In just one day, the intense action thrillerÂ The CallÂ comes out in theaters. It stars Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin as two people who just keep missing each other’s calls. It’s like every time Halle calls Abigail, she’s in class. And every time Abigail returns her call, Halle’s in the shower. That goes on for about 90 minutes. It’s very avant-garde and it’s very high concept. You probably won’t understand it.Â I know I won’t.
While I have no plans to see this piece of modern art in theaters, it did make me think about movies and phones and how so many of our favorite classics wouldn’t exist if cell phones existed when they were made. Now that we’re practically married to our little mobile devices, it’s hard to remember a world where missed connections and misunderstandings actually happened.Â WhichÂ is pretty crazy since that’s the basis for 90% of the movies made before cell phones were a thing.
However rather than going through every movie ever made, I’m counting down (orÂ countingÂ up…there is no order here) my favorite examples.
1. Home Alone
While we can still easily imagine that the McCallisters are horrible parents capable of leavingÂ theirÂ youngest child home alone, we can’t ignore how a simple phone call would have solvedÂ everything. His mom would get to the airport in Paris and be like, “ZOMG Kevin’s missing.” Then she’d whip out her cell phone, call the police and be like, “look, I’m a very bad mother, I left my 8-year-old home alone, can you go pick him up and take him somewhere safe?”Â ThenÂ she’d text Kevin (because every kid’s born with an umbilical cord and a smart phone plan these days) and be like, “One, whatever you want for Christmas is yours. Two, the cops are coming to the house. OPEN THE DOOR. Let them take you to safety. Do not do anything that even crosses into sociopathic territory.”
2. You’ve Got Mail
First of all, it has to be said, that this could be the most dated movie of all time. Second of all, it also has to be said, that I think TBS made a deal with the devil to play it every single weekend until the end of time. Third of all, it does not to be said because it’s so obvious, that Tom Hanks would be busted during their first outing together when she’s trying to guess who her mystery man could be. She’d be like “let me text him and see if I’m on the right track.” Then Tom Hank’s phone would buzz. And she’s be like, “really? I mean, you shut down my mother’s bookstore, then you catfishÂ me,Â then you have the audacity to sit here while I try to guess your identity. Goodbye.”
“Hi, 911, this is Rose. I’m calling fromÂ the Titanic. Yes, mhhmmm, we did hit an iceberg. would you mind sending some help? For everyone? Except for me. I plan to kill my fiance and my lover tonight. First I’ll trick my fiance into not getting in a lifeboat. Then I’ll tell my lover that we both can’t fit on the floating door. Then I’ll text you the secret signal and you’ll come pull me out of the water. Yeah, sounds good. See you soon!”
4. Beauty and the Beast
Maurice could have easily snapped a photo of the beast and uploaded it to Facebook with the caption, “please help, imprisoned by a beast in a magical castle.” Belle would see this, contact the proper authorities, set up an exclusive interview with Radar OnlineÂ and the whole “crazy ole Maurice” sequence would be nothing more than a weird dream Gaston had once.
5. Forrest Gump
“Hi Jenn-ay. This is Forrest. Yep, just waiting at the bus stop. Yes, that very bus stop. Wait, you live around the corner. I’ll be right there.”
You know what’s more fun than ice skating with a stranger? Typing that stranger’s number into your phone. You can avoid seven years of searching for said stranger if you have the ability to send a quick text along the lines of, “I had fun last night, would love to see youÂ again.”
7. The Secret Garden
“Hi Uncle. It’s Mary. Your niece. Yes, I do think you adopted me. Anyway, your son Colin’s a horrible mess. Emotionally and physically. And the woman running your house is insane. Â So yeah Uncle, I’d come home now. See your kid, fire the crazy and I don’t know, meet me.”
8. Baby Boom
Nothing irks me more in movies than people leaving their children to horrible parents. (I’m looking at youÂ Raising Helen.) So this movieÂ definitelyÂ falls into that irksomeÂ categoryÂ for me. And it all could have been avoided if Diane Keaton got the call on her cell phone, saw the number, called back and was like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said. A BABY!? No. Absolutely not. I barely knew her mother, I’m not raising her child!”
9. A Little Princess
Not only could Sarah have placed a very helpful call to the department of children’s welfare, but she could have also called her dad to double check that he’s really and truly dead. He’d pick up and be like, “hello, I’m blind now. I can’t see who’s calling. Aaahh my darling Sarah. What? I’m very much alive! I’ll have you out of that slave labor camp in no time!”