The LA Times interviewed a ‘posse’ of young people about some current movies. Here are some of their comments:
“The film is populated with prominent names, notably Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston. But of the 11 members of the posse, only two knew anyone who was in the film (both of them pinpointing Farrell).”
“But even such top-tier stars as Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr. and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson barely registered — and not always in a positive fashion. When discussing “Snow White and the Huntsman,” Max Nath, 16, could characterize Charlize Theron only as “that other woman.””
“After hearing the posse share its views, it was clear that it has a serious case of superhero fatigue. That even includes “The Avengers,” which is already breaking box-office records, but finished in the middle of the pack with the posse. As Isaac Galan, 15, put it: “It really feels a little cartoonish. I mean, is it a movie or a video game?”
For the posse, the superhero-style films, from “G.I. Joe” to “Spider Man” and “Men in Black” were simply underwhelming. “The frequency of all those superhero movies makes you think they’re just doing them to get another movie out,” said Jeremy Arnold, 17. “I wish they’d think of something more original. I mean, how many superheroes is too many superheroes?””
Fantastic. The less enamored they are with ephemeral pop stars and “role models” (i.e. people who play heroes but aren’t heroes themselves), the better.
For what it is worth, I believe their ambivalence to movie stars is a reflection of the fact that the very idea of a ‘movie star’ is in low repute these days. In Hollywood’s golden age, movie stars had a high reputation because the studios were very careful about cultivating their image. No alienating political opinions and no scandals (keep your dirty linen indoors). Or you are out. I think that Hollywood has been living on this cultural capital until recently. But they have finally spent it. Years of tawdry sex scandals, idiotic opinions, shameless look-at-me behaviour and hypocritical pronouncements that serve only to highlight their intellectual limitations have finally taken their toll. Though the stars probably don’t know it yet, it will take years of hard work to regain their good will with the public.