Aubrey Plaza - Hot Video: Prom Date with Jason Bateman and Will Arnett

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Is Aubrey Plaza the next Zooey Deschanel?

Admit it. You're kind of crushing on Aubrey Plaza. And who can blame you? Zooey Deschanel reigned supreme as America's favorite manic pixie dream girl for years, but by now the twee shtick is so 2009. Geek boys and girls are ready to worship at the altar of a new girl-next-door obsession -- only Aubrey Plaza's less lollipops 'n' kitsch, more Daria-meets-the Apatow bunch. Call her your deadpan geeky dream girl.

In fairness, we still adore Deschanel. Her brand of prettified, comely beauty may never get old enough that we'll stop watching her woo feckless man-children in quirky indie films or turn that catchy "She & Him" tune off when it comes on the radio. It's not that she's lost her manic pixie dream girlishness; it's just time for a new female ideal to nudge the manic pixie out of the spotlight she's been hogging for far too long.

If you're new to the Plaza party, there are a few familiar hallmarks that'll make this transition easier. Just like Zooey D, she's got a cool librarian look down (the requisite French hair -- brunette with bangs -- and the nerdish spectacles she sometimes wears). Boys dig her, and we girls like her sardonic style. But where Zooey Deschanel won them over with her dulcet tones and saucer eyes, Aubrey Plaza gets our vote for her deadpan delivery and ability to make awkward the new awesome.

In the Sundance comedy Mystery Team, Plaza plays Kelly, the straight woman to a trio of naïve high school seniors-turned-amateur detectives (played by Derrick Comedy members Dominic Dierkes, DC Pierson, and Donald Glover). The former Upright Citizens Brigade comedienne earned kudos alongside her Derrick co-stars and gave plenty of panty-waisted boys in real life those funny tingly feelings deep down inside.

Next, take Plaza's turn in Judd Apatow's Funny People. One of the film's only female performers, Plaza steals scenes from under Seth Rogen's nose with her turn as Daisy, a stand-up comedian who's fought over by Rogen's shlubby Ira and his roommate Mark (Jason Schwartzman). Both Daisy and her stand-up are dry and a little weird, which seems to be one of Plaza's strongest styles (check her out as the disinterested intern April on Parks & Recreation for another specialty -- apathy taken to the extreme). We geeky girls were in desperate need of an icon of our own to voice all those sarcastic, pithy comments we always find ourselves muttering under our breath, and Aubrey Plaza seems like the woman for the job.

With her role in Edgar Wright's upcoming comic book adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Plaza is destined to keep the geek crowd hooked. Watch for her as Julie Powers, the sometimes girlfriend of Sex Bob-omb lead singer Stephen Stills who works in a record store and is best described, in one word, as "*." Expect her to be one of the characters you'll love to hate, in a role that should only seal Plaza's place in our hearts as the new queen of comedy. (After all, she's already done Sarah Silverman better than Sarah Silverman could ever do herself.)

In sum, we'd like to recruit you all into the cult of Aubrey Plaza, where dream girls are no longer manic nor pixie-like and will definitely not rescue your floundering ass from those quarter- and mid-life crises. She may not laugh at your jokes and might not sing dreamy songs and yes, she's probably much smarter than you. But this deadpan geeky dream girl is exactly what you need -- nay, what we all need -- to save us from the saccharine sweet overkill of our out-of-control pixie problem.



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