Sunday, June 05, 2005

Unexpected Metafiction Arising from Toni Collette

I finally just watched About a Boy for the first time this week. It's a terrific movie, of course. I don't know what took me so long.

Toni Collette plays the boy's mother. She also played the mother of Haley Joel Osment's dead-people-seeing boy in The Sixth Sense. Since then, Haley Joel Osment starred in several other big films and became rich and famous, so much so that Nicholas Hoult as Marcus in About a Boy, talking about how he doesn't have the money to allow his mother to home-school him, says, "Maybe, if I was like that movie kid, Haley Joel Osment, I could pay her that much."

This is weird. Not because of the line itself. This monologue, like all the rest of the writing in the movie, is very good. What's weird is that the movie just referenced a real actor who got famous from the real movie The Sixth Sense, while it (About a Boy) co-stars an actress who also acted in a major role in The Sixth Sense. So in About a Boy's universe, The Sixth Sense was a successful film, presumably, and Haley Joel Osment is rich and famous from having acted in it. The character Marcus is aware of this, it seems. Is he aware also of who played Cole's mom in that movie? If so, he knows it to be Toni Collette. How does he manage to avoid realizing that in fact his own mom is played by Toni Collette?

Plainly, Toni Collette exists and acts in successful movies in Will & Marcus's world if Haley Joel Osment does. What must she be doing at the time of the events in the film? Because in our world she is at that time acting in the role of Fiona Brewer. Is it possible that in the movie the whole cause of Fiona Brewer's very bad psychological and emotional problems is the understandably troubling realization that not only is she herself not real but she even knows who the specific actress is who is pretending to be her? That kind of thing could mess up anyone, I would think.

[Updated almost immediately to change the title, because it looks from Google that "Interdimensionality" is a word used by pretty much just--well, people that I don't want to be confused with, I'll just put it that way.]


Anonymous Laura said...

STEVE!!! If you liked the movie, you might like the book, too. It's by one of my favorite authors of all time, Nick Hornby. Have you read any of his work? He also wrote High Fidelity. I love the movie, but I love love LOVE the book. His latest novel is fantastic, too. It's called A Long Way Down. How to Be Good is another fabulous book by him. Everything he's written comes highly recommended, if only by me. hahaha Marianne and Ian also love his work. I don't know if any of that means anything to you, but you should give it a shot.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

And you know...I never thought about that...the Sixth Sense - Toni Collette tie. That's excellent!!

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


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It’s totally free to join, so come check it out if you’d like:

Hope to see you soon!

(Director, In Her Shoes Online Team)

8:27 PM  
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5:04 AM  
Blogger Love Kpop said...

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