Today needed to be a day of writing and cleaning, so this morning I turned on the TV for background noise and company, figuring I'd pop in an Animaniacs or The Simpsons DVD if I could find no suitable brain candy. As I was flipping channels, my hopes went up a tidge when I saw CLUELESS listed. But they sank just as quickly when I realized that CLUELESS was on Cinemax, which I don't have. I do have HBO, however, which is showing MAMMA MIA! I realized that my previous thoughts on this week's column would have to take a backseat to Amanda Seyfried. Not only is she just as cute as Alicia Silverstone, her oeuvre has surpassed that of Ms. Silverstone's. (Note: "Seyfried" is pronounced like this: sigh-frid).
If you can stand the continuous barrage of Abba songs, MAMMA MIA! (2008) is a pretty movie—it's in Greece, after all, and there's a wonderful cast (I have a particular fondness for Colin Firth, like most people with a pulse, and also Christine Baranski, who simply ROCKS on The Good Wife). My favorite part of the movie, though, is hearing Seyfried sing "Thank You For the Music" in the closing credits.
As I watched Seyfried play Meryl Streep's daughter, I thought of how not long before, Lindsay Lohan had that coveted role (in A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION ), and my heart ached a little bit for a minute for that
crazy, fucked-up girl. But Amanda Seyfried is no Lohan-substitute: she's beyond Lohan acting-wise and is arguably a better singer. Not only is Seyfried ridiculously adorable, but I think she has staying power. Having said that, I do think she needs to watch the romances—too many LETTERS TO JULIET and she might find herself in Sandra Bullock's position, with only Razzies and MTV awards on her mantelpiece until she's 45.
Seyfried with Lacey Chabert in Mean Girls
Seyfried has paid her dues on soaps and bit parts, done solid work on the terrific show Big Love, proved her range in MAMMA MIA!, and showcased her skills (among other things) in CHLOE (2010). Seyfried uses her walk, her facial expressions, even her hair in the subtlest ways. (Please don't notice that I am conveniently forgetting JENNIFER'S BODY).
Sadly, I can't find the DVD release date for CHLOE, but keep your eyes out for it if you missed it in the theater. Seyfried stars along with Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson in Atom Egoyan's remake of the French film NATHALIE.
In CHLOE, Moore plays a gynecologist called Catherine (who has a remarkably fancy house and lots of great shoes, by the way, in a country with universal health care). Her husband, David (played by the sexy Liam Neeson) is a ridiculous flirt. I mean, RIDICULOUS. So it comes as no surprise that Catherine suspects him of cheating, especially when she finds him getting text messages and IMs from female students (he teaches music for various colleges). Her jealousy is compounded by the immense slowdown in their sex life and the private relationship that he and their son, Michael (Max Thieriot), share.
Catherine hires a prostitute, the seductive, but somehow simultaneously innocent-looking Chloe to flirt with David to see what happens, to see what he would do. As you will probably guess, it was a bad idea to hire Chloe. And because I really hate spoilers, I'm not going to tell you why it was a mistake to hire Chloe. (I will tell you that it was a mistake to hire someone to entice the spouse in a different kind of way that other movies have shown, such as EXTRACT.) I'm not going to tell you about the underlying themes and symbolism, but I will tell you that I went into CHLOE knowing not much about the movie, and I was pleasantly surprised at how the movie drew me in and surprised me a few times.
Do not discount Amanda Seyfried as the blonde du jour. She's more than just an incredible cutie.
Seyfried projects to look forward to:
ALBERT NOBBS, set in 19th century Ireland, directed by Rodrigo Garcia (and a screenplay co-written by Glenn Close), A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, an adaptation of an Oscar Wilde play, and THE GIRL WITH THE RED RIDING HOOD, rumored to co-star Gary Oldman.
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Semi-wholesome Midwestern girl and certified Geek Magnet offers her suggestions - often new, sometimes classic - for DVDs that are definitely queue-worthy.
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