Sunday, January 17, 2010

TRAILER: She's Out of My League

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.


  1. "But with Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg's indie success stories, perhaps studios are willing to give the scrawny Jew a shot."

    First of all, Michael Cera isn't Jewish at all.

    As for Jay Baruchel, while his father was Jewish, his mother was not, and he wasn't raised Jewish.

    Why do you guys always make it a point to emphasize the Jewishness of nerdy, ugly actors, some of whom aren't Jewish at all, and some of whom are only half Jewish? (Ben Stiller is the worst example of this).

    Logan Lerman, who played Percy Jackson last month, is 100% Jewish, but I didn't see a peep about his Jewishness anywhere here. Is it because he's a teen idol and not a nerd? (same story with Zac Efron, Paul Rudd, etc.)

  2. Sorry to insult you Anonymous. You're right. I should've done my research and made sure that Jay was completely Jewish before calling him Jewish, especially since Judaism is a religion and if he doesn't practice, it doesn't really count.

    As for Cera and Eisenberg, I didn't call them Jewish. I called them dorks--not ugly dorks, scrawny dorks. I find all three of them attractive. The topic of discussion was "Can a dork make it in Hollywood?" Not "Can a Jew make it in Hollywood?" However, I understand your frustration. We've started referring to anyone who even looks remotely like Jesse Eisenberg Jewish. That would be like calling anyone who looked like Salma Hayek Mexican. I apologize.

    I think the reason writers (and the public in general) feel the need to emphasize how Jewish an actor is is because that's what differentiates them from other actors. It's the same reason people always focus on Jonah Hill's weight, Penelope Cruz's accent, and Christina Hendricks' hourglass figure. None of it may matter, but it's too obvious to ignore. Describing them in this way gives them a "personality."

    As for Logan Lerman, since he doesn't fit the stereotypical--albeit small-minded--description of a Jewish guy, there's no need to mention it. I know it's stupid that the media feels the need to point out the obvious, but you'd be surprised how often it happens.

    P.S. Zac Efron is Jewish? Don't tell Jesse Eisenberg. ;)

  3. I don't think the fat Jonah Hill comparison quite applies here. Obviously, everyone who is as fat as him is distinguished by being fat, everyone who has a figure like Hendricks is distinguished by having a figure like Hendricks, etc. But "Jewish" isn't quite the same, unless it's used as a reference to a physical appearance or a personality rather than to a religion and/or ethnicity, in which case it's incredibly ambigious and applies to probably several hundred million people who aren't Jewish. The references to Jewishness on this site include "bashful, self-deprecating, Jewish persona", "short, fat, jew jonah hill", "dorky Jew by the name of Shia Labeouf" and the above "scrawny Jew". On the other hand, the only reference that matches a specific descriptive characteristic with, say, "Italian", is "beautiful italian physicist" in a review of Angels & Demons (a "beautiful Italian physicst" played by an Israeli Jewish woman, by the way). No "dorky, nerdy Italian Michael Cera" or "geeky, short, unathletic Italian-American Michael Angarano".

    I also never saw what's so Jewish about Jesse Eisenberg. Not a single one of his major characters has ever even been identifed as Jewish in the movie they were in (the Village, Cursed, Squid and Whale, Hunting Party, Adventureland, and Zombieland). In the last few (not before), he had outgrown curly hair, but that doesn't make someone Jewish. All of his characters were neurotic, but that ''definitely'' doesn't make someone Jewish, else we get into those hundred millions again.

    BTW, even Logan Lerman "doesn't look Jewish" now? What hope does that leave for Eric Dane, Bar Refaeli, Sara Paxton, Anton Yelchin, etc., and the aforementioned Zac Efron (I don't get the Efron-Eisenberg joke in the last sentence; yes, Efron is Jewish; unlike "Eisenberg", a Germanic Jewish name common to many non-Jewish Germans, "Efron"'s last name is a Hebrew word, so it's more "genuinely" Jewish in a sense - director/writer Nora Ephron basically has the same name, though spelled a bit differently).

  4. Wow! Just breezed right over my apology. Okay, I will attempt to never use the word Jewish to describe anyone on this site ever again, since apparently I'm using it incorrectly or as a derogatory term.

  5. Jay Baruchel is just a fourth Jewish, actually. So you've gotsa multiply him by four to reach Logan Lerman.

    Monica Perry = dumb dumb dumb.