Here’s a little story that’s been flying under the radar: Famous golfer Tiger Woods has been cheating on his wife with a whole bunch of women, and then texting about it. And e-mailing about it. And leaving voicemails. And doing everything short of painting a big red “A” on the front of his house. Well, maybe he should have spent a little less time on the links — there have been a number of cinematic cautionary tales that would have shown Woods the folly of overreliance on today’s newfangled technologies…
1. Sex and the City (2008)
As Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker’s technophobia is a major plot point in this hit adaptation: Unable to manage her own e-mail, she asks her assistant to block ex-boyfriend Mr. Big from ever contacting her again. But Parker’s lack of e-mail knowledge is her own undoing, as it later turns out Big has been sending her lovey-dovey electronic missives for months, without her knowledge! Remember folks, it’s never a good idea to have someone do anything to your e-mail that you can’t undo yourself.
2. Hard Candy (2006)
Patrick Wilson finds out the hard way you shouldn’t be e-mailing young girls to set up dates. Wilson ends up getting tortured, tied up, and terrifyingly castrated by seemingly innocent Ellen Page. E-mail is used as a weapon throughout the movie, from a trail of fake evidence left by Wilson indicating his rape and murder of a young girl, to Page’s threat of composing an e-mail to send to Wilson’s ex-wife detailing his crimes. No one wins here.
3. Cry_Wolf (2005)
When a group of kids decide it would be funny to create a fake e-mail story about a killer who comes to a college campus and murder some kids every few years, it encourages a particularly murderous student to take his urges to the next level. The lesson here? What happens in e-mail doesn’t always stay in e-mail, as Tiger Woods has since discovered.
4. American Pie (1999)
Poor Jim (Jason Biggs). Aside from the teen hornball’s embarrassing incident with the titular desert, he also broadcasts his sexual dysfunction to the entire school after setting up a webcam so that this leering friends can watch him attempt to seduce a gorgeous exchange student (Shannon Elizabeth). What happens next is enough to make any enterprising youngster triple-check their “to” list before hitting “send.”
5. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
As Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan learn, the anonymity of e-mail can allow you to be someone entirely different than you are in real life, leading to feelings of betrayal, anger, and, that’s right, love. But also hate! You just never know whether the anonymous person you’re chatting with could be the evil businessman who’s ruining your life in real-time.
1. Traitor (2008) - Don Cheadle uses e-mail to trick 50 suicide bombers into riding the same bus together and blowing each other up instead of civilian targets. Which is clever, but the message is still clear: E-mail equals death.
2. Eagle Eye (2008) - When Shia LaBeouf tries to get away from the omnipresent Eagle Eye, he’s sent a text message saying “You disobeyed.” Lesson? Super computers can only make slaves of humans who are already slaves to their cell phones.
3. Wild Child (2008) - Party girl Emma Roberts’ life is ruined when her rival rewrites her e-mails after she fails to log out of her account, posting them for all to see. Again, if you don’t know how to deal e-mail, you’ll pay the consequences.
4. Sex and Death 101 (2007) - Same goes for Simon Baker, whose assistant finds an anonymous e-mail filled with a list of every woman Baker has ever slept with. The lesson here is: Don’t give out your e-mail password. A lesson we all should have learned in 1995.
5. The Departed (2006) - The boys of The Departed are the most amazing texters cinema has ever seen, able to send a coherent message under a table, or even from their pockets! Naturally, it’s their cell phones that lead to their undoing in the end.