Rambling about Pop Culture ReferencesLast night I was reading a book where the hero and heroine were talking about seeing “One Flew Over a Cuckoo’s Nest.” It was a throwaway reference, not integral to the story, yet it yanked me right out of it.
I’m 8 years older than these characters, and I haven’t seen that movie. My dh, who is a year older than me (today – happy birthday, honey!) saw it, but on Showtime when he lived at home.
Over 20 years ago.
You may think I’m going on and on about this, and probably a lot of you out there who are younger than me HAVE seen this movie. Heaven knows, I’ve had a pretty boring and sheltered life.
I shouldn’t have had to stop to think about it.
I stop to think when characters younger than me mention June Cleaver. I know, I know, Nick at Nite. But a more appropriate reference to someone in that age group (30s) would be Marion Cunningham.
Have you seen Rumor Has It with Jennifer Aniston? Cute movie, but the whole time I was wondering, why does it take place in 1996? (I think that was the date, around there.) I got that we didn’t want Kevin Costner’s character to be, what, 60, if the story took place in 2006, but I kept looking for inconsistencies in the fashion and the technology because it was made today but set ten years ago….
I’m weird, I know.
So the question is, now that I’m growing older than most of my characters (though I’m exactly the same age as Gabe in Hot Shot – when I first started writing it, 40 seemed SOOO far away), how do I keep references appropriate to them? I mean, my first concert was Journey, my first R-rated movie was Werewolf of London, I lived to watch Dukes of Hazzard on Friday nights. Such a little thing such as a reference to a movie or TV show or song can have a reader questioning.
Or maybe I’m the only one who stops and does the math.
Am I? Please tell me I’m not alone!