Top 5 Michael Cera Movies

Alright folks, I know it’s been over a year since my last entry in this merry old blog of mine so I tend to rectify that right…NOW!

For this entry, I’d like to rave about everyone’s favorite nerdy underdog: Michael Cera.  Most of us were first acquainted with him as the awkward, cousin-loving George Michael Bluth from Arrested Development. Since that show was unjustly canceled (why Fox, WHY?!?), Michael has successfully invaded the big screen with many hilarious roles and even became the subject of a recent meme (see below):

Here are my top 5 favorite Michael Cera movies:

#5. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist:  Cera plays Nick, a recently heartbroken teen trying to get over his ex-girlfriend, Tris and even swamps her with pitiful mix cds. He also rocks the bass in a drummerless, and otherwise all-gay band. During his band’s show he serendipitously encounters Norah, who also happens to dislike Tris.  Norah convinces Nick to kiss her and pretend to be her new boyfriend that night strictly to show up Tris. A wild ride of hilarity ensues with many ups and downs for the couple, a mission to catch their favorite band in a secret show, and tracking down the whereabouts of Norah’s drunk friend.  It all takes place in the span of one eventful night and until the end you’ll be wondering if Nick and Norah will ultimately hook up.

#4. Superbad: Starring alongside Jonah Hill as two long-time buddies facing high school graduation and splitting to separate colleges come fall. But before that there’s a party to hit, alcohol to be consumed illegally, and girls to target in hopes of losing their virginity. I believe the success of this movie started the current trend of “bromance” movies in the comedy genre with other popular films proceeding like The Hangover and I Love You Man. The writing and appearance of Seth Rogen laid out the blueprint for this comedy to be a hoot, but the effective performance of the two main stars and especially Cera made this a winner.  Much like in Nick & Norah, he reprised his ability as playing the underdog you laugh at, but also root for.

#3 Youth In Revolt: For this movie, audiences got the opportunity to realize that there’s more to Cera’s acting range. His role as the neurotic teen in love, Nick develops an alter-ego who is also played by Cera and sometimes appears simultaneously on-screen. This alter-ego’s name is Francois who is the polar opposite of Nick; a French bad boy equipped with a slick ‘stache and a much deeper voice.  Francois’ influence throughout the movie gets Nick into trouble to allow for him to live with his father instead of his mother and remain closer with Sheeni. It was wicked to see another side of Cera filled with confidence and attitude.

#2 Juno: Released merely a week after Superbad, both movies were Cera’s first forays to the big screen after Arrested Development, and making a name for himself along the way.  It couldn’t have hurt that it was impossible to not love this movie about teenage pregnancy and its consequences, making for one of the smarter comedies this decade. Writer Diablo Cody won an academy award for the script, Cera and his co-star Ellen Page both received many award nominations (Ellen won 3). Cera really paved his way as the awkward nerdy guy here, and in my opinion it’s his best rendition of it. I’m sure practically everyone has seen this movie since it’s 2007 release, thus I need not say more. The only common criticism this movie received that I agree with is the absence of any scenes Cera shared with Jason Bateman, his Arrested Development dad!  But to heck with esoteric semantics, this movie rocked!

#1 Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World:  His latest and in my opinion greatest movie.  Scott Pilgrim is based on a comic book bearing the same name. As Scott, Cera plays a 20-something slacker bassist on a quest to win the girl of his dreams, who he randomly encounters. Yes, this may sound similar to Cera’s role in Nick & Norah, but only superficially.  Scott Pilgrim in order to maintain his new romance with Ramona must do battle with her 7 evil exes; all possess super powers old-school video game style.  Cera combines the innocence of his past roles in the beginning as his dates with Ramona begin awkwardly and clumsily. But while doing battle, he steadily becomes more of a bad-ass for each fight until the very end. Cera plays this progression splendidly in what I believe is his most well-rounded performance. The supporting cast also lend a lot of laughs; especially Kieran Kulkin as Scott’s wisecracking roommate Wallace, and Jason Schwartzman as the evilest of the exes. An awesome soundtrack motors this movie along that features Beck, Broken Social Scene, Metric, The Black Lips and Frank Black (Pixies!!!).  Certainly director Edgar Wright brings this comic to life and fills this movie with a treat of video game visuals throughout!  Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World comes out on Blu-Ray & DVD on November 9th and I’ll definitely be picking it up.

While Cera hasn’t hit a huge variety of roles yet, it doesn’t matter! He’s already been in a few highly successful films with his performances receiving award nominations and critical acclaim. The guy is only 22 too. “Why fix what ain’t broke?” , I say. I’ll be looking forward to Michael Cera’s future roles, which will include a just confirmed Arrested Development movie (woo hoo!) and could only further solidify his career.


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