Our Plot Lines Coalition Formed
heavyweights vow to stand united against new threat to fundamental
themes of American entertainment
CA: Spokesmen for movie producers, pop and country record
labels, and publishers of romance novels gathered today to
announce the formation of a new coalition dedicated to “nipping
in the bud” any pop culture portrayals of people in love who
are not obsessively possessive, constantly jealous or easily
moved to homicidal/suicidal rage.
Leaders of the coalition said such portrayals are an insidious
threat to the livelihoods of thousands of workers in these
industries. “We rely almost exclusively on infidelity (or
suspected infidelity or mere passing glances at another attractive
person) to create plot twists, raise dramatic tension, and
generate ideas for entire movies between film versions of
popular children’s books,” said the coalition in a prepared
statement. “If even a small segment of the American public
is not moved to instant apoplectic fits by these idea, we’ll
Hollywood leaders said that when they saw the recent movie
A Home at the End of the World, they knew they had
waited too long to act. The movie portrays a long-term three-way
relationship between two men and a woman. “Sure, they do end
up splitting up in the end,” said Alan Rudolph, director of
Secret Lives of Dentists, “so it could be worse. But
it’s just sort of a sad I-can’t-make-this-work kinda breakup.
Where are the screaming fits? Where are the completely fucked-up
neuroses and unbearable inner torment? Where is the bitter
hatred and threats of retribution? I mean, they practically
act like adults the whole way through the movie. I could count
the lies on one hand!”
God this mostly played in art houses,” he added.
This disturbing approach didn’t just start with A Home
at the End of the World, said coalition leaders. Warning
signs came in the final scene of the evangelical comedy Saved!
when the main character’s current boyfriend, ex-boyfriend,
and ex’s new partner all join in celebrating her new baby.
Even earlier there was the 2003 Super Bowl Budweiser commercial
where a girl tells her boyfriend it’s OK if he also dates
her roommate. (Other examples, if there are any, can be sent
to the coalition care of firstname.lastname@example.org.)
things like this were allowed to go unchecked, we might have
consumers demanding variety and creativity in our plot lines,”
said Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons. “And that would
dramatically change the way we do business.”
The coalition’s secretary noted that he had done some research
and found that there are groups of people out there advocating,
and even practicing, honest and responsible nonmonogamy. He
surmised that they could be behind a conspiracy to destroy
American cinema, and urged that concerned consumers report
any information they come across about these freaks’ activities,
especially party invitations, directly to him.
un-American irresponsible no-goodniks refuse to be automatically
distressed by the idea of their lifemates taking a romantic
or sexual interest in another person,” said Adrian Lyne, director
of Unfaithful, Fatal Attraction, and Indecent Proposal.
“How are we to introduce tension into an onscreen relationship
without relying on cheating? I mean, what other plot devices
Families with good communication and even the barest of tolerance
for open relationships “have a dramatically reduced amount
of insecurities available for us to exploit,” explained an
anonymous PR professional and aspiring screenwriter. “Even
completely monogamous people who are confident enough to admit
their other attractions to each other are dangerous.”
sounds kinda nice though,” he added.
Brian Hickey, CEO of Harlequin Enterprises, cited recent marketing
data that show a slight dip in the percentage of young women
who believe that they will someday be swept off their feet
by a handsome stranger with a mysterious and slightly dark
past who will then undergo various trials so that they can
live perfect, happily-ever-after lives on a conveniently discovered
fortune. He said his company joined the coalition in the hopes
of stemming this downward trend.
Country-music label execs said that they had been hoping that
the coalition would make “allowing jealous rage to be a complete
exoneration for homicide” part of its platform. After much
debate, however, this was deemed likely to be off-putting
to the vast majority of Americans who are cheaters themselves.
To fight back against the dilution of jealousy-driven angst,
the Save Our Plot Lines Coalition has created a partnership
with clergy and therapists across the country to spread the
message that adultery is both the ultimate sin and an ever-present
danger. They also spoke of commissioning a study to prove
that honesty in relationships is a figment of hippies’ imaginations.
In an impassioned plea for unity, the coalition leaders also
called on the conspicuously absent television industry to
stand with them. TV spokespeople said there is still internal
debate between soap-opera producers, who are in full sympathy
with the coalition’s goals, and the sitcom producers, who
see a goldmine of possibilities in multiple-partner and open
relationships. Possible shows already under discussion include
Three’s Family and Friends, Lovers, Spouses, Spouses
of Lovers, Etc.
After a final standing ovation from the crowd, Lyne proved
that he walked his talk by pointing a shaking finger at one
of the reporters in the front row and screaming “Stop looking
at my wife!”