Does Jay Baruchel have what it takes to be a leading man? Dorks rarely have the opportunity to carry an entire movie by themselves. But with Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg's indie success stories, perhaps studios are willing to give the scrawny Jew a shot. So what has he decided to pad his breakout star campaign with, since apparently starring in the FOX series "Undeclared," playing an untalented dork in Million Dollar Baby, costarring in The CW's "Just Legal," joining the Apatow gang for Knocked Up, and playing second fiddle to a black-face Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder didn't do him any good?
Well first, this March, he'll play an airport employee who finds a smoking hot passenger's (Alice Eve on Starter for 10) cell phone, and benefits from her sudden desire to try something (or someone) new. So basically we have to watch as she struggles to find something lovable about a perfectly nice guy, who worships the ground she walks on. Throw in a crapload of embarrassing moments, the serious lack of support from his friends (Mike Vogel from Cloverfield, T.J. Miller from "Carpoolers," and Nate Torrence from Get Smart), the misguided attempt at assistance from his white trash big brother (Kyle Bornheimer from "Worst Week") and sister-in-law (Jessica St. Clair from "In the Motherhood"), and a jet-flying, macho ex-boyfriend (Geoff Stults from "October Road") who's trying to get her back, and you have yourself a rom-com.
Next, he'll voice the lead character in the animated film How to Train Your Dragon, also out this March. Then he'll round it all off, co-starring opposite Nicholas Cage in the fantasy film The Sorcer's Apprentice as a young protege who's about to discover how magical this world is.
What do you think? Three hits? I think that the rom-com will probably open in the bottom half of the top 10, since most of his co-stars are either no-names or TV actors. Although I think the dragon looks like a lizard, the kids might eat up the animated film. The real clincher, however, is the fantasy film. Let's put aside Nicholas Cage's financial woes, and focus on the fact that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz's action romance Knight & Day, and M. Night Shyamalan's live-action adaptation of The Last Airbender all come out two weeks before Sorcer's Apprentice. Then add on Christopher Nolan's (The Dark Knight) much-talked about thriller Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page, which debuts that same week. That's A LOT of competition. A LOT!
But who knows? Maybe a director will see something in him that'll lead to bigger and better things. Maybe someone will stop casting him as a hapless loser, because I'm sure, if given the opportunity, he could offer so much more.