Year Released: 2006
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Starring: Bryan Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, Parker Posey
(PG-13, 154 min.)
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Superman’s return to earth is bittersweet as the man of steel finds that his heart is not. The nostalgic tribute to American’s number one superhero is both mythic and mundane, timeless yet tied down to comfortable clichés of the present.
Yes, the hunk in blue tights does do some pretty amazing things, like coax a supersonic jet down from the heavens atop his shoulders like Atlas before he shrugged, but he is also definitely a Chick Flick phenomenon who suffers painfully the slings and arrows of lost love in the person of Lois Lane.
Here’s where some of the New Age mindset and modern day mores inject themselves somewhat awkwardly. Superman has been gone for five years, sorting through the remains of his destroyed home planet for any other survivors – kind of like a sixties’ trek to Tibet filled with the same obligatory soul searching. His crash to the earth, the same farmland where he landed so many years ago, delights his widowed mother – an aged but still lovely Eva Marie Saint – and Jimmie Olsen, but not Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) who now, depending upon how diplomatic one wants to be, has a boyfriend, a very prolonged engagement, or to give away one’s upbringing, is “living in sin.” And incidentally, she has a young son who refers to live-in Richard as Daddy.
Okay, I admit it. I was weaned on the TV series of the fifties and to even imagine virginal Lois Lane in such a situation borders on blasphemy. I mean, I’ve gotten over the Mary Magdalene marrying Jesus premise of The Da Vinci Code, but this is too much. The writers try to explain it away, since Lois and not the finance, the very agreeable nephew of Daily Planet Editor Perry White, is the one terminally postponing any thoughts of marriage. Presumably she is still in love with Superman, and could bring herself to “move on” but not quite to matrimony.
This all makes for many poignant scenes with Superman using his X-ray vision to check out the very domestic but a little short on bliss evening in the lives of Lois, Richard, and son. There is even some fine irony as Richard flies to Lois’ rescue in his steel plane, beating the man of steel there by several minutes, only to be in need of rescuing himself not too long after. Not to mention the subsequent rescue wherein Lois Lane dives into the watery depths to bring her kryptonite poisoned superhero back to life.
Yes, it is Lois who is pulling most of the strings here, but like some of today’s ultra modern women, she wants it both ways. A hard-nosed reporter, she is nonetheless, unashamed to ask Richard to use his influence with Uncle Perry to change her assignments – on two occasions at least. A man engaging in this wheedling Nepotism with his girlfriend’s uncle would be the subject of relentless scorn, but Lois sees it as her due.
However, in other aspects the script is refreshing and idealistic in a way the public has longed for. Superman clearly is heroic and noble in every sense, accepting his loss of Lois in silent dignity, and always choosing duty over his own interests. And in spite of Lois’s Pulitzer Prize winning essay, “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman,” the script actually tells us it does, not mincing words when it refers to mankind’s need for a “savior.” Superman ascends and descends in a floating posture, his body clearly in a Christ on the cross posture. When a nurse goes into the hospital room of an ailing Superman to find his bed empty, she echoes Mary at Christ’s empty tomb.
What a welcome relief to have the crowds cheering the return of a superhero instead of the slew of Hollywood’s cinematic tributes to gangers, thieves, and (It’s not easy to be a) pimps. I’ll may even forgive the writers for their conscious omission of “the American way” in the S-Man’s mission statement. It’s almost as if someone has awakened to the realization that mankind leans toward the light and not away from it…or at least that is what sells at the box office.
Between crashes to the earth – more than one – and rescuing damsels in distress as well as being rescued by them, Superman does not have much time for food, nor does anyone else, it seems. Lois is all dressed up for the celebratory Pulitzer Prize dinner, but events intervene.
What else but to be creative concocting our very own Kryptonite Cocktail, as green and lovely as the deadly crystal, but dangerous only if you are Superman.
So all of us mortals can imbibe without fear of slow, life-sapping ennui. Now if any shy bespectacled journalism types around refuse, your suspicion is warranted.
I’ve chosen Crème de Menthe as my preferred “poison” no pun intended, and have selected three cocktails, mainly based on their amusing monikers. Certainly the “Port and Starboard” recipe is reminiscent of the unwanted ride on Lex Luther’s Captain Nemo like luxury Yacht, while the “Frozen Girl Scout” reminds of us Lois Lane’s heroic dive into the icy blue to save her man of steel. And what alternative for the S-Man after he finds Lois cohabitating with another man -- but of course, “The Cold Shower,” but then again he’d better be certain it is Crème de Menthe and not that other green elixir.
Port And Starboard recipe
- 1 tbsp grenadine syrup
- 1/2 oz green creme de menthe
Pour carefully into a pousse cafe glass, so that the creme de menthe floats on top of the grenadine. Serve without mixing.
12% (24 proof)
Serve in: Pousse Cafe Glass
Frozen Girl Scout recipe
- 1 splash milk
- 1 1/2 oz green creme de menthe
- 3 scoops chocolate ice cream
Blend. Add more or less milk to get a shake consistancy.
2% (4 proof)
Serve in: Mason Jar
Cold Shower recipe
- 1 part green creme de menthe
- 4 parts club soda
Use 1 part of creme de menthe with 4 parts club soda; serve in a tall glass, and stir.
Recipe Source: Drinks Mixer.com