Judy Greer, that is. I just finished watching Cursed, which started out as a sub-par Ginger Snaps and ended up incorporating enough satirical elements to make me appreciate what Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson were doing. Think ”Scream” applied to the werewolf genre. It doesn't quite do for werewolves what Scream did for slashers, but it definitely had a nice balance of scares and laughs, the latter being the stronger point whether intentional or not. A high point for me was the inclusion of Greer, who plays Scott Baio's agent, Joanie. While I doubt that's a coincidence, not much is made of it in the film. Christina Ricci stars, looking more and more like Angelina Jolie, and the ensemble cast includes Michael Rosenbaum, who I rarely recognize with hair. The voice was familiar, but the film was nearly over before I reached that particular epiphany.

At some point in my life, I developed an odd habit of latching on to obscure stars. Joe Pantoliano is pretty famous now, but knowing his name back in the early ‘90s probably contributed to the “Obscure Reference Boy” moniker my buddies saddled me with. Of course, back then I could cite specific issue numbers of comic books with encyclopedic accuracy, so that was a factor as much as the actor thing. Once I liked a performance, even a small role, I'd watch for that individual in other projects. I first latched on to Judy late one Saturday night watching The Specials, a low-budget superhero mockumentary that included Paget Brewster(first noticed in Friends, Thomas Haden Church(previously seen in Wings and Ned and Stacy) and Jamie Kennedy(my favorite Scream character). Armed with that collection of obscure stars on the rise, I ended up buying the DVD since I only caught part of it interrupted by commercials. For me, obscurity equals buy-worthy. I don't know why.

Greer played the sarcastic Deadly Girl, and won me over with her tell-it-like-it-is attitude. Her blonde hair, known around these parts as “MCF-Kryptonite, didn't hurt. There was a certain familiarity too, and I was sure I'd seen her before. As it turned out, I was confusing her with Alexandra Wentworth from In Living Color. The resemblance was a lot stronger in The Specials, and while I hadn't seen Judy Greer before, I'd soon start noticing her everywhere, and appreciating her range. Her look and attitude differed from film to film, and she seemed prettier each time I saw her. She was quietly desirable in Adaptation, and loveably evil and caustic in every guy's secret favorite “chick-flick” 13 Going on 30. I've gone on to see her in The Village, Three Kings, and What Women Want, and I can honestly say no two roles were remotely the same. Her look and mannerisms shift flawlessly from film to film. She broke my heart in What Women Want. Her character had such low self-esteem, felt so neglected and undesirable, that her thoughts were tragic given how talented and beautiful she was. That's a key plot point of that film which I won't ruin on the off-chance people haven't seen it.

One of the things I loved about 13 Going on 30 was a series of interviews which explored the childhood of each of the actors. Hard as it was to believe the nigh-unattainable Jennifer Garner was once a braces-wearing band geek at one time, Greer's photos demonstrated the greatest transformation of all. She looked like a BOY with short curly hair when she was younger, and an ugly boy at that. It was surreal to see this blonde bombshell joke about her childhood and note the hint of regret, the twinge of sadness in her voice. Kids never recognize the beauty inside, and an outward change to match the inward doesn't erase old scars. To me, that's the tragedy of The Swan, but that's a post for another day. As for me, I'll watch for where Greer will unexpectedly turn up next.


Blogger Darrell said...

Do you watch "Arrested Development?" We've seen the first season on DVD, and she's really funny on the show.

9/13/2005 1:52 AM  
Blogger MCF said...

I mean to. Whenever I've inadvertently caught parts of it I've liked it, and it has some other funny obscure people(like David "Chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot pie" Cross). I didn't realize she was on there. More incentive to watch

9/13/2005 9:51 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Mmmm chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot pie. Sounds yummy.

Judy Greer is pretty funny on Arrested Development, but she is also very strange looking on the show.

9/13/2005 3:30 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Wendy's observation about Judy Greer on Arrested Development is true, but not really fair. Her character is strange looking. Her character sports a comically botched breast augmentation and usually has her face twisted into a strange expression. It's physical slapstick comedy, and I think it's pretty cool that someone as attractive as Greer is can pull it off.

9/13/2005 6:08 PM  

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