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Forget Scientology or Heaven's Gate. Today, the biggest cult in our country may very well be the teeming masses anxiously awaiting the return of Arrested Development. After years of rumors and dashed hopes, it seems the beloved TV show will finally be reincarnated, this time on the big screen.
But don't break out your Cornballers yet: the film isn't set to hit theaters until 2011. How will you last that long? While you can treasure your DVD collection of all three seasons, you'll probably want to vary things up in the year-plus before we get sweet relief. Off the top of your head, you might know to watch Michael Cera in Juno, but where can you find Judy Greer in a role as crazy as Kitty Sanchez? Will Arnett as a man as bumbling and self-involved as Gob? Or Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman having more comical (and sexual) misunderstandings than they did as Rita Leeds and Michael Bluth? Nerve and IFC have joined forces to give you all the help you need — here are the Top 20 films to Give You Your Arrested Development Fix*.
* Until they actually make the movie.
Amy Poehler (Bride of Gob): Angie in BABY MAMA (2008)
Poehler's Arrested Development character — who never had an actual name that we (or her on-screen husband) were privileged to learn — met Gob while out partying and essentially married him on a dare. Like the white-trash menace whom Tina Fey hired to carry a child for her in Poehler's leading-lady movie debut, she was a feisty, impulsive gal who preferred to make her most life-altering decisions while drunk.
Michael Cera (George Michael Bluth): America Hoffman in STEAL THIS MOVIE (2000)
In his post-A.D. movie roles (Superbad, Juno, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Year One), Cera has maintained his ownership of a certain character type: the paralytically shy, lovestruck guy with romantic angst raging beneath his soft-spoken exterior. If this is understood as the defense strategy of someone who grew up in insane circumstances, in a bizarre family beset by legal difficulties, it all might have its roots in his pre-teen appearance in this Abbie Hoffman biopic. He plays Abbie's son, who has to contend with the pains and sorrows of having a celebrity fugitive for a father, not to mention having that name.
Tony Hale (Byron "Buster" Bluth): James Epstein in THE INFORMANT! (2009)
Surprisingly enough, no Arrested Development regular has shown greater range in other roles than Hale, and in his small role as Matt Damon's lawyer in Steven Soderbergh's gonzo true-crime story, he finds himself in the non-Blusterish position of being perhaps the sanest person in the room. On the other hand, he's in the very familiar situation of having to deal with a mess made by someone who might possibly be just the teeniest bit unhinged. By the end, he's wearing the expression that, with Buster, always signaled a strong recurring desire to retreat to the safety of his mother's womb.
Dave Thomas (Uncle Trevor): Boris Badunov in BORIS AND NATASHA (1992)
Before playing the strange, menacing figure keeping a watchful eye on Rita Leeds in Arrested Development, Thomas had the chance to duck around corners and consort with a beautiful, mysterious woman in this live-action feature based on the villains from the classic Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. Although this was in some ways a masterstroke of casting, the movie itself has been seen by so few people that the CIA would have done well to rewrite the script as a hiding place for state secrets.
Charlize Theron (Rita Leeds): Mary Embrey in HANCOCK (2008)
In this twisty superhero story, Theron had to stretch to play a woman with a loving family, a deep, dark secret — and the ability to throw Will Smith through a wall. She got to warm up for the part with her story arc on Arrested Development, playing a mystery woman with an English accent, which also gave her a chance to practice being inscrutable, foreign, and badly misunderstood by Jason Bateman.