Caryn James wrote an interesting review of Idol Gossip that appears in today's New York Times Book Review section. The book is about how people both worship and resent film actors.
I've long been fascinated with how films imply that our own lives could be more interesting. Characters in movies usually have the time and energy to deal with intriguing problems. Screen actors don't spend much time trudging back and forth to mind-numbing jobs, going grocery shopping, raking leaves or calming screaming children. Drabness is excluded, and while entertaining, films can make people feel bad if their lives appear bleak in comparison. We all seem to have a secret longing for the admittedly improbable worlds portrayed in movies, and the job of the actor appears to be to distract us from our woes, while providing hope that we can participate in an improbably rich life too, if only vicariously.
G. Randy Kasten
Just Trust Me: Finding the Truth in a World of Spin (Quest Books, 2011)