Monday, March 28, 2011

I like you, but I don't like your movies: Amanda Seyfried

When I was thinking about my chances of see Red Riding Hood, I could only put it down to one thing: I like Amanda Seyfried, and she is the prime reason as to why I'd see this. I've always admired Miss Seyfried, and usually always watch a movie which she's in. But then I had a little think. I don't really like any of her movies. And that got me thinking even further. Can Amanda be one of my favourite actresses even though I don't like any of her movies? Let's take a look at the movies of hers that I have seen, and I'll weigh up my options: to like or not to like?

Tier One: I actually do like this one.

Mean Girls is one of my favourite movies of all time. While Rachel McAdams is undoubtedly the stand out in this movie, Amanda does a brilliant job in her first feature film as the really stupid Karen. There's dumb, then there's so dumb air is the only thing in ones head, and then there is Karen. In an ethical world, we shouldn't really laugh at ones misfortune, Amanda makes Karen Smith kinda likeable, but still really stupid. Like, a lovable kind of stupid. And, without our Karen, we wouldn't have known that this wasn't true:
"So, you have your cousins, and then you have your first cousins, and then you have your second cousins..."
 And, of course, if all else fails in life, you can use your breasts to find out whether it's raining or not. Karen is like the forgotten heroine of Mean Girls.

Tier two - I don't mind you, but I could do without you.

Okay, I admit, I do like Mamma Mia! Well...I did. I haven't seen it in two years. But seriously, I watched it a lot back in 2008, and I could sing you every one of the songs in that goddamn movie. Oh, and you wouldn't want to try and beat me at ABBA Singstar, because I rock at that. However, because half of the cast can't sing, Mamma Mia! is a painful experience for many. However, Amanda can sing, even though she comes across as trying a little too hard. She's pretty sweet in this movie, as she is in any movie, which is probably why she has built up this persona as the 'sweetest girl on the block'. She's a likeable heroine for such an annoying story, and the fact that her and Dominic Cooper click so well makes it so much easier to watch. I did feel like she couldn't quite stand up to all the talent around her (The Streep, Pierce 'I can't sing' Brosnan, Colin 'King of the World' Firth and Eric off True Blood's daddy), but she made a good effort. And that's all we can ask of Amanda. No matter what everyone says, Mamma Mia! is still great fun.

Here's another guilty Amanda entry...I did quite enjoy Jennifer's Body, but only to a certain point. I would never watch this shit again. Ever. I mean, it has Megan Fox in it. She was horribly terrible in that film. Absolutely horribly terrible. Then there's lots of strange sexualized horror in there which doesn't make any sense at all, and the story is effing terrible. Plus, not being homophobic at all, but there's random lesbian kissing which doesn't make any sense at all to the story. And the end is bloody annoying. Even though everything is so goddamn awful, now I remember it, I really quite enjoyed it. I don't know how, but I did. And I believe that most of that enjoyment came from Amanda Seyfried, because out of everyone in the film, she was the one who could act the most. Not that she had much competition. This is quite a random film to have on her filmography, as it required her to go back to high school long after she'd left, but the fact that it was written by Oscar winning Juno scribe Diablo Cody does give it some credentials. Anyway, this, on paper, must be one of her worst flicks.

Tier three - Dear God, you suck!

Alright, alright. I get why a lot of people would dig Dear John. It has a sad story, I admit. It has a father with mental issues, which is the kind of character I always get attached to. It has that hot buff guy from Step Up. BUT IT'S WRITTEN BY NICHOLAS SPARKS. Therefore, it is awful. Before I launch into a huge rant on why Nicholas Sparks is the most annoying man to have anything to do with literature, I'll say this: how is it that this man can ruin our lives with his horribly schmaltzy pieces of work and still give us enough to get a wee bit emotional at the end of all his films? I hate myself every time I feel like crying at the end of a Nicholas Sparks movie. Which is why I avoid them like the plague. I thought Dear John would somehow be different, since it has such likeable stars like Amanda and Channing, along with back up from Richard Jenkins. Mind you, The Notebook had suck likeable stars as Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling and James Marsden, and it was still annoying. Dear John was just so boring. And to think that this was the film that knocked Avatar off the top of the box office. Do cinemagoers really like being bored like that these days? Amanda shone, though, which was the main thing.'s like deja vu. Amanda seems to like her letters. First she stars in Mamma Mia! which opens with a scene of letter postin'. Then she stars in Dear John, which is like a romance told through letters. To round it all off she stars in Letters to Juliet, which is pretty much a film about letters. God help us when she discovers emails. I actually regard this one as a better film than Dear John, even though you could pretty much watch the trailer and know exactly what was going to happen in the film. But, like Dear John, this movie is bland. Just really, really bland. And totes forgettable. Because, since when were a whole lot of letters to someone who never existed in the first place an interesting plotline? Never. But when you have Amanda in the lead role, things just seem better already.

Chloe must be one of Amanda's better performances. The movie is pretty bland, and pretty awful (even though it has Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson in it), but Amanda's out of character turn as a high class hooker was actually pretty good. Even though I'm sure 55% of her performance is based on her being so good looking. Chloe is such a strange character, which I think Amanda played with really well. And this film managed to take all the sweetness out of her and make her a less than innocent being. Which was nice, considering that this is such a change of scene for young Amanda, but the rest of the film was pretty stupid, so it doesn't exactly offer fireworks and what not for her career. Though, to the minority of people who did check this Atom Egoyan flick out, she'll remain as the most memorable thing in this otherwise forgettable work.

What lies in the future for Amanda? Is she better than all of this?

I know that Red Riding Hood is a very present movie, but it's very futuristic for me since I'm waiting for the DVD release. But I've heard quite a bit of praise for Amanda's work, even though this looks like crap. Which is exactly why I thought of this post. She's always good, but her movies? No. Her next movie is one called Now, previously known as I'm.Mortal, which also stars Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde and Cillian Murphy. If it has Cillian Murphy in it, it has to be good. And I like the look of it's plot: a world where aging stops at 25 years old. Yeah, Nicole Kidman would like a world like that, too. Then she wouldn't have to use all of that botox.
P.S. Notice how Amanda is sitting in Cillian Murphy's chair? She's great, but not that great.

I think Amanda is still a pretty cool actress, but I'd place her well outside my most favourite actresses since her filmography isn't anything to scream about. But who knows? I think she could pick up an Oscar nomination before she retires.

What are your thoughts on Amanda Seyfried? Is she a yay or nay for you?


  1. Amanda Seyfried is one of my celebrity crushes. I think she is gorgeous. But I haven't really liked any of her films either. Mama Mia had its moments I guess, but not my sort of film, and Chloe was sexy, but far from great. It's arguably her best performance though. In Red Riding Hood she looks stunning again, but I don't think I can sit through it!

  2. I've only seen Mamma Mia, I didn't like it but that wasn't much of a surprise...
    I can't say if she's a good actress or not but she certainly is rather good looking.

  3. I guess some of her roles are not that good choice. I liked her in 'Dear John' and she's different in 'Chloe'. Would love to see her in a pretty good drama that's not focused on her beauty.

  4. Andy - She is gorgeous. I don't think I'd be able to sit through Red Riding Hood. It looks exactly like Twilight, just with hoods.

    Jack - Ha, I think her beauty does win over her movies.

    Andina - Agreed. I did like her in Dear John, I just really didn't like the movie. And she is very different in Chloe. I'd love to see her in a good drama too!

  5. I'm a bit confused about one thing. You start off by saying that you don't like any of her movies but then credit Mean Girls as one of your favorites. Does it not count because it was a supporting role?

    Seyfried has turned out to be one of Hollywood's most pleasant surprises of recent years. I'm so happy to see her stock rise. She's classy and deserves it. Not to mention extremely talented.

    I agree that she carried Jennifer's Body to something watchable. Needy was the only thing worth caring about in that film. I liked Chloe a lot more than you did, probably because of its boldness and twisted nature. Seyfried's performance was perfect again there. It's a glimpse of hope to see that producers have noticed talent without letting the end result overshadow. Here's hoping her career stays strong.

  6. Ah, I was just showing that there is one - and only one - movie of hers that I really do like. I like to squeeze positive things out of negative things...I like positivity a lot.
    She is extrememly talented, I'll give her that, but it's just her choice of films which seem to let her down. I hope her career stays strong, too, because I like seeing her in a film.

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