced nearly as many almost-weddings complete with storm-outs and punch-ups and drunken weeping as the history of cinema seems to indicate I should expect.


You know what else there haven’t been a lot of? Accidents resulting in amnesia. I do not – off the top of my head – know anybody who was in an accident as a result of which he or she started a new life in another town only to suddenly remember every devastating detail years later while holding a pepper shaker of enormous hitherto unremembered personal significance and staring out the window at Family Number Two frolicking gleefully in the backyard.


None of the twins I know were separated at birth. Not nearly enough of the people with whom I am acquainted have gone beserk in boardrooms and turned up the table and had to be escorted from the building by security. On the few times I have been to a forest at night, I have listened very hard but I have not heard a single creaky noise or the faintest hint of a cello.


This is okay. I do not miss these things from my life. What I do wonder, though, is where on screen are the Real Life Clichés I do experience? Where is the one-hour stretch right in the middle of the movie where our protagonist – maybe on the way to being dumped at a wedding – can’t find her car keys but in the process of looking finds a photo album from the early nineties and a folder full of receipts she swore she had sent to her accountant and vaguely remembers accusing the accountant of having lost? Where are the scenes where – not due to self-esteem issues or a devastating break-up but just because it’s in the fridge – someone accidentally eats three quarters of a cake in one afternoon including the “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” plaque and part of a candle? Are there as many people doing these things in films as there are in real life? I posit that there is a notable disparity.


There are reasons these moments don’t make it into film and TV. They’re in stand-up comedy routines (what is with that?) and they’re in books (such a true narrative voice) but they’re not exciting enough to make it into a two-hour narrative. Shame.


Unless there is a film about an absent-minded cake-eating crime-fighter at war with her accountant that I don’t know about. In which case, please, can someone let me know?


A version of the above originally appeared in The Big Issue, which is an excellent magazine that you should go out and buy immediately for a range of reasons only some of which are to do with the fact that I am possibly in the upcoming edition as well.