Movies Now As Self-Referential As Everything Else

“Film characters who sound suspiciously like film students are becoming increasingly common, and increasingly irritating. Once upon a time, it was a rare treat to hear someone in one film mention another, and it was usually a sign that the character was a metropolitan culture snob, invariably played by Woody Allen. Things started to change in the 1990s, when Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith peopled their films with characters who knew as much about pop culture as they did, but their extended riffs on the subtext of ‘Top Gun’ were still the mark of a geeky, alternative sensibility. Not anymore.