The word job has always haunted us. The precedence of the job, then the anxiety of performing on the job and the dream of retiring from the job. Similarly, job is also an integral part of the movies because the protagonist needs to do something for a living for us to make sense of the character. But in some movies the very nature of the jobs intrigues us. It makes us think and create our own theories about it. Here is a list of jobs that are so weird that they can only exist (or at least seem to exist) in movies.
12. Date Doctor – Hitch (2005)
Will Smith as Alex “Hitch” Hitchens is a professional “Date Doctor”. He earns his living by teaching men the art of enticing a woman. His personal setbacks led him to learn the intricacies of a woman’s mind and he perfectly understands the ways of women. Will Smith is the cupid in a tuxedo. The best part is, he makes it believable. He handles the profession with utmost knowledge and could have easily fooled anyone for a “PhD in Dating” for that matter. In today’s time Apps have taken his place, not that they groom men and women but they do give a better and improved picture to make people fall in love.
11. Spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies – Thank you for Smoking (2005)
Aaron Eckhart as Nick Naylor is the spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies. Imagine you go to a movie and you are shown a commercial that promotes tobacco and makes you believe the many benefits of tobacco. Well Nick Naylor does exactly that. He fools people with his charm and word play. He makes his living by spinning lies and making people believe that tobacco is a God Send and they need to embrace it with open arms. Well, he gets into a lot of trouble for doing that but essentially it means that he is very good at doing his job. The anomaly of working for the devil has its ups and downs I guess.
10. Torture Sound Engineer – Berberian Sound Studio (2012)
Toby Jones as Gilderoy is a sound engineer. But he is not just any sound engineer, his job is to create sounds from the everyday objects. He is a Foley Artist. Gilderoy produces sounds from the dicing and slicing of vegetables and these sounds are used for the plot twists. He creates sounds by fiddling with incongruous objects. This job seemed weird before the release of the movie but after the movie’s release, a lot of sound engineers started using this art of sound engineering. Later in the movie, Gilderoy makes sound by torturing the voice over artists and actors. I sincerely hope this method didn’t inspire any sound engineers out there.
9. Humanoid Robot – A.I Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Jude Law as Gigolo joe is a humanoid robot. He has been designed to look and act like a human. Gigolo Joe is programmed to mimc love in a sexual sense. He is designed to pleasure the humans and satisfy their sexual fantasies. It seemed like a distant reality back then but we already have such robots in working conditions now. They might not be as sophisticated as the ones shown in the movie but they are getting there. The only aspect that is going to take some time and an amazing depth of research is Skin Grafting as seen in the movie. Nevertheless, this humanoid robot conceptualized by the genius Spielberg makes to the list of technologies his movies has bestowed upon the world.
8. Termination Assister, Up in the Air (2009)
Jason Reitman has a knack of creating weird jobs for his movies. The movie stars George Clooney as Ryan Bingham whose job is to inform the people that they have been fired. The movie showcases a time around the recession of 2007 and the job cutbacks that ensued. Ryan Bingham doesn’t just deliver the message, he makes the people believe that they shall be okay and gives them hope. Hope that they will be able to a find better job and a better way of living. Sometimes, the message doesn’t work and he has to face the wrath of the fired people but most of the time he is able to deliver for the company. The irony in the story is that he also ends up getting fired and has to listen to all the made up stuff he used to give to other people.
7. Gene Donor – Gattaca (1997)
It seems that Jude Law is the first choice for the most weird and bizarre job roles when it come to the movies. He makes the list again, this time as Jerome Eugene Morrow. Jerome happens to be a star swimmer who suffered paralysis during an accident. He lends his perfect genes, hair, urine samples to Vincent Anton Freeman (Ethan Hawke), to fuel his dream of going into the space. Jerome gives an interesting twist to the phenomenon of donation and the whole system of borrowing gave a push to the field of genetic engineering and has since then led to several developments in the field.
6. Crime Scene Cleaner – Sunshine Cleaning (2008)
Amy Adams as Rose Lorkowski and Emily Blunt as Norah Lorkowsk are sisters and partners in their peculiar business. Their business is called Sunshine Cleaning and they specialise in cleaning crime scenes. They literally clean every aspect of the crime committed on the scene. Initially the cleaning operated within the confines of police department but then due to the budget cuts and cheaper alternatives the clean up jobs starts going to people specialising in this particular category. Possibly this job exists somewhere — or at least someone must be doing it — but we hadn’t heard about it until movies like ‘Sunshine Cleaning’ enlightened us.
5. Organ Collector – Repo Men (2010)
And we have Jude Law, again. This time he plays Remy and his job is to collect debt but not in terms of property but in organs. He gives a new meaning to confiscating assets. The job requires sound knowledge of maths and biology. Also, special combat skills with specialised training in handling weapons. Remy is ruthless and executes his job with utmost professionalism, until Remy loses his heart and the hunter becomes the hunted. He then realises the corruption in the system and fights for justice.
4. Looper — Looper (2012)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe has a special job called “looper”. Basically, these loopers are managed by a future man named Abe Mitchell, and they kill and dispose of face-concealed victims, and are paid with silver bars strapped to the target. A lot of movies have assassins but ‘Looper’ was the first movie to give a special twist to it. Imagine the interview questions for the position of Looper? Why should we hire you to kill your future self? Do you have any killing experience? Have you tried killing yourself before? The plot of the movie makes sense of the job but in its entirety the job doesn’t.
3. Memory Erasing Doctor – The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
In the movie, Tom Wilkinson as Howard Mierzwiak is a doctor. Now doctor have been known to fix the ailments of the mind and the body. But Dr Mierzwiak is a special doctor; he has a peculiar way of dealing with pain. He deals in erasing memories. He has a special apparatus and a whole system to support the erasing process. The system is not perfect and that is what disturbs the life of his patient but that doesn’t stop him. What really messes up his whole set up is his own personal back story.
2. Extractor – Inception (2010)
The movie centers around Cobb and his team who call themselves “extractors”, but what they effectively do is steal. They specialise in stealing pieces of information by sneaking into people’s minds. They don’t believe in breaking and entering into people’s houses or safes, but they go right for the the “Mind”. As the story unfolds, the adversity of the situation makes for another challenging mission. This time Cobb needs to plant an entire idea into a CEO’s brain. Nolan with his ways, treats the human mind with tenacity. He doesn’t spurt his idea of mind hopping, he institutionalises his method and builds on it.
1. Bio-exorcist – Beetlejuice (1988)
Tim Burton always has had his way with the wicked. ‘Beetlejuice’ is a manifestation of his wild and wicked ways. Also, it makes for a very interesting watch. Tim Burton creates a whole new profession “Bio-exorcist” or reverse exorcist whose job is to help the ghosts get rid of the unwanted humans. Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice is terrifically wicked. This job/business caters to a very specific audience and makes it a very lucrative proposition. I just hope, the business and its lucrativeness stays as a figment of imagination or else things might get a little out of hand in our world.
Read More: Best Movies Based on Books