Very early on in the movie, we see this 80s star perform at a class reunion. He has signature moves that get the women squeeing (sound familiar anyone?). These women know all the words and sing right along with him. (Again, don’t know where I see that in real life…) When Drew Barrymore’s character tells her sister about this performance, her sister screams in delight and goes to change. She returns in a low cut, tight fitting blouse. When they enter the ballroom for this performance, she barges her way through the crowd to get to the front. Of course, she isn’t the only fan we meet in the movie. Another fan tells Hugh Grant’s character that his song helped her get through her parents divorce when she was like 7. How many of us have made statements like that in reference to a Duran song or album? Many of us, I’m willing to bet. I suspect some of us have even had the chance to tell a band member or two as well.
These representations of fans were meant to be silly in this movie as were the references to has-beens and bad 80s hair and fashion. That said, I wonder why fans are shown as a joke of sorts? Why is some fan telling her idol about how a song helped her emotionally something to laugh at? Obviously, I believe that this is due to the stigma fandom already experiences or is it a situation where movies like this make the stigma to begin with. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg, or, in this case, does stigma or negative representations come first? Is the art representing life or creating something new? I don’t know the answer to this. Yet, it made me think of other films, books and TV shows that show fandom. One movie, Rhonda reviewed, which is Fever Pitch. That movie focused more on the fandom than this one did. What other movies are there that touch on fandom? Here’s the list I have so far: Music and Lyrics, Fever Pitch, Trekkies (examines Star Trek fans), Something You Should Know (about Duranies!), and even John Taylor’s Sugar Town. There must be more. What am I missing?
What about books? What books showcase fandom? Here, I’m not talking about the many books I have read in relation to writing our book. I’m not looking for non-fiction, but stories in which fandom plays a role. I just finished “Juliet, Naked” by Nick Hornsby, which focused on fandom. In fact, I started reading it in England, which assumed me to no end as the characters had gone to America to see their idol’s home country. (Let me know if you want to hear more about that one). I also read “How Soon is Never?” by Marc Spitz in which the characters try to get The Smiths to reunite. There must be a ton, though, that I don’t know about.
TV shows also show fandom. When I think of TV shows, I immediately think of the episode of Samantha Who guest starring a Mr. John Taylor. That episode is probably worth its own review! What other shows had episodes about fandom? I’m curious because I think seeing how movies, TV and books show fans and fandom will help me to really understand how and why fans have been given such a negative image. I believe that if I know why the negative labels began, then I can figure out what and should be done about them. So help me out here! What are other books, TV shows and movies that show fans and fandom? I appreciate the help in advance!!