In the pantheon of great American actors, there’s one actor who has made an indelible impact on representations of feminity over the course of two decades. That actor’s name? Diane Keaton.
Ms. Keaton used to be one of the finest film actors in America. The Godfather I and II? Annie Hall? Reds? All immaculate works of cinema, all Oscar winners – all featuring Keaton doing near-flawless work, right in her prime.
So here’s a question: what the hell happened?
Diane Keaton has become code now for “aging Boomer who can’t let go” in Hollywood parlance. She’s done a string of really crappy movies in a row now, not the least of which was the risible Something’s Gotta Give and the cliché-drenched Because I Said So.
What gives, Diane? Are roles for older women in Hollywood really that bad that you’re taking whatever they’re throwing at you now? Do you need the money that bad?
In all fairness, Diane’s not the only Boomer actor whom has fallen prey to the culture of FX-driven, linguistically-challenged filmmaking that’s dominating Hollywood now. Take Robert De Niro – a former living monolith of American cinema doing films like Meet The Fockers and playing second-fiddle to Dakota Fanning in schlock like Hide And Seek. Sure, Fockers was funny, but wasn’t this the same guy who was robbed of an Oscar nomination for Heat only 12 years ago?
It just doesn’t make sense. Why are these actors still making all these films when their reputations are firmly ensconced as Cinematic Royalty and they have plenty of money in the bank (or, at least, we’d hope they would, but they did become megastars in the 70’s, so you never know)? Doing these films as often as they do still either seems like hubris run amok or, more unsettlingly, a real dearth of roles to give to screen legends. Unless you can pull it off with self-knowing, cheeseball-like behaviour (i.e. Dustin Hoffman in aforementioned Fockers) or play strongly against type to comedic effect (i.e. Barbara Streisand in Fockers, again!), you’re toast.
Who knows – in any case, none of those excuses relieves Keaton for doing Because I Said So. Nothing. I don’t care if it has a former-singer-turned-actress, the mom from Gilmore Girls and Piper Perabo (a rock-solid incentive to see a movie normally) in it – what were you all thinking?
GOT PRIVACY?: Here’s a really great article on the generation gap and the nature of privacy online nowadays. It’s an exceptional piece, very detailed. Still, at age 29, am I truly over-the-hill when it comes to the Internet? I’ve been online since 1994 (yes, I’m a nerd, but does that surprise you?) and seen a bazillion changes. I remember when… oh God, I really am turning into an old fogey online.