You’re doing it wrong!

A fascinating list of 15 films based on the lives of real people and their true stories that received a backlash from those people…because they felt their depiction in the movies was incorrect:

Haven’t seen all that many of the films referenced there, though two of the bigger exceptions are Ed Wood and The Doors.  I enjoyed both films though Ed Wood clearly tried to create a “happy” ending for the film, that Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space somehow was a triumph when ultimately released instead of an object of complete ridicule.  As for The Doors, Val Kilmer nailed the Jim Morrison role, but the story presented, even to one as fond of the music of the Doors as I am, simply wasn’t all that interesting.  By most accounts, the real life Jim Morrison lived a life of excess, both with drugs and alcohol.  While he found incredible success with his music, those excesses ultimately resulted in dying far too young.  Other than the music and his copious use of alcohol and drugs, I have a hard time recalling other elements of his story as depicted within the movie, which I suppose explains the family’s scorn for Oliver Stone’s film.

Of the films I haven’t seen, I feel for most for  Fritz Ostermueller’s daughter, the pitcher depicted in the movie 42 as a racist headhunter (she noted evidence that suggested this was not the case) and Marc Schiller, one of the victims presented in the recent comedy Pain & Gain.  In the later case in particular, it feels really tasteless for filmmakers to make a comedy of the near gruesome murder of a person, one who wound up in a coma because of the actions of the central characters in said film.

If there’s any lesson to be taken from this list, its that making a movie based on “real life” events and people is tricky enough, but it’s especially hard when the people behind the stories (family or otherwise) are still alive and can voice their displeasure.