Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Michael Cera Problem

First there was Paper Heart, then Youth in Revolt (which, for the record, was disappointing mostly because there was no real romance going on), and now Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, so I think the citizens of moviedom finally have all the evidence we need to justly psychoanalyze the central figure in the imminent crisis known in the halls of power as the Michael Cera Problem, which, incidentally, is soon to be the Next Big Thing once the Looming Commercial Real Estate Crash has its way with us.

With that in mind, please enjoy the following fabulous entry to the research on this cutting-edge topic, from Stephanie Zacharek at Movieline:
I used to worry about Cera as an actor: He seemed like a talented kid in danger of being limited by his own acute boyishness. And I still think that maybe — maybe — smart filmmakers will figure out ways to bring out the best in him. But in Scott Pilgrim his wispy smile and quivery voice aren’t endearing; they’re an affront. In every frame, Scott appears to be begging us not just to love him (which would be bad enough), but to pity him.
I’m willing to suspend disbelief enough to believe that Cera’s capable of playing a character with a sex drive. In fact, Juno handled that aspect of his character astutely: We never saw him trying to get the girl; we simply knew that he had, and that fact alone suggested that maybe this sweet, gawky kid was really quite something in the sack. Sex is, after all, one of life’s great mysteries.
But Cera plays Scott Pilgrim as the kind of guy who thinks that getting an erection is an insult to a girl, damning evidence that he doesn’t just, as we used to say in the ’70s, “love her for her mind.” Men and women alike have plenty of sexual anxieties. But just as men — the good ones — will sometimes tell us women that we don’t need to be Victoria’s Secret models to be sexy, men should know that they don’t have to be Bruce Springsteen — or even, heaven forfend, Mick Jagger — for us to find them irresistible. But they do have to look as if they might possibly be interested in having sex, and that’s a bridge too far for Cera in Scott Pilgrim. So what if he passes the Herculean he-man test the story puts him through? He still has all the sexual charisma of an untied shoelace. And even a woman who likes the soft touch can’t do much with that.
(courtesy Movieline)
I couldn't have said it better myself--after all, without any degree of sex drive detectable by modern scientists, what is the point of getting the girl?


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