Now I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure Pearl Harbor happened at some point during this film. It's deliberately set in 1941, yet war doesn't seem to be in the air at the start. By the end of the film, there are USO sailors about to ship out and Mr. Lipnick is decked out in military regalia. Critics like Roger Ebert have interpreted this film as being about left-wing artists ignoring the rise of fascism in Europe. I personally think it's a little more broad than that. While the film could possibly be an allegory about ignoring Hitler and Mussolini, it certainly appears to be a film about someone who is so self-involved that he is oblivious to the outbreak of a World War. Imagine being so caught up with your own BS that 9/11 was just another Tuesday. Such is the life of the mind.