Let That Girl Be Dumb

“It could just be like The Butterfly Effect. That one little movie led to Ashton Kutchers doing a lot of bad movies.” Does the name Elisha Cuthbert mean anything to you? If you've heard of her, there's a good chance it's from that movie, you know, the one with the fairly provocative cover? "The Girl Next Door", I think it's called. I think they even used some kind of slip cover to seem like she was showing more skin in that picture than she actually was.

Anyway, there's that. There's "House of Wax." These are her major roles other than "24." Oh, and don't forget "Old School." She was in that too. Not exactly the most notable impressive roles in an actress' career. It would seem, unfortunately, that a lot of what poor Miss Cuthbert has been in has looked at her as only a pretty face.

For good reason, I suppose, since she's a very attractive lady. There's no denying that. It's just not enough. Not when I can be watching other things, good things, that still star attractive women. There's a surplus of them in Hollywood. Give me a pretty girl that's worth watching.

I say all this not to criticize any of those movies (though "House of Wax" probably deserves it), but to praise her newest role. She plays Alex in the show "Happy Endings." In it, she's still pretty, obviously. The creators of the show have done something a whole lot better with her though. They've let her be funny. Really, really funny.

The best bit she does, aside from the quote that started this post, is when she doesn't understand something, but she convinces everyone who does to "say it all together" with her, then repeats it back to them after they've started saying it. It's charming and wonderful and just the right type of humor to catch me off guard from someone who looks like her.

The thing about girls in horror movies and most mainstreams comedies is that they're almost always the "straight men," as unfortunately gender specific as that title is. The ones who play it sane while the zaniness happens around them. Or the stabbing, I guess. That happens in the horror movies.

Anyway, they don't get to be the silly ones because, for some reason, silly is thought to be demeaning for women. Grown men can act like babies all they want (re: Will Ferrell), but if a woman is anything less than composed and strong and grown up, she's looked down upon. You might even hear the term "anti-feminine."

Well, if you've seen "Happy Endings", you know that silliness is job number one. There isn't a sane character on the show. And, God bless them, the writers give Elisha so many laugh out loud moments.

We need more of this. Women who aren't afraid to be funny. Women who are, more importantly, allowed to be funny. It's not anti-feminine to not have it all together. This is especially true in a comedy, where humor is supposed to come from characters who don't have it all together.

Let's let our pretty women stay pretty, but let's expect a little more of them too. Even if that little more is completely misunderstanding what the butterfly effect is.