Not a member? Sign up now
Probably the most iconic moment of the original Spider-Man trilogy — the upside-down kiss in the rain — was all about Dunst. Maguire did his part, but let's be honest, it was the soaking pink dress (and attendant raisin-smuggling) that made a huge impression on the movie-going public. That being said, Dunst has well established her hotness outside of the Spider-Man films. Please note her seminal performance in Bring It On. Is this her most serious role? No. (That would be her turn in
Dick Melancholia.) Dunst was at her alluring daffiest in a performance that should go down in high-school-comedy history. Also, she wears a cheerleading outfit for most of the running time, so, points for that. Really, plop the girl into any era — from 18th-century France to '70s suburbia — and she can cut an appealing figure.
That being said, we can't ignore the fact that the term "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" was literally inspired by Dunst's performance in 2005's wretched Elizabethtown, which features the actress at her most aggravating. You can add the failed teenage angst-fest Crazy/Beautiful onto the list of Dunst bombs as well: watch as Dunst flirts with the danger of miscegenation! Gasp at the unsightly pairing of a Meg Ryan haircut and a crop-top! Dunst can do lots of things well — stony alienation, repressed sexuality, human pyramids — but this kind of trouble-making teen isn't one of them. Demerits!
Stone's been acing this whole "being hot" game since she first made a splash as Jules, Jonah Hill's would-be paramour in Superbad. (Never underestimate the power of a perfectly timed "What the fuck?") But her sexiness portfolio is more diverse still. There's her adorably goofy Olivia Penderghast in Easy A, a modern-day Hester Prynne who embraces an unearned reputation as what Grandma would call a "loose woman." Then there's her shotgun-wielding Wichita in Zombieland, the kind of con woman who's savvy enough to get all your guns, but still sweet enough to take her little sister for one last trip to an amusement park. You can't really blame Jesse Eisenberg for following her.
On the con side, witness The Help, a.k.a. "The Unbearable Whiteness of Being." The Help is really the antithesis of sexy. For one thing, it takes on Big Heavy Moral Issues; for another, it doesn't do it very well. Turning the civil-rights movement into a tale of one white woman's personal and professional growth is just never going to work, and not even the freckles on Emma Stone's face will convince us otherwise.
The boys are easy: Garfield may not have many credits to his name, but he has a charm that Maguire lacks, so he takes the win. (Also, have you seen him in that Spider-Man suit? Wow.) The girls are where it gets tough: Dunst has a long resume, and while it's spotty at times, she's made her mark as far as on-screen hotness goes. (And acting talent, of course.) Stone's greener, but has a higher success rate overall. We're going to have to give it to Stone, but this was a photo finish. Now, to the theater!