Let’s face it, for a movie to be enjoyable and successful there needs to be at least one interesting conflict present for characters to work through. Whether it is a miscommunication between lovers, being stranded/trapped or being left at home by your parents, conflict is often the gas that fuels the film.
However, think to yourself how many of the conflicts faced in film could have been easily and quickly solved by a simple phone call. With almost everyone in developed nations nowadays owning a cell phone, these conflicts wouldn’t occur in the present day. Check out this list of 10 movie conflicts that could have easily been solved with a simple phone call.
Titanic is one of the best films of all time and was critically acclaimed for its brilliant acting and realism. However, this film wouldn’t be nearly as emotional or moving as it was if it were set in modern times or if cell phones were around. This is because as soon as the ship hit the iceberg, they would have called someone to send help, and assistance would likely have arrived and saved a large number of the people who were stranded on the ship. The presence of this phone call would have been incredibly helpful in reducing the loss of life from this tragic event.
9. Baby Boom
Baby Boom is a 1987 romantic comedy film that had modest box office success. It stars Diane Keaton as a yuppie (a young and educated professional) who discovers that a long lost uncle of hers has died, and left her a six-month-old baby girl as inheritance. Obviously, the entire conflict of this film is that the baby sort of intrudes on her life as a busy working lady. This whole conflict (and the film itself) wouldn’t have taken place if someone would have called her ahead of time and, you know, asked her if she wanted a baby as her inheritance.
8. You’ve Got Mail
You’ve Got Mail is a film released in 1998 which stars Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in their third movie together. The premise of the film is that both of their characters are business professionals who are in an online romance with one another, but are also unaware that in their real lives, they are business rivals. Hanks’ character first finds out the true identity of his online “girlfriend” by seeing her at a place where they were supposed to meet. He still likes her, but continues to hide his own true identity as he doesn’t think she will want to be romantically involved with her bitter business rival. This whole conflict could have been rectified if Ryan’s character had just gotten his number and seen that it was the same as her business rival’s.
7. The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project was released in 1999 and focuses on the story of three student filmmakers who get lost while hiking in the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland, in 1994 in order to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch. The film was portrayed as if it were “discovered” footage and thus was a true story. The film went on to get critical acclaim and was one of the most successful independent films of all time. However, if cell phones were a common thing at the time, it is very likely one of the students would have had one and called for assistance to escape the forest, or used the GPS to simply walk their way out.
6. Toy Story
Toy Story is one of the most beloved, popular and legendary animated movies of all time, and for good reason. It is a very colorful, funny movie that explores themes that not only appeal to children, but also teens and adults alike. One of the biggest conflicts in the film occurs when Andy’s evil and tormented neighbor, Sid, kidnaps Buzz Lightyear and Woody and holds them hostage in his room with his own collection of demented toys. If phones among toys were a thing, a phone call could have easily prevented this conflict, as Woody or Buzz could have just called the other toys to come break them out or let them know where they are.
Serendipity is a romance film that stars Kate Beckinsale as Sara and John Cusack as Jonathan, two characters who meet at a Bloomingdale’s and feel a mutual attraction, and despite the fact that each is not single, they end up eating ice cream at Serendipity 3 together. However, soon after exchanging goodbyes, both realize that they have left something at the ice cream bar, and return only to find each other again. Considering this to be a stroke of fate, Jonathan and Sara decide to go out on the town together and ice skate. At the end of the night, the smitten Jonathan suggests an exchange of phone numbers. Sara writes hers down, but it flies away with the wind, making it impossible for Jonathan to call her. This causes the two to go many years without speaking until fate brings them back together. But given that the two know each other’s names, and phone books are a thing, a simple search could have prevented all of those years of unintended silence.
4. The Notebook
The Notebook has gone down as one of the most romantic films of all time and is the prototypical date night movie for couples everywhere. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fall in love in the 1940s. He is a country boy and she is an heiress, so they are an unlikely match. After her parents are opposed to the relationship, they move the family away from Gosling’s character. In their time apart, Gosling’s character sends numerous letters to his love and gets none in return. As it turns out, her mom got them all and kept them from McAdams’ character. This whole complicated conflict between lovers over many years could have easily been solved if a call could have been made from Gosling’s character to McAdams simply asking: “Hey, have you received all of my letters and why haven’t you responded?”
3. Romeo + Juliet
This was a film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s famous play and starred Leo Dicaprio and Claire Danes as the titular characters. The two are lovers who cannot possibly be together as her family will disown her because of the relationship, so she comes up with a plan: Juliet will take a potion that mimics death for 24 hours, and then when the potion wears off the two will run away together. Unfortunately, before Romeo can learn about her faked death, one of his cousins claims that she is dead for real, which causes Romeo to take a real poison that kills him. This whole conflict and tragedy could have been avoided if Juliet would have just had a phone to call Romeo and let him in on the plan so he wouldn’t kill himself.
2. Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump is heartwarming drama that was released in 1994 and won numerous Academy Awards. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump, a naïve and seemingly slow-witted, but good-hearted man from Alabama. In the film, Gump develops a childhood romance with a character named Jenny. The two share many treasured moments together, but grow apart due to life circumstances. Later in the film, when the two haven’t seen each other in many years, we see Gump waiting for her at a bus stop. If cell phones existed in the Forrest Gump world, Jenny could have easily called Gump and told him that the bus stop he is at is right around the corner where she has lived for a while.
1. Home Alone
Home Alone is the clear choice for number one on this list. The film focuses on Kevin McCallister, a boy who is mistakenly left behind when his family flies to Paris for their Christmas vacation. At the beginning of the film, Kevin loves being home alone, but soon has to go up against two burglars played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. First of all, it is unreal that somehow parents would leave their child at home while they go on vacation, but even if these circumstances did take place, the whole situation could have easily been solved with a phone call. The parents could have immediately called home over and over until Kevin picked up. This would have helped to reassure Kevin that they didn’t simply “disappear” and were on their way home to him as quickly as possible.