Monday, October 6, 2008

Let's Make Love & Listen To Death From Above: Or, How I Stopped Worrying & Learned To Love Michael Cera

Hey, you know what the world needs? A movie about a sensitive dude who hooks up with a sassy chick while listening to some of today's hottest indie bands! Well, fortunately for the sensitive and/or sassy among us, such a film has been released, and it promises to redefine love for our generation. I speak, of course, of Garden State.

Just kidding! I meant Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Oh, no, wait, that's not it. Juno?

Closer... but no, still not right. No, I am speaking of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - a movie that I have not seen, but that is so familiar to me already that I feel confident I can transcribe the entirety of its dialogue in five minutes:

NICK: Sensitive sensitive sensitive.
NORAH: Sassy sassy sassy.
NICK: Say, do you enjoy the music of [band]?
NORAH: I surely do - as does our intended audience! We have quite the connection.
NICK: Let's fuck and listen to [band] together.
AUDIENCE: Awwwww. Yay!

Much as I complain about such movies, I am beginning to suspect that I will, at some point, want to see Nick and Norah, for reasons which I shall describe thusly: Michael Fucking Cera.

Michael Cera! He is so charming! At times, it seems that the entire genre of quirky indie young adult rom-com – in which the boys are all shy blushing ingénues pursued by quirky girl-powered ladies who say things like “I refuse to be the goodie bag at your pity party” – has been invented merely so that Michael Cera might exist. He blushes; he stammers; he casts his eyes down in meek bewilderment. He's less like a human male than he is like a gentle forest creature, stranded in our urban landscape and longing for the shelter of the woods. To see Michael Cera is to want to tell Michael Cera to put on a warmer sweater, lest Michael Cera catch his death of cold. You cannot resist him. In fact, you should not try.

Yes, Cera's screen persona - which seems fairly inalterable, a routine he carts along from one role to the next - does smack of calculation. Yes, there's something cheap about how neatly he's been positioned: he's a teddy bear for girls and a nonthreatening viewer surrogate for boys, an actor who manages to be vaguely "cool" without being inaccessible to the kids who shop at Hot Topic. Yes, he knows precisely what he's doing, and his stuttering, mumbling humility is most likely an act. You know what Michael Cera says to that?

Awwwww, look at him in his little jacket!

That's right: Michael Cera says nothing. Any questions about Michael Cera's integrity, any doubts as to his range, any suggestions that he might in fact be some sort of ageless android manchild designed to incapacitate the American public with sheer nonthreatening cuteness, thereby rendering them helpless in the face of the forthcoming alien invasion - any objections to Cera whatsoever - will be met with a blinding onslaught of sheer adorableness.

Awwwww, with the hoodie and the guitar and OH MY GOD I BET HE'S WRITING A SONG ABOUT LOVE AND DREAMS.

Give into it, people. Michael Cera has reached the age of his majority, and there is nothing you or I or anyone can do to stop him. If you date boys, get ready to compare them to Michael Cera; if you are a boy, get ready to come up short. There is no need for this to be painful. After all, no matter how inadequate you or your loved ones are, you will always have before you an exemplar of perfect indie-branded romance, in the form of the Almighty Cera and his Infinite Playlist.

Together, now: Awwwwwwwww.

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