Monday, November 22, 2010


“McLovin? What kind of a stupid name is that, Fogell? What, are you trying to be an Irish R&B singer?”  (Superbad, 2007)

One more thing to add to the “Good Things That Came from Canada” list: his name is Michael Cera.

I’ve never seen such awesome subtle humor.  Having worshipped Bill Murray and memorized every line from Ghostbusters as a kid, Michael Cera was off to a good start to create a humor of his own.  Frequently playing the awkward, nerdy good-hearted type kid, Mike seems to squeeze the laugher out of every shot with his electric underacting.

#1 on Entertainment Weekly’s “30 Under 30” actors and an icon in his own right, Cera humbly states that, “I'm not really trying to make 'great art,'” though many would argue that’s where a lot of great art comes from in the first place.

          Like most early-rise actors, Cera began in commercial and bit roles, including the young Gordy (Jim Caviezel’s friend) in Frequency, almost landing the role that went to Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, which Osment was great in.  I am grateful for that, which perhaps saved Cera from tragically becoming a failed serious typecast like Osment.

          Mike’s breakout came in TV’s Arrested Development, which I still haven’t seen (crazy about movies, just don’t watch TV) – acclaimed (with uncontrolled laugher) by pretty much everyone I talk to that’s seen it.

          From there, Cera hit the movies with Superbad, the Seth Rogen supernaughty-superfunny comedy that co-starred Jonah Hill and skyrocketed both of the young actors’ comic careers.

Gym Teacher: Evan, get into the game.
Evan (Michael Cera): Kick it over... to me.
Gym Teacher: Seth, get off the field!
Evan: Dude, get out of here. There gonna make me run laps again.

Gym Teacher: [Blows whistle] Seth, get off the field!
Seth (Jonah Hill): [Kicks soccer ball into the stands] Goal!
Gym Teacher: You're getting that!
Seth: No I'm not. (Superbad)

          Juno, the serious but entertaining flick that was nominated for Best Picture showed Cera’s more dramatic side, while holding on to the humor of it all.

Like I'd marry you! You'd be the meanest wife ever, okay? And I know that you weren't bored that day because there was a lot of stuff on TV, and then 'The Blair Witch Project' was coming on Starz and you were like 'I haven't seen this since it came out and if so we should watch it' and then 'but oh, no, we should just make out instead la la la.' (Juno)

          The flops I haven’t seen because all I hear is crap about them are Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist (cliché teen chic flick) and Year One with Jack Black (crude and no comedy), though I highly doubt Cera’s acting is to blame.

          He made Paper Heart with his then-real life girlfriend Charlyne Yi, a humorous docu-drama which is fair, but which Cera shines in.

          His most recent Youth in Revolt and Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World are priceless hilarious films: the former being more funny and well made, the latter showing his cult following in the various filmmaker tributes to the Cera himself.

Nick Twisp and Francois Dillinger: I'm gonna wrap your legs around my head and wear you like the crown that you are.
Nick Twisp and Francois Dillinger: If that's OK with you. (Youth in Revolt)

          He enjoys playing guitar, which plays a part in Scott Pilgrim as well as Juno and according to Ellen Page, his Juno co-star, “He’s quite good at it.”

“I sort of gave up my ambition to be handsome,” he says, “I was excited about people thinking I was an idiot.

          On his love of awkward silences: “Yeah, that's my favorite thing. I always kind of end up in situations where I don't know too many people, and I'm not very social, and I feel, you know, extremely uncomfortable. But there's some secret pleasure I take in things like that, in things going horribly wrong.”

If anyone is getting raped in that van, it'll be a guy. (Nick & Nora’s)

No, I don't like Katrina. She smells like soup. Have you ever smelled her? I mean, her whole house smells like soup! (Juno)

Nick Twisp: Sheeni, hi, nice to see you. I was just going for a walk, and I thought I'd drop by. I remembered that you lived here. I'm sorry I got so upset about Trent. It was very immature of me. I'm not normally like that. He sounds like a great guy. I'd love to hear more of his neat poetry. Say, do you want to go to the beach or get breakfast?
Sheeni Saunders: Actually I'm going on a hike. I'd ask you to come along, but you haven't got any hiking boots, provisions, survey maps, or a compass.
Nick Twisp: Fine. I do all of my hiking free form. Like John Muir, I enter the wilderness with nothing more than my journal and a child-like sense of wonder. (YiR)

Up next for Mike?  An Arrested Development movie and hopefully an acting career beyond teen kid roles.  Leonardo DiCaprio has continuously broken out of child-acting, a rare feat.  It’s my guess Cera’s goanna do it too.  God knows he’s got the talent.

Mr. Ferguson: Nick, why are you naked too?
Nick Twisp: Solidarity? (YiR)



  1. You really do need to see Arrested Development. I know it's TV, but it does have a film connection: it was produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man). And it's possibly THE funniest TV show of all time. :) Cera is great.

  2. It's on the top of my "To See TV" list. My siblings own the first few seasons so, when I stop procrastinating I will borrow/steal it from them. Thanks for the kick.

    Heard Ron Howard was in on it and he's def-nately top-of-the-line.

    That and I've been called Richie Cunningham since I was 5 years old.