This Fourth of July, why not celebrate the birth of the United States by taking in a movie about that good ol' American icon, Superman? Well, in case you haven't heard, according to Superman Returns, the superhero isn't specifically representative of the U.S. anymore. In fact, one line in the film, spoken by Frank Langella, is stirring a lot of discussion. The line revises the familiar phrase associated with Superman, "truth, justice and the American way," changing it to "truth, justice and all that stuff," upsetting many who see it as a disruption of the comic book character's tradition. There are those, however, who see the logic in the revision, and the film's screenwriters, Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris, have backed up this logic. "The truth is he's an alien," says Harris, "He was sent from another planet. He has landed on the planet Earth, and he is here for everybody. He's an international superhero."

The new film even features a montage showing Superman helping out around the globe. But does this really have to do with logic or does it have to do with international box office? Hollywood depends too much on the worldwide take to let a blockbuster speak only to Americans. The montage reminded me of similar montages in disaster films, which, despite taking place primarily in the States, show that the story is happening all over, thereby including international markets in the fun (Personally, if I was French, I might have had a problem with being included after seeing what happens to Paris in Armageddon). Harris addresses this, as well: "So you play the movie in a foreign country, and you say, 'What does he stand for? -- truth, justice and the American way.' I think a lot of people's opinions of what the American way means outside this country are different from what the line actually means because they are not the same anymore. And (using the line) would taint the meaning of what he is saying."