Tuesday, September 06, 2005


How you know you’re getting old—when you become older than favorite media characters, who seemed so mature when you first encountered and enjoyed them. Examples for me:

The Philadelphia Story. Cary Grant has always been, and will always be, a grown-up to me. But Jimmy Steward and Katherine Hepburn will never age in my mind from how I found them in this movie. There’s even one or two places where Jimmy Stewart’s voice cracks!

The World According to Garp
. You follow Garp through a lifetime of activities, till he’s murdered apparently in his 30s. I was probably 19 or 20 when I first read this, and even though I now understand that’s a young death, to a college student, he has a long lifetime of activities packed in.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I recently ordered from Amazon UK recordings of the original BBC radio play, written and performed before the books. When I first heard them, and read the books, I didn’t have a clear picture of the ages of Arthur, Ford, and Trillian, but surely they were understood as more adult than portrayed in this year’s movie version.

Then there are actors who refuse to let aging happen. This weekend I saw Jody Foster’s face on a movie poster. Without looking it up, I know she’s roughly my age, yet her enlarged promotional visage is as flawless as a 16 year old’s.


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