Small Nerdy Pleasures

1) Watching The 40-Year-Old Virgin; noticing Steve Carell, in the first (if I remember correctly) bookstore scene, walk past a face-out display of Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian; wondering how this is possible, since the pub date on that was back in June, and the movie was released nationally in mid-August, so unless this was a scene that they’d somehow screwed up and had to go back and re-shoot at the 11th hour this wouldn’t be possible, but it’s a slow enough pan across the display to make you assume it can’t be accidental, it has to be product placement, but then if the filming schedule was what I assume is normal, then these couldn’t even really be advance reader copies, could they?

2) Reading this very same question: “But wait—if Virgin is in theaters now, how did the novel get in a scene shot months before its June 14 publication date?” in Entertainment Weekly, and also the answer from the book’s publicist, that no, they weren’t actual books or even ARCs, they were simply mock-ups, which seems like such a bizarre idea, because surely the only nerds in the audience who are actually going to be curious to see what book is in the display behind the action in the bookstore in a movie aren’t going to say to themselves “oh, that book is popular RIGHT NOW much in the way this fictional movie is happening RIGHT NOW,” they’re going to be nerds (presumably also the same group of literary oddballs who worry about the grammatically incorrect title) who are taken out of the movie for a solid ten minutes asking question number 1), right?