Love & Sex

Who Would You Rather?: Lizzy Caplan vs. Alison Brie

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Two stunning comediennes, one impossible choice.

Usually, the "would you rather" question involves two options so despicable that the choice is difficult, like a choice between chewing glass or bathing in a tub of worms, or between sleeping with John Mayer or sleeping with Shia LaBeouf.

Today, let's contemplate a happier problem. What if the challenge in a "would you rather" was that both options are so awesome, so incredibly appealing, that being forced to pick one and forgo the other was impossible?

Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie are cosmically gorgeous women, both extremely talented, and both seemingly personable. Caplan and Brie also have in common the title of "thinking man's celebrity crush" — i.e., they're celebrity crushes for men who think they're too cool and interesting to drool over Scarlett Johansson. And wonder of wonders, they're appearing together for the first time in the upcoming movie Save the Date.

So let's compare the two and see who wins this glorious installment of Who Would You Rather? …as determined by a nerdy internet writer trying to pick between two beautiful and talented women in an article neither of them will ever read.

In which a guy who didn't lose his virginity until college debates the relative physical attractiveness of two gorgeous women.

Let me attempt to qualify the shallowness of this section by saying this: my opinion of someone's physical attractiveness is always affected by their personality. For example, Ms. Caplan is more attractive in Party Down, as a witty, surprisingly competitive actress/caterer, than she was in Freaks and Geeks, as a clingy disco enthusiast. That said, Alison Brie looks pretty great in Community, considering I would really hate Annie Edison in real life.

But everything I just said aside (that's a great way to write, huh? Just type out a paragraph and then tell people to forget it?) I'd have to give Caplan the appearance point. I wouldn't begrudge anyone saying Alison Brie is more attractive, but she's a very specific type, with the wide-eyed cartoon innocent thing. She looks like a busty Snow White. Whereas Caplan is more of a crowd-pleaser, or maybe I just imagine all crowds swooning at the sight of a dark-eyed Jewess. The best way to judge them might be to watch them in animated-GIF form, since their status as "thinking man's celebrity crushes" means they might be the most heavily GIFfed performers in history.









Uh, where was I? Bottom line, it's very hard to take your eyes off of Brie, and both of them have what we in the imaginary-Hollywood-guy biz call "daaaaammmmmn fine bods," but I'm still gonna have to go with Lizzy.


In which I use the science of internet stalking to determine who is more fun to hang out with, and who is a better person.

From my obsessive following of Alison Brie's Twitter, I have to register a little hesitation. She's funny, sure, and she has great taste, but she also strikes me as someone who might put too much effort into her own personality. She also wants too much for people to know she's a sexual person; she sometimes comes off as pandering… which is hard for me to complain about since I generally represent the demographic of panderees, but still.

Caplan, on the other hand, did an AMA on Reddit and came out looking super-cool, starting with her awesome proof picture. So I think hanging out with Lizzy Caplan would be a blast, and Alison Brie might be more concerned with what you thought of her. The thing about Alison Brie, though, is that I feel really terrible any time I say anything mean about her, even though she'll never see this. Something about her makes me not want to hurt her feelings. Fuck it, this one's a tie.

NEXT: "Willingness to objectify self"

In which I evaluate the careers of two extremely successful women from my secure vantage as a freelance writer.

An actor's career is a reflection of their personality, because of the projects they choose and the projects that choose them. Lizzy Caplan has made great choices: a bit part in Freaks and Geeks, a great role in Mean Girls, the only appealing part in Cloverfield, and a starring role in the near-perfect Party Down. She was in True Blood too, but was smart enough to bail before it went completely crazy. Alison Brie has been in the best comedy on TV, Community, and the second best drama on TV, Mad Men. She was also in Hannah Montana, which means she's a true gangster. Both actresses have great taste, but I think Lizzy is a little more discerning. Her point.


In which I pretend to be offended by sexual objectification but actually enjoy it quite a bit.

Alison Brie has done a bunch of those generic men's-magazine style photoshoots, sucking on strawberries and gallivanting with co-stars, and just generally displaying her body in a sexual way for the amusement of others. This clip of Brie and her Community co-star Gillian Jacobs flouncing around in old-timey lingerie is a pretty fine example. You know, if you're into that kind of thing.

Caplan has done the the whole men's-mag game too, but not as much. (I don't know if that's her choice or society's.) Caplan also got naked on True Blood, to pretty spectacular effect. But Brie's almost made a career of this kind of thing, so I'm giving this one to her.


In which I imagine the relative chances of success upon asking each of them out. I said relative.

In picking a potential sexual partner, one of the most important matrices is to determine is if you have a chance with them. If you don't, then why bother?

So: Alison Brie purports to love sex, and the more you love something, the lower your standards will be in acquiring it, no? If you love pizza, you'll eat really shitty pizza. I could be the "really shitty pizza" of sex! As for Caplan, she's been dating Matthew Perry for years, and Matthew Perry is as close as a celebrity can get to being an "average Joe." It's a tie.


All right, I've tabulated the scores, and I'd like to reveal the winner: Lizzy Caplan. The loser? Alison Brie.

And me.