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Colombia Travel Blog

By JL Pastor & See Colombia Travel

Jun 29

Hollywood Vs. Colombia round 1: Mr. and Mrs. Smith in “Bogota”

Colombia’s reputation is something we’ve written about before and something we take seriously. There is, however, a time to sit back and enjoy some of the ludicrousness that this infamous misappropriation offers, and what better multi-million dollar institution to laugh at than Hollywood.

Hollywood is guilty of some of the gravest crimes against Colombia’s reputation abroad and is very often the only source of (mis)information people receive about the country. They are, therefore, misled into imagining Colombia in very different ways to how it really is. We’ve decided, therefore, to start a series of posts about films and TV Shows that depict Hollywood in order to have a good laugh at the film industry’s expense. And to wonder how some of these people got jobs in the first place…

First up on the agenda, Mr. And Mrs. Smith

Hollywood Vs. Colombia #1: Mr. And Mrs. Smith

 

 

 

Mr. And Mrs. Smith: not your average couple

 

 

 

Mr. And Mrs. Smith is an action film, fleshing out what it lacks in character depth with a meaty dose of explosions, gunshots and sex. Oh, and a little sprinkling of xenophobia, too.

Overcome by the mundane comfort of everyday married life, the protagonists, played by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, are shown to be a tragically suburban couple. They lack intimacy, intensity and any spark whatsoever and, as a result, have found themselves in couples therapy where they are encouraged to recall how they first met. Queue flashback to Bogotá, Columbia, where we find Mr. and Mrs. Smi…

Hold up, where?

Yes, you read it right. Quite how the production company thought the film would manage to come anywhere near appropriating Colombia correctly when the script spelled it with a ‘U’ is quite beyond me. It shows an alarming lack of research, to the extent that you have to assume the writers didn’t do any research at all. This assumption is emphatically supported by the scenes that take place in ‘Bogotá’.

Consider, for example, this YouTube clip (in Italian):

Firstly: PUT A JACKET ON IT’S COLD IN BOGOTÁ! They were either massively under prepared for their holiday or really, really drunk on Aguardiente. Oh wait, that’s tequila on their table…

Secondly: Credit to them, they got the rain just about right, but then in the morning they wake up with a hangover and, of course, some bombs going off in the background. Well, that about sums up my life in Bogotá, too. Except the bombs are generally people trying to sell fruit or some kind of construction work as the city continues to improve. Still, I understand the pain. Leave me sleeping.

What Bogotá really looks like. Well, except Bogotá is in color.

For proof of what Mexi… Uh, I mean Bogotá is really like (i.e. a sprawling, progressive metropolis with temperatures reaching at most about 22 degrees) I recommend you check out the videos from our friends Off2Colombia.

More Hollywood Vs. Colombia coming soon…

Paul

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9 Comments on “Hollywood Vs. Colombia round 1: Mr. and Mrs. Smith in “Bogota”

Lane says:

Ha Ha. I vaguely remembered this scene in the movie when I actually visited Bogotá 7 years later. They make it look like a hot, sweaty place, so clearly the filmmakers have never been there, or even looked at a map.

I actually saw the movie in Peru. I wonder if Peruvian perceptions of Colombia are shaped more by imported Hollywood movies or more local media. (Funny thing, Peruvians think the USA is actually a very dangerous place, thanks to all the action movies set there.)

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JL says:

HAHAHAHA! I love the chickens running around that disco!

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