Saturday Night Fever: Kobal Collection
Lisa Schwarzbaum
October 18, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

What movie cliches annoy you most?

It drives me crazy when a movie villain looks at the camera and cracks his neck. What clichés bug you? — Ray Dangelo

I’m a longtime hater of the girlish lip bite — you know, pouty bottom lip tugged at by pearly top teeth. I’ve never met an actual woman who does that, have you? The gesture is used by younger actresses playing romantic ingenues to connote a coy innocence that denies ownership of what the woman really wants — sex, control, access to nuclear launch codes — and to me it’s a tell that the player doesn’t believe the role she’s playing.

I also react skeptically to the feet-first shot so frequently used to introduce a quirky, powerful, dangerous, or sultry new character. First comes the cowboy boot or stiletto, and only afterward does the person attached get to make an appearance, already branded as Badass With Pointy Boot or Siren With Do-Me Pump. For me, the one and only guy who can get away with that fancy footwork is John Travolta, stayin’ alive as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever.

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