From the MIT News Office: Film loosely based on MIT blackjack team opens Friday
. (That's Friday, March 28.) The film is based on the book Bringing Down The House
. I haven't seen it, and I probably won't, because it hasn't gotten the best reviews. Also, I generally tend to dislike movies that take place in fictionalized versions of places I know; they look all wrong. (A Beautiful Mind
and Good Will Hunting
come to mind. Also, 10th and Wolf
, which has nothing to do with math, but is set around the corner from where I was born in Philadelphia, and was filmed in Pittsburgh.)
Anyway, the press release says:
Most notably, the character played by Kevin Spacey, portrayed as an MIT professor, is entirely fictional. While his irresponsible acts may enliven the Hollywood script, they are entirely unrepresentative of the Institute.
I wonder if their legal department told them to say that. They also point out that real
MIT students are good at math too! This is true.
I understand how you feel about fictionalized versions of places you know, except I have the opposite problem: whenever I watch The Way We Were, I'm convinced they're here at Union instead of at Yale as they're supposed to be.
Do they have to get warned by the legal department, or is that sort of backtracking just instinctive to corporate News Offices everywhere?
docudrama, memoirs, and these "inspired" films based on true stories are generally just an excuse to mold reality into stock Hollywood plots. But folks seem to like movies that don't confuse them with fact. The last joke I saw was Last King of Scotland.
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