So much film production nowadays it seems tragically designed to create that perfect photo, expression, quote, needle drop or moment that will go viral and increase box office receipts. But as any extremely online student will tell you, you can rarely manufacture these memes. They should happen naturally – catch us off guard with our defenses down so they can infiltrate our internet-addled brains and become part of our cultural fabric (at least as long as our attention spans allow).
Lady Teia, the newest addition to the cinematic Spider-Verse, reached those heights spectacularly when its first trailer was released, and star Dakota Johnson put everyone in a chokehold with his cosmically bored line while reading an exposition piece: “He was in the Amazon with my mother when she was researching spiders shortly before she died.”
It was a truly beautiful moment – not that it seemed to excite people Lady Teiabut at least he got them talking, and isn't that half the battle? Wouldn't you want to reward those who paid good money to see Lady Teia If only to hear that lone line in context and gain a deeper understanding of the tragedy suffered by Johnson's character, Cassie Webb, following the death of her mother in the Amazon while she was researching spiders? Especially in the sacred space that is the cinema, where, as we have been told so often, heartbreak can, in fact, be good.
Well, the cowards took that away. “He was in the Amazon with my mother when she was researching spiders shortly before she died” does not appear in Lady Teia.
Of course, as noted by Vulture, who first pointed out the line's absence, the film technically shows Cassie's mother in the Amazon researching spiders right before she dies, in the very first scene. But so what? Just give people what they want, especially if you're just going to truncate the line to “She was researching spiders.” Nap.
Despite the phrase's absence from the film, it sure seems like it's all anyone can say when it comes to Lady Teia (apart from how bad it is). In an interview with HuffPost UKJohnson was inevitably asked about this and replied that she had “no idea what it was about”.
The interviewer then tried to suggest that the phrase went viral because people were trying to figure out what it meant out of context, rather than simply saying what was probably closer to the truth – that people thought it was a stupid phrase said without sauce. . . Frankly, the famous blind Johnson may have respected that. Instead, she responded with the obvious: “But no sentence is out of context… out of context? How silly… 'He was in the Amazon researching spiders with my mother before she died.' That seems like a basic plot to me, but maybe I'm just below it.”