The eight craziest lawsuits of 2011: Yes, one’s in Michigan

The Week magazine recently rounded up eight lawsuits from 2011 that made legal and non-legal folk alike do a double-take.

One of them, which was mentioned in our blog, concerns Novi resident Sarah Deming, who claims she was misled by the movie trailer for the freaky Ryan Gosling drama “Drive.” In her words, it “bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film … having very little driving.”

(On a sidenote, with all the retreads, remakes and reboots in Hollywood these days, doesn’t it make you wonder whether “Smokey and the Bandit” is due for an update?)

The others on the list are just as good/bad:

• A fugitive sued the Kansas couple he held hostage in their home because they breached their “oral contract” to stay put. (They escaped as he slept.)

• An ex-Target manager claimed he was fired for working during his lunch break, because he was “often interrupted by requests from customers and supervisors.” (You’d think maybe that would be an asset, especially on Black Friday.)

• A groom hated the photos of his 2003 wedding so much that he demanded the photographers pay $48,000 to recreate the entire wedding, and have it shot by a new photographer. (Someone else would have had to portray the wife, though, as the plaintiff has since divorced.)

With suits like this, we can’t wait for what’s to come in 2012. Right?


‘Drive’ suit plaintiff: Trailer led me to a horrible path

Can someone sue a film studio on false-advertising grounds after seeing a movie that appeared to be one thing in the trailer, but turned out to be another in the theater?

Novi resident Sarah Deming wants to be the first one to find out.

She claims that the preview for the recent Ryan Gosling vehicle “Drive” (no pun intended) looked to be akin to any one of the “Fast and the Furious” movies, a franchise Deming apparently really, really likes.

It turned out to be (spoiler alert) nothing of the sort, and, in her words, “bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film … having very little driving.”

She also called it anti-Semitic, noting that the racism directed toward Jewish people in the film equates to “promotion of criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith.”

So, she’s suing FilmDistrict and the theater where she saw it. reported that critics, particularly those who loved the film (it received a 93 percent “fresh” rating from critics on, and 79 percent approval from the audience), have been quick to label the lawsuit “frivolous” and “stupid.” Some of the quips:

• Should Deming’s lawsuit succeed, said Lauri Apple at Gawker, the new precedent might “put Hollywood out of business! Nothing wrong with that outcome.”

• Finally, someone is taking studios to task for releasing misleading trailers, said Jen Chaney at The Washington Post. “For everyone who ever went to see ‘Knight & Day’ expecting a medieval romance, was disappointed to find out that ‘Rio’ wasn’t a Duran Duran biopic, or thought that ‘Abduction’ wouldn’t stink … this is your Erin Brockovich moment.”

• We actually watched both the “Drive” and “Fast Five” trailers, said Oliver Lyttleton at Indie Wire. “Not a lot of opera in that ‘Fast Five’ trailer, is there?” This lawsuit will obviously fail, but “maybe there’s someone that Deming can sue” for her own terrible taste.

Perhaps an in-person apology to Deming from Gosling — this year’s It-guy according to magazines like People — would get her to drop the lawsuit. (Bonus idea for the studio: record the encounter and add it to the DVD as an extra!)

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