That’s it. I’m done. I’m officially canceling my subscription to the Michael Cera Is Awesome Fan Club. Stick a fork in him, hit him with a beat-up Pinto or beat him over the head with anti-freeze laden beer jugs – he’s done.
If I could address He Who Be Brampton’s Softest, Awkwardest Soul in person, I’d probably tell him a lot of things. Heartfelt things. Or possibly just smack him across the head with a bag full of orange tic-tacs. Not sure which at this point. Either way, he’s so crying his eyes out afterwards.
As you all probably know by now, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist came out today. I’ve seen it already. And let me tell you: there are four kinds of people who love a movie like this.
If you’re a wannabe hipster teen with obscure tastes in Nerdcore, Queercore or whatever, you’ll love this movie. If you’re a shy indie teen girl (or shy indie twentysomething girl still trying to make up for lost time) longing for the shy, indie teen boy (or a not-so-shy, indie twentysomething boy that attends a college for “music production” downtown by day, sleeps with pierced vegans by night), you will go bat-shit-freakin-loco over this movie.
And if you’re a Sensitive Artist, longing to re-imagine all those endless nights out drinking, dropping cell phones in public toilets and imaging how you’d totally graffiti up a Goth club because it’s Beautiful, you’re going to love it. No, really, these are truly endless nights – the Sensitive Artist hasn’t been employed in four years!
And finally, if you’re a university/college student, wishing you could throw off the shackles of the Like, Totally, Evil Professors and Bosses and just let the kids rock out, balls out, you’re going to be fiercely, supremely turned on by this movie.
Otherwise, you’ll probably come out of it hating Hollywood more than ever before.
Gawker’s already posted a link on why Nick and Norah is basically a teen movie for faux-hipsters (and modern hipsters with very short memories).
If you define edgy as a night of pill-popping, powder-sniffing, violence inducing, car-crashing ironic pleasure, then Nick and Norah will bore you to tears. If you’re anywhere near a state of emotional maturity, Nick and Norah will infuriate you. If you find jokes involving Jesus, puke and stripteases from girls that look like they haven’t eaten real food since 1998 strangely annoying, you’ll hate this movie.
But that’s all besides the point here. What I’m going to say, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle-style, is that Michael Cera is a one-trick pony. And no one’s riding this horse home tonight. Not anymore.
Cera’s slow descent into Typecast Hell (normally part of Dante’s Circles of Hell, but I’ve heard the Devil’s put reservations out on a new piece of land exclusively for Henry Winkler, Elizabeth Berkley and that actress from Will & Grace) started two years ago.
Superbad. Ah Superbad, the movie we all love for its authenticity, booze and copious bodily fluids. In this Apatow-produced ode to teenage lustdom, Cera basically played it awkward, including being profoundly afraid of his fellow Canadian, Martha MacIssac, when she inexplicably put the moves on his meek self. But back in 2007, this was also known as “cutely endearing.”
Then came Juno, or as some people have called it, Superbad 2: She’s Super-Preggers.
Cera, once again, played himself – awkward, deer-caught-in-headlights-style. Remarkably, the script even called for the Force of Nature known as Canadian Ellen Page to sleep with Cera’s character, Paulie Bleeker (meeker?). Given the look on Cera’s face during the act o’ love-making – a look that can best be described as Seagal-esque in its unchanging ways – the term “cutely endearing” slowly began to turn into “endearingly annoying.”
Now comes Nick and Norah. Basically, long story short: Cera’s once again in the clutches of a cruel, sexually frustrated young lass named Tris, played by Alexis Dziena. Of course, along comes Norah – Nick’s fantasy come to life. She’s basically the female version of Nick/Cera: immaculate taste in obscure, barely accessible music, full of witty quips that only a solid screenwriter could conjure up, and world-class experts at using thinly-veiled hostility to mask a huge fear of romantic and – gasp! – sexual intimacy.
And here’s where Cera’s begun the downward spirial. He’s no longer even endearing. He’s now That Guy – the self-loathing Artiste type whose awkwardness is now, not surprisingly, unattractive to most women and virtually all men. He’s Emo, Elmo and Fat Elvis all in one.
This is why Michael Cera must do a prison movie.
I’m not talking Green Mile prison movie. I’m talking Shawshank Redemption. I’m talking Oz. I’m talking an entire movie version of Ashton Kutcher’s experience in prison in The Butterfly Effect. I’m talking HBO-National Geographic Channel-lurid.
Why? Two reasons: one, he deserves it, and two, it will make Cera cool again.
First, who wouldn’t want to pay good money to see a soft, gentle soul like Cera get a daily rundown from guys named Gino and Tracy? I’m no sadist, but really, seeing Cera under constant threat from angry guys looking for their next prison “wife” would unleash a society-wide catharsis the likes of which haven’t been seen since Tom Hanks did Philadelphia. Guys would feel both happy and strangely conflicted with seeing Cera get his ass beat, and the ladies would probably be strangely into seeing Cera grow some edge to his less-than-edgy self.
Why will it make him cool again? Because he’ll be a man when he’s done his stint in the joint. He’ll be offered roles that will show off his masculinity, not hide it behind bass guitars. He’ll be colder, darker, but richer as a character. In short, he’ll be Adrian Brody.
But at least he’ll be our Adrian Brody.