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Six Miscast "Unattractive Best Friends"
by Jeremy Popkin
In a universe not far from here known as Hollywood, this woman is a 7.
I know romantic comedies are supposed to be a warm blanket of cliches, but even by those standards, it's baffling how these movies use funny girls only to prop up their allegedly prettier friends with the occasional catty comment or group karaoke number. Even more unforgivable is when the supposedly undateable best friend is better-looking and more charismatic than the character we're supposed to be rooting for. Forthwith, here are six women who Hollywood thinks would beg me for a date. Oh, the magic of cinema.
1. Krysten Ritter as Patty, She's Out Of My League
Ritter unfortunately gets relegated to crazy bitch (or B----, as it were) roles pretty frequently. It's true her dark hair and big eyes place her firmly in the upper right-hand corner of the Wacky Broad Matrix, but as anyone who's had their hearts broken by Breaking Bad can tell you, she's capable of playing characters who are more than caustic quip machines. And while emotional depth isn't exactly a priority in She's Out Of My League — a movie that wrings dramatic tension out of the possibility that Jay Baruchel will ejaculate in his pants — Ritter still comes off as more alluring than her blue-eyed co-star, Alice Eve. (Who is, naturally, the film's idea of a "10.")
2. Lauren Ambrose as Denise, Can't Hardly Wait
Among its many faults, Can't Hardly Wait perpetrates one of the great romantic injustices of '90s teen film. For the whole movie, even as his beautiful, witty best friend Lauren Ambrose languishes right in front of him, Ethan Embry pines for personality vacuum Jennifer Love Hewitt. Fine, they deserve each other. But Lauren Ambrose doesn't deserve to make out with Seth Green in the bathroom. This is not fair.
3. Judy Greer as Casey, 27 Dresses
Judy Greer is another actress who seems destined to play shrill head cases for the rest of her career, a fate she hasn't helped herself avoid via her unforgettable performance as Kitty "SAY GOODBYE TO THESE!" Sanchez in Arrested Development. There are no exposed fake boobs in 27 Dresses, but Greer's wise-cracking, wisdom-dispensing Casey is still far more appealing than Katherine Heigl's heroine.
4. Lizzy Caplan as Janis Ian, Mean Girls
If I had my way, Lizzy Caplan would play the love interest in every movie ever created. I don't even care if they're romantic comedies or not. World War II drama? Documentary about our failed education system? Lars von Trier acid trip? I demand awkwardly shoed-in Caplan. I'd even retroactively grant lead status to Caplan in Mean Girls, and not just because hindsight allows us to view her as a supremely talented comic actress and Lindsay Lohan as someone destined to get naked in a Danny Trejo movie. Caplan's alt-chick stands out as the sexiest part of Mean Girls, partially because she never dresses up as a "sexy Santa."
5. & 6. Greta Gerwig as Patrice and Mindy Kaling as Shira, No Strings Attached
Like most male humans, I enjoy looking at Natalie Portman. (I might as well admit that Princess Padme Amidala played a very significant and very specific role in my developing sexuality.) Unfortunately, in No Strings Attached, she has lots and lots of casual sex with Ashton Kutcher, which is a total dealbreaker in my hypothetical relationship with her. And she's not helped by Mindy Kaling and Greta Gerwig standing on the movie's sidelines, tempting viewers to imagine a different film that's about cute, funny, single women, and not about an established Hollywood sex symbol trying to have sex with another one. Or anyone trying to have sex with Ashton Kutcher, really.