Posted on Monday, October 10th, 2011 by Angie Han
We’ve all had that rage-inducing moment when we realize we’ve just shelled out upwards of $10 for some movie that wasn’t nearly as good as the trailers suggested. Most of us probably react by grumbling to our friends, maybe posting a few angry tweets, and then shrugging it off and moving on with our lives. Not so Sarah Deming of Keego Harbor, Michigan. Deming has just filed a lawsuit against FilmDistrict and the Michigan theater chain Emagine for “promot[ing] the film Drive as very similar to Fast and Furious, or similar, series of movies.” More details after the jump.
Deming’s complaint (via Moviefone) continues, “Drive bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film… having very little driving in the motion picture.” It’s true enough that Drive isn’t exactly another The Fast and the Furious knockoff — though many, including the 93% of critics who’ve given Drive a positive review, would probably count that as a point in the movie’s favor. While some have indeed argued that part of the reason Drive hasn’t exactly won over mainstream audiences has to do with its misleading marketing, it’s not as though the trailers are showing scenes that aren’t in the movie. Deming may be right to be annoyed with FilmDistrict, but it hardly seems like the advertising has been so deceiving as to be illegal.
But her next objection is where she really loses me. The suit also states that “Drive was a motion picture that substantially contained extreme gratuitous defamatory dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith.” Wait, what? To be honest, it wasn’t until I read that sentence that I even remembered that some of the characters were Jewish. The characters’ faith isn’t a central part of the movie and has very little to do with the violence perpetrated by or against them. By Deming’s reasoning, should any movie in which a villain or victim happens to be Jewish be illegal?
Deming is seeking a refund for her ticket, as well as “an end to misleading movie trailers.” To that end, she plans to turn her case into a class-action lawsuit next week. FilmDistrict has not publicly commented on Deming’s lawsuit, though Emagine has put out a statement agreeing to refund any customers who were displeased with the movie.
For reference, here’s an actual trailer for Drive:
For the sake of comparison, here’s the trailer for this year’s Fast Five:
Discuss: Is Deming being totally unreasonable, or does she have a point? Any lawyers or law students want to weigh in on whether Deming may actually win?