In the drawing above from an early Superman comicbook you might notice that Lois resembles a certain queen of screwball. She's like a 2D Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday. The great thing about Lois Lane was that she was in a very modern sense, Superman's equal. (Even a previous tv version was wise to this calling the series "Lois & Clark") Or, more specifically, and to great comic effect: she absolutely believed that she was. One of her most endearing traits is that though she is narratively always the classic "damsel in distress", it's the last persona she'd ever picture for herself.
Which is why it's so hilarious and perfect in the first couple of Supermans that Margot Kidder is gritty, odd, gutsy and weirdly sexy/disarming. Take the classic oft-quoted exchange when Superman catches Lois falling from a building:
Superman: "I've got you."
Lois: "You've got me. Who's got you?"
That is Lois Lane. A little funny. A little too abrasive. A little blind to her own vulnerabilities. And this is why Parker Posey, stuck cracking us up in the background as Lex's girl, should have been cast in the role. It's the first thing my friend and I said to each other when we were exiting the theater. 'Why wasn't Parker Lois instead?' In the new film the feisty Lois gets shut up tight inside of Kate Bosworth's soft, lovely, brokenhearted damsel in distress. Lois is still the teensiest bit mouthy but she's far more generically 'the girl who is waiting for her man to save her.' The way I see it, the real Superman would never have been able to pick her out of a crowd.
[For more discussion of this same issue, there's a good conversation going on over @ Cinemarati. -ed]
tags: Kate Bosworth, movies, cinema, comic books, Bryan Singer, Parker Posey, Superman, films, Superman Returns