CCNMA: Casting a wide you-know-what — The Net

Are your weekend entertainment plans certified? CCNMA is a weekly feature that explores the movie industry’s love-hate relationship with computing technology. This week’s movie is  ONE FROM THE VAULT .

It’s a fairly obscure historical tidbit, particularly in the age of Miley Cyrus confounding a nation by twerking semi-naked at the Video Music Awards, that once upon a time producers and directors couldn’t show a woman’s navel in movies or on television. Of all the things to stand out about The Net nearly 20 years after its theatrical release, that’s the one that probably would annoy I Dream of Jeannie star Barbara Eden the most.

Over the entire run of Jeannie, Eden’s umbilicus winked at TV viewers a bare handful of times, despite her character’s wearing harem pants and halter tops more or less continuously through nearly 140 episodes. In The Net, star Sandra Bullock’s belly button almost has a bigger presence than comedian and failed Monday Night Football commentator Dennis Miller, who gets third-lead billing for a rare character role as a friendly therapist.

Bullock’s Angela Bennett is actually more than a little bit like a genie (if not a Jeannie) in a bottle. She lives alone near the beach in a house that she rarely leaves, but can be summoned by a rub of the lamp, typically in the form of a phone call or e-mail. Completing the picture, we first see her through a skylight in the roof of her home, with the camera…

Chip Hartweir


CHIP HARTWEIR is a Certified Cinemaniac who likes movies, computers and especially movies about computers. He has won numerous awards for writing about film and has a keyboard with arm's reach most hours of the day. E-mail him at chiphartweir (at) gmail (dot) com.

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