Friday, January 7, 2011

Amy taking on Archetypes

There are certain actors and actress who play the same type so often that it makes you wonder, are they acting, or are they just playing themselves? Can they only do one thing?

Take Charlie Sheen. In real life, he is a total douche. He abuses women, drinks too much, and in general appears to be a scummy womanizer, albeit some may find him handsome and charming. I’ve never really got it, but to each her own right? Take a look at his character on Two and a Half Men. See the parallels?

Then let’s think about Angelina Jolie. She tends to play fierce, sexy, powerful women. Does that sound like her in real life? I’d say so. She runs a household with 8 kids, managed to snap up Brad Pitt—the sexiest man alive at the time---- and still finds time to fight world problems as a UN ambassador. I’m guessing if you pissed her off, she’d probably kick your ass, then carry your blood around in a vial on her necklace.

I could say the same of George Clooney. He seems to be the handsome, wickedly funny seducer of women in each and every role he takes on, with his eye crinkle and inviting smirk. I think the line of beauties he’s dated speak for themselves.

Catherine Heigl? As much as I love the quirky beauty in every role she’s played, let’s be serious here. She always manages to seduce the unlikely lover with her humor, gorgeous hair, and slightly odd ball tendencies. I’m guessing she’s the honest, funny lady with a stinging tongue in real life. We all heard about her verbal lashing of Isaiah Washington’s bigotry in the famous Grey’s Anatomy scandal, am I right?

Amy Adams was in danger of pigeon holing herself into a similar pattern. She’s played the doe eyed ingénue in: Enchanted, The Wedding Date, Julia and Julia, and Leap Year. Can you pick a role that screams I’m innocent, naïve, and a fragile little flower MORE than a Disney princess?

What I’ve wondered in the past, is this really the girl that Amy Adams is? Well, she just hasn’t been in the tabloids enough for me to know. Then I went to see The Fighter, in which Amy stars opposite Mark Wahlberg as a bartender with a trucker’s mouth, and a temper.

She plays an angry Bostonian like 2nd nature. Throw in a couple sexy scenes and her midriff tops at the bar, and Amy has just turned the paradigm she’d created on it’s head. There is no innocence here, and it’s the world weary wisdom of such a young girl that makes her character both appealing and inspiring as she picks up after some bad choices, tough breaks, and tries to make a life for herself and the man she adores. Before this movie, I would have thought, Amy Adams would never fight, or pull hair, but rather flutter around making the world a better place. Now I’d have to say she’d be a tough opponent.

It’s a courageous performance. Amy bares nearly all in the movie, and yet was not all skin and bones like most actresses who do nearly nude scenes. She had a little (tiny) bit of tummy and actual arms that didn’t look like twigs. I appreciate someone who has the nerve to get up there and put it all on the table, the ugly parts of life, and a real body on the big screen. Well played Amy, well played.

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