Monday, July 17, 2006

Super Hair

I live among frivolous beings. Hell, I'm one myself. Which is why this morning's post-shower-watch-the-dog-eat-breakfast conversation with my husband was all about Superman's hair. Or rather, why did Superman Returns (which I rather liked) and the 1970s movie get Clark Kent's hair so wrong? This was touched off by the repeated laments of our local movie critic, Mick LaSalle, who kept bitching about Kate Bosworth's hair in the movie. He thinks it's a wig, and he thinks it's ugly. I thought they dyed her hair, and I thought it looked like the untidy hair of a woman who's learned to dress herself well, but never took the time to worry about her hair. I'm much more concerned about what they did to poor Superman's head. It shouldn't be so hard: the 1950s TV serial managed the hair okay. On Lois and Clark they managed it also. So why, when Superman leaps over tall buildings to get to the big screen, do they plaster his hair unflatteringly to his head in a haircut that makes him stand out from every other living being in the film? Forget about "is Clark Kent Superman?" The real question people should be asking is "why does this Clark guy look like he's shellacked a fox fur and stuck it to his head?" Or perhaps, "where did he get that awful toupee, and wouldn't just shaving his head be more dignified?"

The Spouse, of course, had a brilliant notion: they should have used the hair as a talking point in the movie. Superman has to put tons of styling product on his hair to subdue the famous Super Spit Curl because he has super hair, see. So either it is a really bad, possibly homemade, toupee, or when he changes back from Superman to Clark Kent he has to redo the goop in his hair really fast.

The thing is, the guy is really Clark Kent: the people who raised him and gave him his values, are the Kansas farmers. Superman is just his job title. So if anyone should have the real haircut it should be Clark. Maybe the Super Spit Curl is part of the disguise.