I saw someone say they walked out of Oppenheimer because it was just a bunch of talking (I loved it, by the way), but it got me thinking: what film can be summed up as “nothing really happens” – and that most people actually agree with?
Turning to the internet, I tracked down some common answers. Do you agree with these? For the record, I don’t think a movie where nothing really happens is necessarily bad. Some of my favorite films are on this list!
Also, you can be forgiven for not seeing some of these flicks. On that note, there could be light spoilers here; be warned!
Waiting for Godot
One of the reviews for the two-act play this movie was based on included, “Nothing happens, twice.” If that doesn’t get the general feeling down, then maybe knowing the plot will. It’s about two guys who are waiting for Godot (as the name suggests).
Spoiler alert: Godot never arrives.
Yes, the point of the movie is that nothing happens.
My Neighbour Totoro
This whimsical movie captured the hearts of a generation and gave us some adorable characters that are still popular today. But the movie itself is actually pretty lackluster in terms of excitement. Especially compared to later Ghibli works.
Other than when Mei goes missing, not a lot happens in Totoro. There’s nothing wrong with that, though – the point is to discover the magic through the eyes of the children.
My Dinner With Andre
While most people agreed with this suggestion (and more lauded the hilarious Community episode that references it), one Redditor had this to say: “What do you mean nothing happens? They order, and later on the waiter brings their food!”
That about sums it up!
Coffee and Cigarettes
Coffee and Cigarettes is definitely an interesting piece of media. It stars some artists and celebrities (Wu-tang Clan, the White Stripes, etc) as they have conversations over coffee and cigarettes.
The point is to show how menial conversations can be hostile or emotionally charged, which translates to a movie where nothing really happens.
Dazed and Confused
One of the original stoner movies, the plot of Dazed and Confused is simple: high school antics. Yeah, nothing major really happens, but it’s still fun (and funny) to watch.
Oh, and they do get Aerosmith tickets!
The person who suggested Ad Astra left this moving comment, “So forgettable I watched it twice by accident.” Hard to find a movie where nothing happens (and that is as boring) as something you can forget all about!
To their point, I can’t figure out if I’ve seen it or not.
Super ironic to include The Happening on a list of films that can be summed up as “nothing really happens”!
Anyway, The Happening is supposed to be a horror movie, but it’s really just about some people running away from the wind.
Clerks is one of my favorite movies where not a whole lot of anything happens during the film. Yeah, they play some hockey and someone dies, but somehow it still feels like nothing happened though all of that. It also features some of the best movie dialogue out there – which of course makes up for the lack of action.
The Blair Witch Project
There’s a Family Guy episode that perfectly sums up the plot of The Blair Witch Project, in which Peter is describing the movie to a visually impaired person:
“Okay, they’re in the woods, the camera keeps on moving, uh, I think they’re looking for some witch or something, I dunno, I wasn’t listening. Nothing’s happening… Nothing’s happening… Something about a map… Nothing’s happening… It’s over. A lot of people in the audience look annoyed.”
The Breakfast Club
They’re in detention, so not a lot could happen in this movie, really. Wait, why do we want to watch a movie about kids in detention anyway? It sounds boring.
Of course, The Breakfast Club is one of the most iconic films of all time, so we do want to watch it. But let’s be real: not a lot happens in it. It’s about making friends and finding yourself!
The Big Lebowski
Someone described The Big Lebowski as “a movie aggressively trying to happen to The Dude, who is too lazy to bother with any of it and just wants to be left alone.”
While it’s funny and witty, not a lot happens. What’s more, The Big Lebowski is definitely a movie you have to see multiple times to fully appreciate, so you may not “feel it” after the first watch.
Unless you count making a friend a friend and them becoming class president as things happening, this movie is pretty uneventful. That doesn’t stop a lot of people from liking it, though!
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