‘Two Kinds of People’ Movie Cliché
Oct 2012 17

Movie clichés. Everyone’s got their favourite. Maybe it’s when someone says “I’m too old for this shit”, or possibly it’s the fact that any character who mentions how close to retirement they are, or says that they’ll “be right back” will die before the end of the film. Sometimes, the clichés can be visual: in an action film, if there’s an explosion, there is an odds-on chance that the character who causes said explosion will walk away from it in slow motion. Usually wearing sunglasses. One of the most beloved clichés of film fans is the ‘Wilhelm Scream‘ a sound effect you can hear in films too numerous to name. Clichés aren’t always fondly remembered though; the ‘black character dies first’ trope has become  a pop culture meme, and is an example of the less obvious and sometimes unintentional racism still present in society.

One of my favourite screenwriting clichés is the ‘two kinds of people’ line. A character will, in an attempt to sound worldly and wise, confidently state that there are only ‘two kinds of people in this world’, before putting forth a binary theorem that could never encapsulate all of humanity. Maybe the very self-evident absurdity of this statement is what makes it work? Who knows. All I know is that an obscene amount of movies use it. See the below video by the talented James Chapman for yourself to get an idea of its overuse, and let us know what you think in the comments.

TA

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