I've been dying to write this for the past few days. It's going to be my rant on everyone's favorite little mumbler and word stumbler Michael Cera.
As much as I do like some of the movies he's in, this kid is killing me. He's probably on the top ten list of "Most Typecast Actors". He is so unbelievably typecast, it drives me up the wall. And it always makes me wonder if the kid really has any range at all. Sure, maybe a little, but not much. I'm saying he's as a bad as that dunce Megan Fox, but he may just be doomed to the roles he's in now for the rest of his career (however long it may last).
The first time I had ever seen this baby-faced teen string bean was in 2007's Superbad (going into how much I love that movie is for another entry). I had never seen Arrested Development, but I heard he was pretty much the same, shy teen in his role as Michael Bluth. I have to admit, I bought it. I thought, "Wow. This kid is cute, soft spoken and funny without even making an obnoxious effort."
Sure enough, thousands upon thousands thought the same as I did and he eventually got more roles. Literally right after Superbad came Juno. Everybody's favorite little "indie gem" as I called it last blog. Sure, I loved the movie and I loved Cera. He still maintained that adorable yet bearable amount of innocence that I so liked in Evan from Superbad.
Afterwards, in 2008, came Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, a movie adaption of one of my favorite cute little novels. It was the story of two people, lost and lonely and emotionally wrecked who find each other through mutual friends in a crazy night in New York City. After I saw Nick and Norah, I was excited because the adaption, although not exactly like the novel, was perfect. I thought it was a cute, quirky teen comedy (I'll probably be getting into depth on that genre soon enough as well).
Despite my enjoyment and that serious case of the smiles that I got from seeing Nick and Norah, I started to notice a pattern: Michael Cera is totally and completely typecast. After seeing Year One, I was just about fed up with it. Because 1) Year One was an awful, awful excuse for a movie (sorry Harold Ramis, but it was not your best) and 2) Cera played the same fucking character as he did in Development, Superbad, Juno and Nick and Norah.
Next up comes Youth In Revolt, which doesn't look too terrible because Cera takes on the challenge of becoming his character Nick Twisp's alter ego, a suave and debonair douchebag. However, judging from the trailer, he didn't strain his acting muscle too hard.
I'm just going to be a smart ass and list all of the common and quite obvious similarities between Cera's characters (and plus, I like making lists. They're fun and organized, which creates the illusion that I am, in fact, organized):
1. Evan, Paulie, Nick, Oh and Nick Twisp all have something very much in common: "The Virginity Factor". In every single one of these films, Cera's character strives to lose his virginity (which is the cliche, yet realistic goal of every teenage boy whose libido is bigger than Kirstie Allie's "I quit Jenny Craig" ass). Evan spends the whole of Superbad trying to get Becca, the "love" of his life to try and notice him so that the two of them can make whoopie before he goes off to Dartmouth. In Juno, well, everybody knows what happened in Juno (sigh). In Nick and Norah, he's not a virgin, but he does end up engaging in sexual activity and he does indeed experience a weak moment in which he desires sexual activity, greatly, from his bitchy little ex-girlfriend. In Year One, his character called Oh spends the whole of the film trying to get with a little blondie from his "tribe" and ends up following her across the desert and trying to save her from imprisonment (Jeebus, I hated that movie). And judging by the trailer of Youth, Twisp spends the whole of the film trying to impress some babe he met in his trailer park by creating a "ladies man" alter ego to help him speed up the process of losing his virginity and all of that typical Cera shit.
2. He stumbles, mumbles and stutters. Sure, it was cute at first, but quite frankly I'm damn annoyed with it now. I just wish he'd drop the "I'm so cute and you can't even tell I hit puberty yet" bullshit.
3. He wears hoodies 24/7. Not that I have anything against hoodies, but in every afformentioned film, Cera wears one of those mass produced hoodies which he zippers up to his throat in an effort to appear trendy and cool and almost "hipster" (but that all depends on the fact that if his hoodies are or are not from American Apparel. Ha.) He also wears tight pants, like said cool kid.
4. He's so fucking indie. Yeah, I said that.
5. He's always so lost. He's like a puppy that's been left home alone. He doesn't know how to get outside to pee and constantly has a hopeless expression on his face. Even when he tries to nervously laugh, he acts like his face couldn't possibly pull off a full smile. Almost as if it hurts to not be fucking angst-ridden and childish.
In his next film called Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, he plays, I'm assuming, the same damn kid with another damn hoodie with another damn indie soundtrack (not that I'm bashing, but I hate the fact that everybody only started liking Kimya Dawson just because she was on the Juno soundtrack. Sigh!). His character, from what I read on IMDB (endorsement checks, now please and thank you), falls for a girl who has seven "evil" (but judging by the cast, "evil" meas muscular, attractive meathead) ex-boyfriends that he must ultimately defeat so that he can be with his crush in peace.
I really just wish I knew if this kid had any range at all. If I found out now, I could stop feeling sorry for him and seeing all of his movies and just move on to admiring bigger and better talent.
I mean sure, there are other actors that have been like him, but they were lucky enough to make it to "veteran" status. Like Will Ferrell. I mean, he has Stranger Than Fiction, so I really can't talk trash. And Vince Vaughn has Psycho and Domestic Disturbance.
I happened upon a message board in which the commentators mentioned how they wanted to see Cera as a "mentally disturbed" character. Pfft. Good luck with that my fellow dreamers. He'd butcher it. What he'd butcher more, though is a film version of Catcher in the Rye. Eeessh.
Okay, I'm done. I feel better now.
Okay, I couldn't resist.