God, I never thought I'd be posting about The Da Vinci Code, but I have a real reason. This is an article (I linked to it from Bookslut) about the 12 things that make a bestseller (which according to this prof/writer are all features of The Da Vinci Code). I like this kind of research since it seems to be mainly the result of someone sitting around coming up with theories about why bad things are so popular (and I am an avid Dawson's Creek fan, after all), and the theories end up intellectualizing the bad things to the point where it's okay to like them, because you're just a cultural observer and you have to pay attention to low culture in order to write about it and come up with more theories. I'm sensing an alternative career path...
However, what struck me suddenly is that the reason I want to see The Da Vinci Code is that it's sort of like an Indiana Jones movie. Here's why:
"That's another characteristic of American heroes, they're usually anti-intellectual. Langdon's a professor, but he's more a blue-collar kind of scholar. What he knows comes from books, but he solves things in the real world. He works in the classroom, but he's still a cowboy."
Yeah! Intellectual type gets involved in a mystery about evil groups (Nazis, priests, cult leaders, what have you) determined to hang on to historical secrets and/or scandals. Has an adventure. Figures it all out with superior intellect and chutzpah. They should have gotten Harrison Ford to play Tom Hanks' role! Let's admit it - Tom Hanks is not really a cowboy. Harrison Ford is, and both of them are sort of jowly and have bad hair now. It would have been a win-win situation. Harrison Ford could avoid his desperate move to bring back the Indiana Jones franchise, and Tom Hanks could avoid being in a movie based on such a shitty book. Plus, then we could enjoy a whole movie where Indy is sort of the awkward professor type, like he is in the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, when he has Clark Kent type glasses and wears corduroy suit jackets. I miss that Indy. He reminds me of a character in a Laura Bow mystery game (Mom? Caryl? I know you got me on this one).
Ah well. I leave you with this closing point:
"The most important thing is that Dan Brown is not cynical," Hall says. "He believes everything he writes. You can't fake this, which is why most of his imitators are doomed to fail. Dan Brown wrote the best possible book he could write."
Wait, you mean you don't think Angels and Demons was better?