>Examples of passive aggression are all over the big screen! Given how often this behavior occurs and how funny it can sometimes be, it’s perfect fodder for Reality TV casting agents and screenwriters who want to show trouble in relationships! Next time you are watching a movie or indulging in some good TV and see a passive aggressive scene, log on to the site and let us all know about it!
Here are a few favorites:
Bride Wars with Ann Hathaway and Kate Hudson
If you want to see brizedilla bad behavior in film, Bride Wars is Passive Aggression 101. After the stage is set for two best friends to have dueling weddings, the plot is just one act of covert sabotage after another. From one bride trying to get the other too fat to fit into her Vera Wang wedding dress to the other swapping a sentimental wedding slide show for a montage of drunken college photos to be broadcast as the bride walks up the aisle, the movie shows scene after scene of slapstick passive aggressive pranks.
MTV’s The Real World
The cast of Spring 2009’s MTV Real World–Brooklyn has all of the requisite melodrama that the show is known for and…better yet…some truly laughable passive aggression! If you want to see classic passive aggressive behavior in action, check out Episode 8, “Angry Boys and Dirty Girls” on MTV.com. To preview a few, check out the note that is left in the sink of dirty dishes and the part where Scott hides the car keys from the girls, as his way of getting back at them for not cleaning said dishes! Also, you can see a great example of a Passive Aggressive Conflict Cycle as the girls (Sarah in particular) maintain their composure but get the boys (JD most of all) to lose their cool. Has anyone seen the episode? Here’s a link to MTV’s site to see for yourself. (Fast Forward to about 20 minutes into the episode to see a classic few minutes of key hiding!) http://www.mtv.com/videos/real-world-brooklyn-ep-8-angry-boys-and-dirty-girls/1605449/playlist.jhtml
27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl
Heigl’s character was furious that her sister pretended to be someone she wasn’t (vegetarian, mountain climber, earth mamma) just to steal-away the man of her dreams. So, on the night of their engagement party, Katherine played a slideshow for the guests – complete with pics of her dear sister eating chicken wings and engaging in various non-earth-friendly acts. Needless to say – the wedding was OFF. OUCH!
The Break-Up with Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn
In this battle-of-the-exes movie, both Anniston’s character (Brooke) and Vaughn’s (Gary) are angry over their break-up and determined not to vacate their shared, expensive Chicago condo until it is sold. Their post-break-up co-habitation is the source of much passive aggression, as the exes do everything BUT talk directly about their feelings. Hidden revenge, “jokes” that cut deeply, making each other jealous, being stood up for dates, feigned confusion when confronted and denial of hurt feelings are among the ways Brooke and Gary drive each other crazy in passive aggressive ways.
An Ideal Husband with Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore demonstrates a dead-on “angry smile” in this film, as her character, Mrs. Cheveley, threatens to expose past indiscretions of Sir Robert Chiltern. Pay attention to the P.S. of the letter she writes him and the expression on her face as she exposes Chiltern’s secret and pits him against his wife. This movie is also a great example of passive aggressive behavior as characteristic of a cultural norm. In the high society, politically powerful atmosphere of Great Britian circa 1895, a “lady” would never express her anger directly…but Moore’s character comes out with her passive aggressive guns blazing!
Meet the Parents with Ben Stiller and Robert deNiro
This film includes lots of passive aggressive behavior on the part of the father (Robert deNiro) as he meets his soon-to-be son-in-law (Stiller) and gives him a little preview of what life will be like in the family. Most notable are the father’s comments about Greg’s choice of nursing as a profession.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood with Sandra Bullock
In this movie, neither mother nor daughter wants to take steps to repair the deep-seated rift that separates them. They engage in a series of passive aggressive acts–including a funny exchange of FedEx packages–to avoid confronting each other directly about their anger.
Please post comments here with more examples of passive aggressive scenes from film and TV…