I want to go out drinking at the Generic Movie Bar. I’m not sure where it is, but it must be out there somewhere because it seems like every time characters in a movie go to a bar its the same place. Sure, the decor and ambiance may differ from romantic comedies to weepy drams, but the bars all have the same quirks that I have yet to see in any real-world ale house.
The lights aren’t up full blast, but it’s still bright enough to see from the door to the bar. It’s a kind of tasteful half-glow and there’s no stupid black lights or rotating neon disco balls, just some unobtrusive ambient illumination. The air is clear but I instinctively blink a few times to compensate for the cloud of smoke that isn’t there. I sweep my gaze across the crowd, ample enough make the joint look busy but thin enough to easily move across the dance floor, which isn’t crowded with blinged-out guidos grinding on unsuspecting co-eds from behind and splattering hair product and tanning oil around as they pump their hips in time to the music.
The music is something else… It fills the background with a steady supply of rock, the perfect volume to create an ambient background but just quiet enough to carry on your conversation without having to lean in close to your companion and scream at the top of your lungs so that they can hear you over the 5th rendition of a remixed Usher song that the DJ has played that night. Or maybe its the local live band that usually keeps you from conversing over a quiet pint, erroneously convinced that every one in the bar has come to witness their private concert and obligingly cranked their speakers to 11 as they unveil their thrash-punk version of “Margaritaville.” (Every live band must play Margaritaville. It’s a universal law.)
But not in the Generic Movie Bar. It’s a place where you can belly up to the bar and the guy behind it will be absentmindedly polishing a glass, regardless of how busy or quiet the bar is. He’ll (it’s always a He) immediately come up to you and ask what you want. You can just order a beer, or a scotch. You don’t need to specify a brand of either, because apparently they proudly serve Beer brand beer and Scotch brand scotch. Don’t worry about telling the bartender how you want it (on the rocks, etc). It doesn’t matter unless you’re ordering a Martini and you work for British Intelligence in which case you know how to order.
You also don’t have to worry about starting a tab with your credit card, or otherwise paying for your drink. I guess they’re not too worried about that sort of thing in the movies. You can see why places like that would appeal to me. Someday I’ll just have to open my own.