Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ellen Page: Forever Juno?

I watched Smart People this morning, the new to DVD flick starring Ellen Page, Dennis Quaid and Carrie Bradshaw.

In truth, I intended to watch it last night, but someone was sleepy but really wanted to watch it, so I turned it off.

Anyway, it's a pretty strong flick and I recommend it to everyone.

One thing both Sleepy McGee and I both noticed though is that no matter what Page's character was doing on screen, all we kept hearing was Juno McGuff, even though the two characters couldn't be more different.

This is what happens when you play a role that becomes a cultural phenomenon; for the next little while, all people see you as is that particular character. In the case of Nova Scotia's finest film export, that character is Juno.

Some actors are very much able to overcome this stigma.

Julia Roberts became more than Vivian the Hooker from Pretty Woman.
Tom Hanks isn't always Forrest Gump.
DeNiro isn't still Travis Bickle or Jake LaMotta.

I know that is pretty heady company to be putting young Ms. Page in, but I think she has the chops to one day earn those comparisons.

Unfortunately, it will take navigating her way around the Junofication of her characters to ensure that happens. Otherwise, she could end up like another Canuck, Keanu Reeves.

Regardless of what he has done since, every time I see Keanu Reeves on screen and I hear him talk, I am immediately reminded of one person: Theodore Logan... Ted from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Keanu isn't the only one in that club either. Not by a longshot.

Ethan Hawke is always Troy from Reality Bites. Even when he was battling Denzel in Training Day, all I could think was "When did Troy stop being a conflicted singer/songwriter and join the force?"

Matthew McConaughey is always Wooderson from Dazed and Confused. Every flick he's in I expect him to drop the line about high school girls or a well-timed al-right.

I mean it could be worse; like I said yesterday, you could just be Julianne Moore.

The next two projects for Ms. Page are going to be important steps in breaking away from the Juno typecasting.

Peacock, a thriller co-starring Cillian Murphy sounds very promising.

Drew Barrymore's directorial debut Whip It! does not. It's about an indie rock loving grrrl who takes up roller derby because she lives in Austin, Texas where, in her opinion, everything sucks.

Great... Juno on rollerskates.

1 comment:

Newt said...

I really hope that Ellen Page can shake the curse. I would hate to see her go down in the same category as Napoleon Dynamite. I believe she has a lot more potential than Jon Heder.