Thursday, January 22, 2004

Pop culture about pop culture is a funny thing. For one thing, I always think it's odd when Hollywood superstars play characters just like themselves. The best example of this I can think of is Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky. In that movie, set in the present or at least the near future, he played a world-famous millionaire playboy. Does Cruise's character look just like an equally famous actor and somehow no one around him notices? Do Top Gun, Rain Man, A Few Good Men, and a whole bunch of other great movies not exist in the world of Vanilla Sky? Is there some other actor who starred in all of them who doesn't exist in our world? Did they each feature some different random actor, Val Kilmer in one and Kevin Bacon in another and so on?

Notting Hill is like this too, but not so much. Why was Julia Robert's character named Anna Scott? Why not just call her Julia Roberts? Did William Thacker (Hugh Grant's character, Anna's love interest) ever take her on a date to see a heartwarming 80's romance about a high-flying businessman who falls in love with a prostitute with a heart of gold? For that matter, has Anna Scott ever worked with a foppish British actor who does a lot of romantic comedies and got arrested for soliciting?

Somehow I was going to tie all this into Smallville. Sometimes it's just another one of those teen dramas with twentysomething actors playing 15-year-olds, full of angst and love triangles and stuff, but the thing about Smallville is that it's about a young Clark Kent, and how and why he becomes Superman. I don't remember at the moment how it ties into pop culture about pop culture. Maybe just because there are so many references to the comic book Superman, in-jokes and minor plots and a whole lot of foreshadowing, that Smallville is self-referential at times. Where was I going with that?

Oh well. I'm overdue for sleep.

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