Tuesday, April 15, 2008

FILM: The Return of Janeane Garofalo

You probably remember Janeane Garofalo from the cult classic Mystery Men (1999) or Wet Hot American Summer (2001) or even from romantic comedy The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996). But can you name the last movie you went to see her in where she had a starring role?

It's been a while, but Garofalo seems to be getting back into the swing of things. The last time I remember seeing her was in the surreal thriller Stay (2005) with Ryan Gosling, where she briefly played his therapist. After that she had an arc on "The West Wing" and a small part on the much-hyped-but-barely-viewed Southland Tales. Most of the time she's stuck with voice overs for animated films like The Wild and Ratatouille or shows like "Freak Show." Even in indies she's short-changed, playing backseat to newcomers in this year's The Guitar. Heck, she's even been relegated to made-for-TV movies like the upcoming Girl's Best Friend where she gets typecast once again as disgruntled.

In spite of the fact that she's set to start filming For Better or Worse this year, which looks like it's bound to be a shotty gay rom-com, she does have prospects on the horizon. She's already filmed a lengthy guest-spot on "24," set for a 2009 airing, and has been tapped to join an ensemble cast for a somewhat interesting romantic comedy called Hanging out Hooking up Falling in Love alongside Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) and Jenna Elfman ("Dharma & Greg"). "The story centers on a newly separated father having to learn how to date again with help from his teenage son who himself dreams of conquering one girl's heart."

What kills me is that Janeane use to be the Tina Fey of the 90s--beloved for her offbeat humor. They even came from the same comedy troop The Upright Citizens Brigade. Now it looks like she's going to need a little Fey-love just to regain any respect.

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