Woman sues over misleading 'Drive' trailer. What trailers have misled you?

Drive-Poster

File under: Wacky, crazy, and true. A Michigan woman, Sarah Deming, is suing the distributors of the film Drive because she said the trailer misled her into buying a ticket for the film, and when she finally saw the movie, it wasn’t what she was expecting.

Among Ms. Deming’s complaints listed in the lawsuit filed Sept. 27:

– Drive was promoted as very similar to Fast and Furious, when in actuality, it wasn’t.

– “Drive bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film, for reasons including but not limited to Drive having very little driving in the motion picture.” (emphasis mine)

– “Extreme gratuitous defamatory dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith.”

Americans love their lawsuits. But does this one have substance? (When contacted by EW, FilmDistrict Distribution, the defendants in the suit, declined to comment on the pending litigation.)

Now, you could (and should) argue that you obviously take on some risks anytime you go to a theater. Just like you never know exactly how much you’re going to enjoy a movie, you never know exactly what the movie is going to be about. If you were hoping for Ryan Gosling circa The Notebook, yeah, you’re going to be in for a bit of a shock with the merciless Gosling in Drive. To be fair, yes, the movie was seriously violent, and that could definitely shock those that were expecting more delicate art-house fare. But whose fault is that? Trailers are up for interpretation: What says “offensive” to me might say “black comedy” to you. No one, presumably, forced Ms. Deming to go the movies — and she could have always left the theater, if she realized it wasn’t what she signed up for.

The plaintiff wants her ticket refunded, claiming that the misleading ads are in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. She also wants a notice to the public regarding the “extreme gratuitous defamatory racism, and promotion of violence, directed against members of the Jewish faith.” It’s not mentioned in the lawsuit, but this local news report on the story mentions a possible class action lawsuit as well. Overkill?

There are definitely some bad trailer offenders out there: For me, 50/50 had a highly misleading preview. I loved the film (seriously, go!) but billing it as a cancer comedy is just inaccurate if the term “comedy” still means “I will laugh throughout the course of this movie.” It was a dramedy at best, and honestly, it was mostly just a drama. And Twilight is still billed as a drama in the trailers for Breaking Dawn, not the laugh-out-loud comedy it clearly is going to be.

PopWatchers: Which movie trailers have misled you? And is this lawsuit totally frivolous, or does she have a point?

Read more:
White jacket from ‘Drive’ available in November. Can I give the delivery guys a 5-minute window?
Which scene in ‘Drive’ shocked you the most?
Ryan Gosling’s Oscar dilemma: ‘Drive’ or ‘The Ides of March’?

Comments (238 total) Add your comment
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  • alkazaar

    The Dark Knight mislead me. I thought it was going to be good, but then I saw the film, AND IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!

    • RyanK

      Like!!

      • kelly32

        My best friend has just announced her wedding with a great man who is a cele+brity!
        They met-via { Himillionaires&c;o;m }
        It is nice club for rich men or pretty girls mate.
        You do not need to be wealthy or famous, but you can meet your true love, it’s worthy a try.

      • Grumpster

        Hey Kelly…STFU you ugly skank…and your site sucks.

      • Howard

        Grumpster, You’re the one that posted on CNN that you don’t want anything to do with Jews. What’s it like to be a bigot?

    • Jenn

      I’m in love with this comment.

    • Brock

      This woman is too dumb to breathe. She would be doing the world a great favor if she DRIVEs off a bridge.

      • LP

        @Brock—You mean like in Fast Five?!?!?!?!

    • Michelle

      haahah yes!

    • CJ

      LMFAO!

    • Rachel

      Yes it was!

    • LOL

      The studio does have a lot of nerve trying to piggyback off a classic like Fast Five with a misleading trailer. But this lawsuit probably is over the top, but really, Hollywood, just make more films like Fast Five, don’t try to trick us with trailers.

      • CarrieL

        Dude, it’s getting old…

      • Chris

        ummm… classic?…

      • Driver

        @LOL…I have seen this trailer and did NOT think it was in ANY form similar to Fast Five. Do your research people. It’s not up to the government to protect you from a movie. If you look at Yahoo Movies it will tell you a plot, rating and content of the movie. Grow up Ms. Deming and put on your thinking cap.

      • Sam

        All those “fast” movies are for mororns. Drive was a good filick.

      • House

        ummm. . .calling Fast Five a “classic” is kind of a stretch isn’t it? Perhaps a fun popcorn movie. . but classic?

    • Amy

      I’d say the same thing for Inception. :)

    • Lyndsey

      hahahaha!

  • Samantha

    Are you kidding me?! Get the heck over it lady!

    • Fingerlakes Dave

      Agreed. I can’t believe they allowed this in court.

      • Laura K.

        Who says they allowed it in court? It’s just been filed. Presumably, in the answer, the defendants will request a dismissal. And may very well get it.

      • slizzard

        This one won’t see a courtroom. She will probably get slapped with penalties. What are her “damages”? The cost of the ticket plus the time she spent? So, minimum wage is about 7 bucks. That’s 14 + 10 at the most. $24 bucks. Not worth the cost of the lawyer. “Pain and suffering” from a bad movie is going to get laughed out of negotiations.

    • It’s leviOsa, not levioSA

      Typical Americans, litigious at the drop of a hat.

      • Kat

        Most Americans think this lawsuit is frivolous and disapprove of it, so what’s your point? You can file a lawsuit, but that doesn’t mean it will ever see the inside of a courtroom or net you a dime. This will likely be dismissed. The attorney is probably hoping it will be certified as a class action suit, which means the plaintiffs will get a very small amount of money individually but he, the attorney, will get a percentage of the whole settlement, meaning he will make a killing. I don’t believe that will happen. This will be dismissed.

      • Kate

        The point is that lawsuits in general are much more prominent in the states than in other countries (although we’re not great here in Canada either). Yes, many Americans think it’s frivolous, but in many countries, people wouldn’t even consider suing over something this ridiculous. America (and yes Canada) are extra-litigious societies, and it comes out in ridiculous ways like this.

  • omes

    I remember the Starship Troopers trailer (complete with Blur “Song 2″) made it seem like it was a run of the mill action-explosion fest, and was pleasantly surprised when I watched it.

  • Gretchen Weiners

    Jesus Christ! Get the f**k over it! You wasted ten dollars, BIG DEAL! So not fetch!

    • estab1971

      Stop trying to make “fetch” happen. It’s not going to happen.

      • Cee

        But it’s like…slang? From like…England?

      • Chick

        Thank you estab.

      • Whitneyairbrush

        Haha ^ this guy is awesome….or is it “fetch”…. Haaha

  • Pawnee

    K Pax. Thought I was seeing a bubbly comedy and instead it was a depressing psycho-sci-drama. Also Uptown Girls, which in trailers looked like a cute fish out of water comedy but was in fact an emotionally manipulative, cloying drama.

    • Alissa

      I was completely wrong about Click (thought it was going to be a comedy, instead it turned out to be mostly just a depressing lesson on how you should appreciate what you have) and The Family Stone (comedy? more like cancer!).

      • Samantha

        omg those two movies got me too! Click had me sobbing by the end!

      • Anonymous

        Agreed! Click is one of the saddest movies I’ve ever seen!

    • Kate

      You should sue!

  • Aidan

    WTH is wrong with that woman? I have wasted money on Cars 2 and Pirates 4 among many other crappy movies! Get over it. Also, I thought that Drive was amazing! If she’s mad that it wasn’t like The Fast And The Furious then the joke is on her because that movie was pretty lame.

  • whatevs

    Um, no movie lawsuit is worth it. You can go to kidsinmind or screenit to see what offensive material is going to be in the movie.

    It doesn’t say if she stayed through the whole thing or not, but if she were serious about this, she would’ve walked out during the movie and gotten her money back. She’s obviously just trying to see what she can get away with.

    • sigh

      seriously, most theaters will refund a ticket but not if you sit through the entire showing. i wanted my money back after sitting through spiderman 3, but i felt i couldn’t ask for it since i stayed until the credits. i did get the friend that dragged me with him to pay me back though!

    • R.K

      I want to sue Kate Hudson. Her movie trailers never show how bad each of her films is going to suck.But they always do!

      • Bob R

        then the fact that the trailer shows kate hudson should be your clue it’s gonna suck

      • ktanne

        Or anything with Sarah Jessica Parker, or Matthew McConahay, or Jennifer Lopez, etc.

      • Angela

        Have you seen Almost Famous? Her performance in that makes all of her bad movies that much more disappointing.

      • Squishmar

        Kate Hudson’s good films start and stop at “Almost Famous.”

  • Tvaddict

    The family stone- looked like a cute family comedy bit in fact is a depressing drama that didn’t make me laugh once

    • etm

      OMG I hated that movie. I know it’s fiction, but the in-laws were so nasty to SJP’s character.

      • Captain

        They accepted her in the end, movies have taught me that, that’s all that matters.

      • Chick

        I HATED the Family Stone. It was dreadful!

    • Liz Lemon

      That’s one of my favorite films. I don’t think it’s supposed to be a comedy. It’s a serious, family drama.

    • Lena

      I hated Family Stone and every subsequent SJP movie. Hasn’t this nut ever heard of Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB?

  • Woot

    This has got to be the lamest lawsuit I have ever seen. Seriously? If she saw the trailer I saw for Drive, it literally gave away the whole movie. Pretty much this lawsuit says, “I was expecting this to be a typical dumb action movie, but it was actually very artful. So give me back my money!”

  • jessica

    The trailers for Alex and Emma and The Fountain misled me. Drive’s was slightly misleading, but I was glad it was. Driving is so boring.

    • Chuck

      Jessica, I completely agree about THE FOUNTAIN. That trailer was amazing, but the film was the LONGEST ninety minutes of my life!

    • Fatima

      Hating on Drive and The Fountain is just too much for me. Sad.

      • jessica

        I wasn’t hating on Drive. I didn’t explicitly say I liked it, but I did like it. I said I was glad the trailer was misleading because movies about driving that involve only or mostly only driving are boring.

  • J

    Trailers already reveal too much about the movies and this lady apparently wants them to reveal even more???
    Luckily she didn’t see (or complain about) Scream 4. I’m sure she would’ve been mad about what the trailers showed vs. what it turned out to be.
    From the trailer you got the impression that it was a setup for a reboot when in fact it was a slap to remakes/reboots. Sidney’s quote: “Don’t f… with the original!” pretty much sums it up. I thought it was great that the movie didn’t turn out to be a reboot but instead a great sequel!

    • Mark

      J, I thought the same thing – trailers reveal TOO MUCH, and I was wondering when some litigious nutjob would sue a studio for giving away all the jokes in the trailer and leaving none for the movie. Imagine my surprise to find out the reverse came true! You know, it’s not too late: I’d love to see someone try a reveal-too-much lawsuit, and then have the same judge preside over both cases!

  • Kevin

    wait wait wait I thought the Twilight series was an outrages comedy

    • Alica

      What I want to know if if I can I sue the producers because I wasn’t told that vampires would SPARKLE?

  • bass

    i’ll give her fourteen dollars just to shut up.

  • kim in kentucky

    Just ask for your money back!

  • Jill

    I remember My Girl was advertised as a cute story with McCuley Culkin and Anna Chlumsky….. And talk about a super sad unexpected ending!!

    • K

      That was the one that came to mind for me too!

    • LOL

      Brain dead people can’t bother to do just a little research before going to a film. Incredible. How does this woman even function on a daily basis? Hopefully she rarely leaves the house.

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