There are questions that keep me up at night. This isn’t one of them, but I have given it some thought:
How long can Michael Cera play the schtick of “awkward gangly guy” and get away with it? (Side note: Google “awkward gangly actor” and guess who you get? Yep. What an honour).
I’ll admit, his nerdy, awkward act brought the laughs in Superbad and Arrested Development. He was quirky amusing in Juno. I bet he was mildly amusing in Year One, but I don’t know, I never saw it (well, did you?). Early reviews for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World are good too.
But how long can it last, really? At some point, the movie-going audience will say “enough already”, much like we’ve done with John Travolta three times now, right? (Side note #2: Travolta’s a cinematic cockroach, he keeps coming back).
Will we be watching Michael Cera in our space pod movie domes in 20 years thinking “I remember him from the Gilligan’s Island movie in 2012, he was good?”
I kind of don’t think so. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the career of Dustin “Screech” Diamond and 10 being Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey, I’m putting Cera’s chances of navigating from “quirky, awkward guy” to a full-some, decade-spanning acting career at a 4 (that’s just below Anthony Michael Hall, I’m afraid).
I hope I’m wrong, but I think Cera will follow the same path as the scrawny DJ Qualls (Road Trip) went down in the 90s, after Chris Makepeace (Meatballs) blazed it in the 80s. (Side note #3: Cera, Makepeace and another current “movie nerd” Jay Baruchel are all Canadian. Coincidence?)
What do you think? Do you care?