Friday List: Movie genres that 'Scott Pilgrim' actor Jason Schwartzman should consider
Posted Sarah Anne Hughes
Jason Schwartzman, it's time to act in some non-hipster movies.
(Now before anyone gets their skinny jeans in a twist, this is not an attack on hipsters or the films they enjoy. Hipsters are good people: They recycle, make cool music and cut down on pollution by biking.)
His past super-cool-kid acting credits -- to say nothing of his hipster music background -- include "I Heart Huckabees," "Marie Antoinette," "Bored to Death" and hipster god Wes Anderson's "Rushmore," "The Darjeeling Limited" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox."
Schwartzman's latest film, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” is a comic book movie first and foremost, but certainly has hipstery elements: Ramona Flowers' trendy, candy-colored hair, an indie rock soundtrack featuring Broken Social Scene, Beck and the fictional band Sex Bob-omb and, of course, indie darling, Michael Cera. (For more on this topic see "Scott Pilgrim" IMDB board topic "wtf is a hipster?")
While people who do not identify as hipsters can and do enjoy all of his films, these movies fall into a category that alienates some viewers. Personally, I love each and every Schwartzman-Wes Anderson film and think he is neurotically adorable in every film in which he appears. But I'd like to see the talented actor branch out before he gets permanently pigeonholed.
Schwartzman, who turned 30 this year and is expecting a baby, could probably sustain a career on hipsterdom alone, but shouldn't limit himself to the genre just because he found a niche. (I think I'll be giving Cera the same advice in ten years.) I'm not saying he should stop doing indie films entirely, but in a summer blighted by remakes and lackluster comedies at the big megaplexes, I'd like to see his skills in a more universal film, one that doesn't appeal only to a subculture like "Scott Pilgrim."
So with that in mind, here are a few non-hipster movie genres I'd like to see Schwartzman try.
A mob movie
Think about it. If your uncle was Francis Ford Coppola, director of “The Godfather" trilogy, maybe you would want to stay out of the mobster film genre. But by combining the persuasiveness of Max Fisher -- "I saved Latin. What did you ever do?" -- and the family-orientated aggressiveness of Jack in "The Darjeeling Limited" -- "I love you too, but I'm gonna mace you in the face!" -- Schwartzman could play one heck of a mob boss. Or at least a neurotic underling like Fredo Corleone.
An underdog-sports movie
His mother is actress Talia Shire or "Adriaaaaan!" of "Rocky" I - V fame. Plus, he's only 5'6. Combine those two elements and he could definitely pull off the underdog character in a sports film. Think "Rudy" minus Notre Dame and sappiness. Although the "Rocky" franchise ended with 2006's surprisingly moving "Rocky Balboa," I could see Schwartzman in a spinoff that could show all whole new flock of viewers his talent.
An action movie
Schwartzman should take a page from cousin Nicolas Cage's playbook. The actor has enjoyed a varied career, including his Oscar-winning role in the indie "Leaving Las Vegas" and more controversial roles in big budget action flicks like "National Treasure." Schwartzman definitely has the indie thing down, so why not a (hopefully high quality) action flick? He has dipped his toe into the water and gained some fight-scene experience from "Scott Pilgrim" -- although he does wear a white suit and Buddy Holly glasses. And compared to the action stars of today -- Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, "The Expendables" crew -- he's a great everyman that could breathe some life into the genre.
An early-Bill-Murray-style comedy
Bill Murray isn't related to Schwartzman, but he did play his mentor in "Rushmore." And, Murray was in cousin Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation," so they may as well be family. Murray has gone from comedic straight man to... kind of a hipster actor. I'd like to see Schwartzman do the reverse and act in early Murray-style comedies like "Ghostbusters" and "Caddyshack."
Yes, Schwartzman has played smaller roles in non-hipster comedies in the past --"Slackers," "Bewitched," the short-lived TV show "Cracking Up" -- but they were all terrible. (The comedic merits of "Funny People" could be debated.) But what if he finally landed a lead role in a solid, mainstream comedy? "Ghostbusters III" is already in the works, but maybe Harold Ramis could write a good straight man role for Schwartzman. Yes, let's put him in a film with Ray Parker Jr. on the soundtrack instead of Mark Mothersbaugh and see how that feels.
Celebritology contributor Sarah Anne Hughes hopes that despite her unsolicited advice, Jason Schwartzman will still consider becoming her BFF.
Sarah Anne Hughes
| August 13, 2010; 12:55 PM ET
Categories: Friday Lists
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