Saturday, April 7, 2012

Favorite comedy characters

[Originally released 18-2-2012]

Karen Smith, MEAN GIRLS



Amanda Seyfried has made a career out of movies in which she posts letters, recieves letters, writes letters and searches for people who have written letters. A pity, since her first role suggested an entirely different career trajectory: brain dead bombshells who probably can't even read. Karen Smith is stupid. Not tragically stupid, but more of a "Oh Honey" kind of stupid (to quote How I Met Your Mother). Putting her big doe eyes to the cause of dumbassdom, Seyfried scores for the gods. Moving through the movie with the empty headed bliss of a gold fish, she provides the perfect third piece to the "Plastics' who dominate the protagonist's new highschool. Here's hoping Seyfried goes back to comedy soon, because while it was kind of funny, DEAR JOHN nearly killed me.

Vijay Joshi, YOUTH IN REVOLT



"I'm afraid this night has awakened in me a lust of disturbing insatiability!"

I've had a massive man-crush on Adhir Kalyan ever since he was in the great tv show ALIENS IN AMERICA (sadly cancelled after one season). Now he is currently the best thing in the otherwise mundane RULES OF ENGAGEMENT. The dude is funny, and I'm hoping he'll get some better showcases in the near future. One of his best roles thus far is his brief role as Michael Cera's sex-obsessed friend in the hit-and-miss adaptation of C.D. Payne's popular novel. In about 10 minutes of screentime, he steals the show from Cera, as the pair embark on a roadtrip to re-unite Cera's character with his girlfriend. While Cera goes about constructing an alternative sociopathic personality and planning elaborate schemes to seduce his girlfriend, Joshi proves to be a far more succesful lothario, melting an icy nymphomaniac (Rooney Mara) by quoting the Ramayana. In French.

Gene, THE OTHER GUYS

Michael Keaton is the man. Doesn't matter what he's in, he always brings that crazy bit of mojo that raises the calibre of whatever I see him in. Whether it's refereeing the world's quietest fight (in the middle of a wake!) or disciplining the title characters by scaling down Will Ferrell's ordinance ("This is a rape whistle"), Keaton plays the role totally straight, amping the yucks. He was so good I wanted see a whole movie based around this guy, an average joe who works two jobs as a police captain and the night shift as the manager of a major appliance store.

Otto, A FISH CALLED WANDA

I could put the entire cast of A FISH CALLED WANDA in here, but particular kudos must be paid to Kevin Kline and his glorious embodiment of moronic psychopath Otto. Overshadowing two former Pythons and Jamie Lee Curtis, Kline doesn't steal the movie. He owns it from the outset, a volatile combination of pretenious pseudo-intellectualism, gunplay and rage. He's a gun with a human being attached to it. It's a testament to the character's colossal idiocy that he gets run over by a steam roller going about 5 miles an hour.

Dolores, THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS


"I get so excited when you get angry. It makes me feel so much closer to the reading of the will."

Kathleen Turner is the epitome of the comic vamp, adding glorious smoulder to WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. Likewise, her performance in THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS has a diabolical charm all her own. Effectively amping up her femme fatale role from 1981's BODY HEAT, like Keaton Turner plays the role completely straight. A good thing too, considering the insanity zinging around her co-star an on-incredibly-stupid form Steve Martin. Holding her own against a man who manages to break a plate glass window  with the sheer force of an impromptu erection, Turner er, turns what could have been a flat, two dimensional villain into a carnal, calculating maneater of the highest calibre. "Into the mud, Scum Queen!"

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