Well since this is often a touchy subject I will concede that England has better actors and rock stars than we do. This may seem contrary to the opinion that most Americans are stereotyped to have. Yes we have some great entertainment, but I believe that we inherited it from England, and it has become diluted through the years.
Consider Helena Bonham Carter. She's getting up there in years, but she remains the best actress ever. I'd LOVE to have a better, younger, prettier American replace her. I was really hoping for Anne Hathaway, but she's not going to cut it. The most Awesome actress ever is a 50 year old English girl. Yeah, we have Meryl Streep, but she's never been as cute. Most of us consider Picard to be our favorite Star Trek captain. An English actor brought legitimacy to a very American concept.
Do I need to list the eerily talented rock stars that England has produced? David Bowie, The Beatles, Queen, Elton John, .....f'in RADIOHEAD??!!? There's no contest. I'd mention the Stones and the Who, but I think we've had rock stars that good. People will often say "what about G&R, [such and such]" I don't even care enough to think of our best rock stars because none of them ever compared. Except the Beach Boys. And Maybe CCR. Sublime was pretty good too, if you call that rock & roll. And Rufus Wainwright, but he probably calls himself a Canadian by now.
As far as America being "romanticized", I take that as a compliment but I would offer the saying "the grass is always greener..." Europeans imagine Hollywood, the frontier, and Manhattan as romantic. Equally those of us in the US with a broader world view imagine the rest of the world to be romantic, and this includes England.
To avoid the cliche American boasting about why his country is better, I will just say that we ARE pretty cool in a lot of ways. The "American Spirit", which has come under great criticism in the last14 years, is a double edges sword that has it's good aspects. We are by nature adventurous, risk taking, blunt, and optimistic. I get the feeling people don't want to HEAR that this has been evolutionarily bred into us, because in terms of genetics it has not had enough time. But we were bred from rebels, warriors, and survivors. These qualities often have drastic consequences, and may even lead to our downfall, but are also to credit for the best things about this country.
And I will say that the "English spirit" has equally admirable characteristics as well. English people are very easy to get along with, no matter how many Pierce Morgans and Simon Cowells you send over here. There is something to be said for having reservation, and thinking before you speak. I consider them to be our greatest ally, and I think that is PROBABLY because of the culture we share.
Career anglophile, English half - breed