Lonely Planet Writer

Reddit reveals the unrealistic ways cities are portrayed on the big screen

More often than not, the cities in which films and television shows are set are just as important as the characters and script, with a carefully chosen location having the ability to create a distinct charm and atmosphere under which the plot can develop.

Los Angeles at Sunset
Users commented on how Los Angeles is portrayed on the big screen. Image by choness/Getty Images

Some locations are more popular than others, and have been solidified in iconic portrayals over the years. However, the way places are portrayed on the big screen can be less than accurate, and recently, a collection of people on Reddit began a conversation outlining the unrealistic ways that cities have been portrayed.

Posted by Reddit user Breadoman on the Ask Reddit Subreddit, the question sparked a humorous debate, with users commenting on destinations like Los Angeles, Tokyo, Africa, London, San Francisco, Canada and New York. Speaking about the latter metropolis, user OofBadoof said, “New York. Most movies and TV depict semi-employed 20 somethings as living in these huge gorgeous studio apartments instead of the reality of living in a closet,” while user darth_hotdog said about the Californian weather, “Los Angeles. People always think it’s warm and sunny here. But in reality, that’s only 99% of the time.”

Tokyo was praised for being clean and friendly. Image by RichLegg/Getty Images

Commenting again on LA, user Shippoyasha added, “TV shows and movies don’t show people getting stuck in traffic forever during their daily routines,” perhaps somewhat unfairly, given the fact that this was actually the opening scene of the hugely popular La La Land.

Tokyo. It isn’t the anime haven some think, the miserable rainy neon light big city where everyone just walks by each other without acknowledging each other. I cannot begin to explain how clean that city is, and how satisfying it is for a city that crowded and dense to be clean. Tokyo also has the best balance of keeping old traditional buildings and aggressively modernizing in other areas. Parks are also amazing because even though they are in the middle of the city they are so quiet,” said user ApolloX-2.

The full discussion is available here.