The Utopolis advertisement is a rhetorically effective document because it successfully argues that movies are generally more fun than real life. It argues this in three ways:
- Your plan to reenact a romantic moment will never go the way you planned
- No one has a team of production assistants, artists, and tech experts to follow them around
- Seagulls are jerks
I know you’re particularly curious about how I’m going to prove that last one, but trust me; seagulls (minus the whole insect-eating thing) are jerks.
Utopolis knows that you want, at least at some time or another, to have a truly romantic experience. For the most part, we can blame Walt Disney for this; that, or give him credit. Let’s say that you decide to take your significant other out for a nice romantic getaway on a boat. You show up and it’s not trumpets and fanfare, it’s a middle-aged dock worker looking guy running a leaky boat and you think to yourself, “This doesn’t look anything like it did in the ad.” But you’re already there and you’ve already paid and so you sigh and get on the maybe-seaworthy vessel. You get out to sea and look up: it’s cloudy. It almost looks like it’s going to rain, and your hopes sink a little more. At this point you’re actually hoping the boat sinks because that’s the closest you’re going to get to having your romantic jaunt seem like a movie.
It’s at this point that you take a long, hard look at what your significant other is wearing. Now, I’m going to go ahead and say the other is a man. That’s just easier for me to work with. He made an effort; he’s wearing nice shoes, jeans without any holes in them, and a shirt that both matches and is clean. He even gets the whole romantic jaunt idea because you’ve been talking to him about it for a while now. But at this point you just don’t care anymore. No one is going to call “cut” and wait for the skies to clear up, your hair is ruined, and you didn’t wear warm enough clothing because you thought it’d be sunny and warm today. Unfortunately you don’t have a team of assistants to fix all this little errors for you, and Bob the middle-aged dock worker doesn’t care whether or not it’s “romantic” enough today. You give up on the whole idea and decide to just sit down, drink a whole bunch of shoddy wine that Bob put out, and try to just enjoy being on a boat.
Well, your significant other sees you throwing in the towel and decides to put some effort into making this a romantic outing. He walks over to Bob and asks him a question, but you’re too far away to hear and to apathetic to care. When they finish chatting Bob walks below deck and your one and only starts back toward you with a smirk. That’s when Barry Manilow comes over the speakers of the boat and the captain brings up some of those supremely dangerous tiki torches. Your best bud in all the world clears some room off the deck and convinces you that dancing is a good idea, and it is. Sort of. By now the crappy wine is starting to take hold, and hey—there are tiki torches and Barry Manilow—you start to feel better about this jaunt of yours. Your husband sees yet another romantic opportunity and starts leading you to the prow of the boat where there’s a railing and ropes—just like in Titanic. The wine is definitely kicking in and you’re letting yourself loose a little bit more. You both stand up at the prow and start doing the Titanic arms-out-flying-like-a-plane thing when BAM! You get hit in the face by a seagull. Your head rockets back and bashes your jeans-wearing romantic partner in the face.
As you’re lying there, on your back, staring up at the cloud-covered sky on a leaky boat with a grizzled pirate for a captain, you begin to wonder why you ever thought doing this was a good idea. Furthermore, you decide that your glad Walt Disney is dead, because if he wasn’t you’d want to kill him. You’re pretty sure that you could find James Cameron, but after Avatar you’d probably have to wait in a line. When you get up you realize that you just spent a couple hundred dollars on a complete and utter failure to have a truly romantic getaway when you could have rented a Bruce Lee movie, stayed at home, lounged in pajamas, and drank decent wine without having an overweight middle-aged guy standing a few feet away from you. And your significant other, yeah, he’d be there; except he’d be laughing and lounging right along with instead of trying to keep his nose from getting even more blood on his outfit that actually matched.
All of this is brought to light by Utopolis in their ad for their group of cinemas.