Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Love or Hate 'American Sniper,' We're Brought Together By Its Bad Fake Baby Love or Hate 'American Sniper,' We're Brought Together By Its Bad Fake Baby 'Girls' Outrage Tracker: Season 4, Episode 2, 'Triggering' 'Girls' Outrage Tracker: Season 4, Episode 2, 'Triggering' 'Better Call Saul': 'Breaking Bad' Prequel Accepts the Charges 'Better Call Saul': 'Breaking Bad' Prequel Accepts the Charges 'Girls' Outrage Tracker: Season 4, Episode 1, 'Iowa' 'Girls' Outrage Tracker: Season 4, Episode 1, 'Iowa' Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' The Oscar Nominations Were Dramatically Lacking in Diversity, But It's Not (Just) the Academy's Fault The Oscar Nominations Were Dramatically Lacking in Diversity, But It's Not (Just) the Academy's Fault At Last, the Four-Hour Cut of 'The Hobbit' You've Been Waiting For At Last, the Four-Hour Cut of 'The Hobbit' You've Been Waiting For The A.V. Club's 25 Best Sitcom Episodes of the Past 25 Years: 'Seinfeld,' 'The Simpsons' and More The A.V. Club's 25 Best Sitcom Episodes of the Past 25 Years: 'Seinfeld,' 'The Simpsons' and More Sleeper of the Week: 'Appropriate Behavior' Sleeper of the Week: 'Appropriate Behavior' First Reviews of Johnny Depp's 'Mortdecai': Scraping Bottom With a Waxed Moustache First Reviews of Johnny Depp's 'Mortdecai': Scraping Bottom With a Waxed Moustache Daily Reads: Stop Pitting 'Broad City' Against 'Girls,' How Political Pundits Warp 'American Sniper,' and more Daily Reads: Stop Pitting 'Broad City' Against 'Girls,' How Political Pundits Warp 'American Sniper,' and more Not at Sundance? Watch 14 Festival Films Via Sundance's #ArtistServices Not at Sundance? Watch 14 Festival Films Via Sundance's #ArtistServices Daily Reads: Stop Calling Tom Hanks an Everyman, 'Blackhat' as Michael Mann's Lonely Film and More Daily Reads: Stop Calling Tom Hanks an Everyman, 'Blackhat' as Michael Mann's Lonely Film and More Michael Mann's 'Blackhat' Isn't Quite Dumb Enough to Be Great Michael Mann's 'Blackhat' Isn't Quite Dumb Enough to Be Great Daily Reads: Michael Mann's Obsessive Characters, The Story of 'Selma's Screener Problem and More Daily Reads: Michael Mann's Obsessive Characters, The Story of 'Selma's Screener Problem and More 'The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore': A Ways to Go, But Its Aim Is True 'The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore': A Ways to Go, But Its Aim Is True The Sobering Statistics Behind Oscar Campaigns The Sobering Statistics Behind Oscar Campaigns The Scrambled Sexuality of 'Frozen's "Let It Go" The Scrambled Sexuality of 'Frozen's "Let It Go" Criticwire Classic of the Week: Jim Jarmusch's 'Dead Man' Criticwire Classic of the Week: Jim Jarmusch's 'Dead Man' Cahiers du Cinema's Top 10 Movies of 2014: 'Goodbye to Language,' 'Under the Skin,' 'Love Is Strange' Cahiers du Cinema's Top 10 Movies of 2014: 'Goodbye to Language,' 'Under the Skin,' 'Love Is Strange'

New Film Term Alert! "The Cubic Zirconia Era of Hollywood"

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire March 5, 2012 at 1:53PM

As in "'One For the Money' is indicative of The Cubic Zirconia Era of Hollywood."
10
"One For the Money."
"One For the Money."

In his succinct history of the Hollywood romantic comedy for HowAboutWe.com, Film School Rejects Managing Editor Cole Abaius tosses off a clever phrase worth adopting as a new film term.  Describing the generally lackluster quality of modern rom-coms, Abaius declares this "The Cubic Zirconia Era of Hollywood."  Here's how he puts it:

"We’re living in the Cubic Zirconia Era of Hollywood. The Golden Era was so long ago that we yearn for it, fantasize about it. In fact, even Sarah Jessica Parker had to focus on the screwball love of Clark Gable and and Claudette Colbert to get through her own 'Sex and the City' sequel. Nostalgia is a powerful drug, but it’s undeniable that the soft focus past of romantic comedies seems a lot sweeter than the current crop."

Now whether or not there truly was a Golden Age is a topic for another blog post (what are you doing tomorrow around, say, 10:00 AM?).  But regardless of how much nostalgia plays into our perceptions of past and present, I absolutely adore describing the 2010s as "The Cubic Zirconia Era of Hollywood."  Abaius doesn't tease out the term any further than that in his essay, so let's fill in the blanks for him real quick.

Cubic zirconias are, of course, synthetic diamonds (synthetic being a nice word for phony baloney).  Which, if you're a cold, cynical, heartless bastard (note: I am one), makes them the perfect descriptor of so much of contemporary culture.  On the surface they look fantastic -- even glossier and more polished than gold  -- but when you put them under the microscope you see that they're devoid of substance and contain no real value.  They're pretty but disposable.  The Cubic Zirconia Era.  Brilliant (pun intended because gemology humor rules). 

Read the rest of Abaius' fine piece at HowAboutWe.com.  Long may the Cubic Zirconia Era reign.

This article is related to: New Film Terms


E-Mail Updates