Can One Annoying Character Ruin a Film?

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Question of the Day (QOTD) is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a film/TV-related question that we put to you, the reader. The comments section below is like the feedback box at work; except, in this example, we actually read what you write and care about what you have to say.

Last night during our MonsoonVision watch of Rambo: Last Blood, site writer Vincent Kane remarked about how annoying this one character named Gizelle was in the film. Sailor then followed that comment by asking today’s question: can one character stop a movie from being good?

If I could only answer with YES or NO, I’d say yes. But I think it also depends on how long the character is on screen. Gizelle was definitely annoying, but she disappeared from the rest of the film after her narrative purpose was concluded. The first truly annoying character that springs to my mind is Willie Scott (and to a lesser extent Short Round) from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. She is with Indiana Jones for the entirety of the film and complains about it nonstop. She was the exact opposite of Marion Ravenwood, which is why I think she was even more annoying. Audiences had already seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark what good partners (Sallah and Marion) could look like.

However, I may be in the minority when stating it all depends on the runtime for annoying characters. When I first watched Star Wars: Episode I, I prepared myself for non-stop Jar Jar Binks. However, he is barely in the film! And he is nowhere near as annoying as people claim he is. Yet, he is considered one of the most annoying additions to the Star Wars universe. I have no issue with Jar Jar (I actually want to see him redeemed), but it does make my point that runtime for me is everything in determining if a character will ruin a film or not. If they are in-and-out and only temporarily bring the movie down, I can forgive and forget. If they constantly show up (like those two kids in The Return of Swamp Thing) then the film will suffer a lower approval rating.

So what about you, folks? Can one annoying character ruin any enjoyment you had going for the film?

I’ll see you in the trenches.

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"