Would these two have ever met?Lesbiamia/TWITTER

Remember 2019? Back when you could see more than one friend at a time, enter a shop with your mouth and nose uncovered (!) and even study at university in-person? Films could be shot with large casts who could actually go within two metres of each other, and there were far fewer restrictions and limitations around filming. How would some of our favourite films fare if they had instead been set in 2020?

Neverending Night at the Museum

With nobody to visit, who knows what goes on inside?filmzissou/TWITTER

So, you wanted to visit the American Museum of Natural History? No chance. Not just because public spaces are shut down under COVID-19 guidelines, but because there have been some reports of strange noises during the night. Larry Daley was furloughed back in March and ever since, there have been huge, almost Jurassic, footprints leading up the museum’s steps each morning. One person walking past on the way back from a midnight run even claims to have heard a monkey, and seen an alarmingly lifelike Teddy Roosevelt herding tiny Romans around! Whether this was a lockdown-induced hallucination remains to be discovered, but for now — the museum is closed.

Home Alone (not!)

Keep your masks on inside supermarkets Kevin!heejwons/TWITTER

With Kevin’s parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins all in one support bubble, the holidays this year seem like too much to bear. Buzz’s tarantula keeps escaping and terrorising the household, which is in a permanent state of chaos. Kevin wishes they would all just go away. With no home-invaders to ensnare in a questionably elaborate booby-trap conga, Kevin is going to have to find another way to entertain himself. When he tests positive after taking his mask off in the supermarket, Kevin finally has some space. But is isolation really what he wants? Or will these two weeks teach him just how enjoyable a chaotic family can really be?

The Holiday Quarantine

Honestly? A lockdown moodNetflix_CA/TWITTER

Iris and Amanda both need a break. After skipping the online Christmas party and finding out about her boss’ engagement over Facebook, Iris just wants to get away. Meanwhile, Amanda has lost most of her work this year because of the pandemic (movies just aren’t being made!) and finds that self-isolating in a state-of-the-art LA mansion is quite taxing, actually. They agree to swap houses for two weeks, but just after they arrive in each other’s countries, a travel ban is placed between the UK and the USA, leaving them in a fourteen-day quarantine. Stuck inside, both Iris and Amanda are forced to form support bubbles with total strangers. At first, enforced isolation turns out to be quite the “meet-cute” with Graham and Miles. But it turns out that two whole weeks of 24/7 contact far exceeds the parameters of a whirlwind holiday romance. Mr Napkin-Head loses his charm when requested for the millionth-time by Graham’s bored, home-schooled children, and just once Iris would like to watch Netflix without Miles mansplaining his way through the movie score. By the end of it all, the women are left wondering whether taking a holiday in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t just selfish and irresponsible, but also a bit of a waste of time!

A Quiet Place

Make sure to only exercise in your local areaSHIC_TheMovie/TWITTER

It’s 2020. Every time you leave your house, you have to be silent. Going for a walk itself has become dangerous, or you might risk running into the monsters, otherwise known as… the Tory government. When imposing the “exercise once a day” rule goes a little too far, the citizens of the UK find themselves sneaking out to go shopping or running. Even “just chillin’” has been banned! A resistance to the strict lockdown rules has formed in the shape of a vaccine, which threatens to return life to its normal state and defeat the enemy. While the monsters remain powerful, it seems like there is a rising wave of people ready to immunise and protect their communities. Could this all be over soon?

Online High School Musical

That doesn't look like two metres...brightshawnhc/TWITTER

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Mountain View

World Cinema in 2020

When Gabriella transferred to East High School, she had no idea what she was getting herself into. The school’s queen bee, Sharpay, has one million followers on TikTok and begins every Zoom meeting with a new pink-themed background. She sends messages about Gabriella to other people during online classes and once Gabriella even overheard her plotting to star in the school musical (again) when Ryan accidentally left his microphone on. Her only joy comes from Troy, with whom she has started singing after they appeared on the same Snowman Challenge compilation. Unfortunately, the delay on Zoom means that the harmonies they want are difficult to perfect and never achieve the edge to take down the Evans twins. Still, online school has its benefits. Whether it is baking, breakdancing, or playing the cello, every student in this over-achieving cohort has a hobby which they have maintained despite the pandemic. The main thing is that We Are All in This Together.

So, maybe these films wouldn’t have been completely ruined if set during the catastrophe that 2020 appeared to be. It seems that despite all the changes that 2020 brought, the underlying messages in cinema have managed to prevail. Let’s hope that 2021 can help us return to some degree of normality, but if not, I’m sure we’ll still have happy endings.