Clarissa Cruz
December 12, 2003 AT 05:00 AM EST

Q If Jim Sheridan’s semiautobiographical In America is supposed to be set in the 1980s, why does the elder daughter (Sarah Bolger) tote a relatively modern-looking camcorder throughout the film?

A ”I messed up the time as much as I could,” says Sheridan, who says he intentionally left in such anachronisms as Jessica Alba’s L’Oreal ads and a radio station touting hits from the ’80s and ’90s. ”I just dreaded everybody getting to New York and trying to change it back to 1982…and I didn’t have the money!” And the camcorder? ”You can get away with it because now everybody thinks they’ve been around forever.”

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