In my house, we have a term we use for movies that hinge on a plot flaw: the Jeppy. This comes from a scene in the movie Sphere, where Dustin Hoffman uses a semblance of mathematics to decode a message from an otherworldy intelligence as “I am Jerry. I am happy.” Later in the movie, in a particularly stupid plot twist, he realizes that his message was off by “a letter” and that the message actually came from the mind of another character. It should read: “I am Harry. I am happy.” But what the movie is too stupid to realize is being off by a letter should change the entire message to “I em Harry, I em Jeppy.” And so we have the Jeppy, my shorthand term for any plot flaw that completely works against its own interior logic.
So, in Independence Day we have a Windows-based PC uploading a numerical virus onto an alien computer. In Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, the time travel paradox collapses as two Austins appear and then are quickly forgotten about. In The Sixth Sense it’s a surprise that a man we see get shot dead in the first few minutes of the movie…is dead! And whose voice was on the other end of the phone in The Ring? Since when are there streets wide enough for a car chase in Venice, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Does Neo just like to play his games in God mode, or does the end of The Matrix just not really imply that he changes the whole game? Since when do the cops need “more time” to trace Harrison Ford’s phone call in The Fugitive? Haven’t they installed caller ID yet? And Somewhere in Time, I ask again: where did the watch originally come from?
The one that makes me the craziest, for some reason I can’t even identify, is the remake of The Stepford Wives. Faith Hill has a malfunction and shorts out, and there’s a remote control that can make her boobs bigger, so obviously she’s a robot, right? And there’s one woman who spits cash out of her mouth like an ATM, so obviously they’re all robots, right? But then we see a film that says the Stepford technology implants a woman’s brain with nano-chips that curb their individuality and make them obedient, so obviously they’re women with microchips in their brains and not robots, right? But then, seconds later, we see a robotic Nicole Kidman, which implies the women really are robots, right? But, at the end of the movie, Matthew Broderick turns off the main computer signal, and all of the microchips short out, and the women return to their normal selves, so obviously they’re women with microchips in their heads. Or, was it the robots?And then my brain exploded faster than a robot given a logic problem by Captain Kirk.
Does anyone else have a Jeppy to share? Or am I just completely crazy?