The world of cinema is filled with hidden gems, subtle references, and inside jokes that often go unnoticed by the general audience. One such intriguing element is the screenwriter starlet joke in the Netflix adaptation of Stephen King’s “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone.”
But what’s the joke, and why does it hold such significance in the narrative? Let’s unravel the layers.
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The Joke Unveiled
The screenwriter starlet joke goes something like this:
“There is a starlet so dumb that she slept with the screenwriter in hopes of advancing her career.”
At first glance, it might seem like a simple jest, but it’s a commentary on the perceived lack of power screenwriters held in the early days of Hollywood. The joke underscores the notion that screenwriters, despite their crucial role in storytelling, were often overshadowed by the glitz and glamour of actors, directors, and producers.
The Context in Mr. Harrigan’s Phone
In the movie, the reclusive billionaire Mr. Harrigan advises his young protégé, Craig, to look up this joke. Why? To dissuade him from pursuing a career in screenwriting. Mr. Harrigan’s obsession with power and control is evident throughout the narrative.
By introducing Craig to the joke, he subtly communicates that screenwriting is a profession devoid of real influence in the cinematic world.
However, the film also showcases the evolution of Hollywood. While the joke might have held some truth in the past, modern-day screenwriters wield significant influence, shaping narratives and even producing their projects.
The Deeper Implications
- Power Dynamics in Hollywood: The joke is a reflection of the power dynamics that once dominated Hollywood. It paints a picture of an era where studio heads and executives held the reins, and screenwriters were mere cogs in the machine.
- Mr. Harrigan’s Obsession with Control: By advising Craig against screenwriting, Mr. Harrigan attempts to exert control even from beyond the grave. His obsession with power is evident in his every action, from his business dealings to his posthumous manipulations.
- Craig’s Evolution: Influenced by the joke and Mr. Harrigan’s advice, Craig chooses journalism over screenwriting. This decision plays a pivotal role in the narrative, enabling Craig to uncover dark secrets and free himself from Mr. Harrigan’s influence.
What is the screenwriter starlet joke?
It’s a jest about a starlet who mistakenly believes that sleeping with a screenwriter will advance her career, highlighting the perceived lack of power of screenwriters in old Hollywood.
Why did Mr. Harrigan introduce Craig to the joke?
Mr. Harrigan wanted to dissuade Craig from pursuing screenwriting, emphasizing the lack of power in the profession.
How does the joke influence the movie’s narrative?
The joke influences Craig’s career choice, leading him to journalism. This decision plays a crucial role in the story, allowing Craig to uncover Mr. Harrigan’s dark secrets.
The screenwriter starlet joke in “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” is more than just a humorous quip. It’s a window into the power dynamics of old Hollywood and a tool used by a character to manipulate another. As with many elements in cinema, it serves as a reminder that there’s often more than meets the eye.