Favorite Moments: ‘Oh well!’

We all have our favorite moments in movies, books, and games, moments that stay with us long after the story is over. This column is my attempt to examine my favorite moments and see why they stick with me.

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The Movie

‘JAWS by 70’s Kids’

The Scene

A teenage Chief Brody, his best buddy Ben, and a random kid in swim trunks head out to take on a killer shark in a lake. It goes as well as you’d expect.

Why it’s great

While this fan-made squeal to 1975’s ‘Jaws’ is charming on its own with its homemade production values, it features a moment that always cracks me up whenever I see it: At 3:04, the shark attacks a sailboat, knocking the random kid into the water. His companions yell at him to swim for his life, but to no avail; the poor kid is gobbled up by a plastic toy shark in a fish tank the bloodthirsty shark. But what’s different is what happens afterwords: Brody and Ben shrug, and Brody says, ‘Oh well.’

If ‘Jaws by 70’s Kids’ was made today, Brody and Ben would be stricken with grief, wondering if they could have done anything to save their fallen comrade. It’s a scene we see over and over again in any movie involving… well, danger of any kind. But when was the last time you see one of the survivors shrug, admit there’s nothing to be done, and move on immediately without any kind of grief?

A character with that kind of reaction tells the audience there’s something off about that individual: They might be a psychopath who has no emotional attachment to anyone besides themselves; they might be a ditzy-do who is seemingly oblivious to suffering; they might have been so traumatized by losing people they love in the past that they now treat everything as a joke to cope with it. But here, it’s just funny seeing two kids frantically yell at someone else to swim for their life, and then half-heartily mourn his death afterwords.

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