Friday, March 16, 2007

Two generations of Indiana Jones?

I wasn't sure that anything could get me tryly interested in the Indiana Jones 4 movie, but reported today that Cate Blanchett has signed on for a starring role. I love her, and honestly I can't think of any other actress my age who I would enjoy seeing paired with Harrison Ford. If they insist on going that route, I trust Cate Blanchett to make it work.

Which is ironic since I LOVED Harrison Ford growing up. He's one of the few people I actually wrote a fan letter to. I could mark my entrance to adolescence by the moment that Han Solo suddenly seemed hotter than Luke Skywalker. (This epiphany happened about a week after seeing The Empire Strikes Back. At first my friends and I couldn't believe that Leia would choose jerky Han over cute Luke. There must be some hormone that kicks in to make bad boys seem more attractive.)

But with Indy 4 I feel like pop culture has finally reached time-warp treadmill status. Raiders of the Lost Ark came out in the summer of 1981 when I was 12 going on 13. Now I am 38 years old with a 7 year old daughter and Harrison Ford is....still Indiana Jones? Paired with women my age onscreen and off? And Diana Ross is performing live on American Idol? ...Paul McCartney has a child younger than mine? ...The Rolling Stones are still touring?

You knew I'd work my Gen X/Baby Boomer obsession in here somehow. Now that our icons from the 1960's and 70's are reaching their 60's and 70's, it's hard to imagine what will happen when these stars can no longer just slip into the same old roles.

And what about the double standard for men and women in entertainment? Remember that in Raiders of the Lost Ark it was a plot point that Indy was scandalously 10 years older than love interest/former teenage prey Marion. Now 27 years later, he'll be paired with a woman truly young enough to be his daughter, but it's so common in film that it barely even registers on the cultural yuck-meter.

We can only hope that for us old school Indy fans, Speilberg and Lucas will find a way to bring back Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood for this latest (final?) episode!


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