These Hollywood Stereotypes Have Foreigners Shaking Their Head

Hollywood is riddled with laughable clichés and overgeneralizations. From wild high school parties to car chases that never have any consequences, there’s plenty of scenes on the big screen that embellish reality. While Americans are well aware of our own stereotypes, we may be more ignorant to the unrealistic portrayals of foreign countries. On Reddit, people around the world shared the most ridiculous things Hollywood gets wrong about their home country. If you were ever convinced that everyone in France is a romantic or that Russia is always freezing, then get ready for a hilarious reality check.

It’s Always Winter In Russia

DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images
DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images

One Redditor pointed out, “If it’s summer in the US, then it’s summer in Russia.” Indeed, Russia not only has seasons, but they occur around roughly the same time as the seasons in the US.

The Reddit user explained that they’re no “stickler” when it comes to realistic movie portrayals, but it drives them crazy just how wrong Hollywood gets it. They said, “If you’re showing a sunny summer day in a green-as-can-be Central Park in New York, then there can’t be a blizzard over Red Square in Moscow.”

Switzerland Only Has Banks

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

Switzerland is so famous for the privacy and stability of its banks that Hollywood hardly knows anything else about the country. That’s what lead one Redditor to post, “Switzerland: we have other things than banks.”

One person humorously replied, “Yes, like chocolate.” Another wrote, “Like ski resorts!” So maybe Hollywood knows a few other things about Switzerland, but banks certainly take the cake when it comes to Swiss stereotypes in blockbusters. How else would the corrupt players hold on to their fortune in every action movie ever?

Everywhere In France Has A View Of The Eiffel Tower

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images
LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images

As one Redditor pointed out, not every window in France has a view of the Eiffel Tower. Hollywood may have you convinced otherwise, seeing that movies seem to only take place within a certain radius of the grandiose landmark.

After all, how else would we know that the film is set in France? One way might be the romantic French countryside, but as the same Redditor pointed out, “It’s painfully obvious when they go to shoot a vineyard scene in California to pass for French countryside.”

Italy Is Predominantly Romantic Countryside

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Sony Pictures Classics
Sony Pictures Classics

One Redditor broke down how Hollywood represents Italy: “Basically Italy is 90% countryside and the cities in the remaining 10% are roman ruins, old houses inhabited by septuagenarians or Venice.”

If you’re wondering what in the world a “septuagenarian” is, we looked it up. It’s a fancy word for a person in their 70s. So essentially, Italy is a bunch of beautiful rural areas, two ancient cities, and some seniors. One commenter admitted they “just realized this is how I think of Italy…”

There Is Only One Country In Africa

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Warner Brothers Pictures
Warner Brothers Pictures

When was the last time you heard a specific country in Africa mentioned in a movie? Sure Africa appears in movies, but it’s generally represented the same way and with the same types of people.

As one Redditor put it, “My country is A COUNTRY in Africa.” Another shared an anecdote about the time he needed to get department approval to travel to Djibouti for work. They only got it after falsely admitting that Djibouti is a “city” in the “country” of Africa. Isn’t that what Google is for?

Everyone In The UK Lives In London

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Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Similar to how everyone in France has a view of the Eiffel Tower, implying they all live in Paris, Hollywood characters set in the UK apparently all live in London. The skeptical Redditor wrote, “We don’t all live in London, or talk like cockneys or royalty.”

Another backed these claims, adding, “I notice movie Britain has no middle class.” To this point, someone pointed out that Bridget Jones, “surely couldn’t have afforded a flat in Borough Market.” Just think of all the American characters that live in lavish LA or New York but never seem to have to work.

Mexico Always Has A Sepia Filter

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United Artists
United Artists

There are plenty of Spanish-speaking countries featured in Hollywood flicks, so how do you know that it’s specifically Mexico? The sepia filter, that’s how. One Redditor sarcastically stated, “My world turns to sepia once I enter my country.”

Another commented, “Watching Breaking Bad… your country looks like someone spilled coffee on it.” We hate to “break” it to you (pun intended), but the “shade” of Mexico isn’t different from any of the American states that are only a border away from it.

Everything In Brazil Is Near The Amazon Rainforest

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Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios

While Hollywood would have you believe that the Amazon Rainforest permeates all of Brazil, this is far from the truth. One Redditor pointed out that movies pretend, “that the Amazon Rainforest is just a short car ride from away from Rio de Janeiro.”

In actuality, the two couldn’t be further apart with the forest in the northwest and Rio de Janeiro on the southeastern coast of Brazil. Then again, the passage of time is entirely arbitrary in movies, so perhaps that “short ride” really was the weeklong road trip it would actually take.

Southeast Asia Is Full Of Knocked-Over Fruit Carts

Joaquin Gomez Sastre/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Joaquin Gomez Sastre/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If an action movie takes place in a country in Southeast Asia, get ready for a fruit cart collision. As one Redditor put it, Hollywood assumes that fruit carts in this part of the continent are strategically placed so they get knocked over by someone in hot pursuit.

They continue, “Dudes, there is always plenty of space to play chase without crashing.” But what would the fun of a chase be without an absurd amount of fruit fumbles?

Everyone In Canada Is Super Nice

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Columbia Tri-Star
Columbia Tri-Star

As lovely as it is to imagine a country where everyone is kind and considerate, this dreamland doesn’t exist. The closest thing we have is Hollywood’s portrayal of Canada, where everyone gives a friendly “ay” and charmingly says “aboot.”

When one Redditor posted, “Not everyone in Canada is kind,” someone jokingly commented, “You’re so humble! Typical Canadian!” The Proposal almost broke this stereotype when we found out the cruel boss played by Sandra Bullock was Canadian. But then we discovered that even she had a heart of gold.

Irish Women Are All Red-Headed Dream Girls

Mondadori via Getty Images
Mondadori via Getty Images

One Redditor pointed out that Hollywood’s depiction of Irish women includes the following characteristics: willowy, ethereal, flowy red hair and blue eyes, long old-fashioned dresses, dream girls.

They concluded that “In reality: all Irish women wear fleece jackets over fake tan, and just want you to buy them curry chips.” We’re not sure that arguing about a stereotype by asserting a different stereotype is the most convincing way to go about it, but we’re not the one living in Ireland!

Everyone In The UK Talks Like Its The 1800s

Getty Images
Getty Images

A frustrated Redditor asserted, “99% of British people do not talk like they were born in the 18th Century!” There’s a certain old-fashioned fanciness that is inherent in Hollywood’s take on Britain.

A commenter proved this point by saying, “During my first trip to the UK from the US as a child, I was crushed that London was like…a normal city. I thought we were going to be taken by carriage from the BA flight to an elegant castle with court jesters.”

Australia’s Outback Is Just A Hop Away From Its Cities

kangaroo-jack
Warner Brothers Pictures
Warner Brothers Pictures

An Australian Redditor posted, “I swear every movie I see where a person from america or anywhere else travels to australia they land in sydney or melbourne and its just a few hours drive to ‘the outback.'”

They then explained that in reality, it would be a day and a half trip. While some may believe that the outback is anywhere inland of Australian suburbia, in actuality there’s a layer in between called “the bush” that you have to travel through to get to the true outback.

The Only Town In Netherlands Is Amsterdam

Getty Images
Getty Images

One Redditor reminded everyone, “Netherlands is not Amsterdam only.” Hollywood may have had you fooled about that considering the only country in the Netherlands they seem to recognize is Amsterdam.

When movies do feature a Netherland spot other than Amsterdam, its a vague location that time-travels you to the past. As one Redditor put it, “We don’t still live in 1910.” Another person explained that the country is small enough that even rural areas are “with the times,” despite what Hollywood seems to think.

Everyone In France Is Romantic

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Canal+
Canal+

One Redditor brought up the point that not everyone in France is romantic. Though Paris is often portrayed as being the kind of place you want to go with a special someone, that doesn’t mean all of its residents are romantics.

A commenter was actually disappointed at this statement, as he was planning on proposing to his girlfriend somewhere in France. We would argue that how romantic a place has more to do with the visitors than it does the place itself.

Everyone In Argentina Tango Dances

Julian Finney/Getty Images
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Apparently, not everyone in Argentina tango dances. At least, that’s what one Redditor claims. We know it’s heartbreaking to imagine that the country isn’t actually full of people romantically dancing in the streets.

To be fair, the tango is a gorgeous dance that does sometimes occur in the streets of Argentina. We would imagine that Hollywood producers were so taken by this charming aspect of the country that they got a little carried away with it.

The Philippines Is All Rice Fields And Beaches

Jorge Fernández/LightRocket via Getty Images
Jorge Fernández/LightRocket via Getty Images

One Redditor simply stated that the “Philippines is not all rice fields and beaches.” It does seem like scenes set in that country typically have residents working in fields or lounging on the beach.

In reality, the Philippines has plenty of urban areas bustling with modern culture. There are also some jaw-dropping historic attractions, like the San Agustin Church. As with many countries, there is plenty of coastal, rural, city life, and everything in between throughout the Philippines.

Egypt Only Has Pyramids And Mummies

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Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Hollywood might have you thinking that Egypt is one vast desert full of pyramids. As one Redditor pointed out, “We have other things than the pyramids.” Though Giza is an incredible historic spot unlike any other, there are other noteworthy spots in the country.

Cairo is the country’s capital and full of culture. Sitting next to the Nile is also the tranquil town of Aswan. Fun fact, Egypt is considered transcontinental because it stretches across both Africa and Asia.

Canada Is Nothing But Snowy Wilderness

JULIEN BESSET/AFP via Getty Images
JULIEN BESSET/AFP via Getty Images

Anyone who has spent time in Vancouver, B.C., Toronto, or a number of other urban areas in Canada knows that Hollywood’s baren portrayal of the country is skewed. One Redditor noted that Canada is not all “wilderness and snow…”

They continued, “no I don’t ride a polar bear to school.” Since Hollywood is in Southern California, the idea of being so far above the equator must intimidate some screenwriters. At least, that’s how it seems when an icy forest is their name to fame.

Most Of The Countries In The World Don’t Exist

Getty Images
Getty Images

Several Redditors posted about how their country doesn’t ever even appear in Hollywood films. People from Finland, Sri Lanka, Lithuania, Hungary, and several other countries noted that the film capital of the world has yet to feature their home in a movie.

The 2020 comedy Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga took place in Iceland, a country previously untouched in Hollywood. Considering all of the tired plots and reboots that have taken over recently, perhaps screenwriters will start tapping into the wealth of stories available worldwide. We just hope they’ve learned a lesson or two about getting their depictions right.