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Movies > Lists > 7 Unlikely Roles For Geeky Michael Cera

A Sgt Pembry Joint  
Sunday, February 21, 2010

Remember Steve Urkel from the long-running sit-com FAMILY MATTERS (1989-97)? He was the extremely nerdy teenager, played by JALEEL WHITE, who was mildly amusing for a time until producers got greedy and converted him from a bit player to a main character to cash in on his popularity - and eventually got just plain annoying.

But, imagine if 'Harry Highpants' Urkel had been taken a step futher and he began popping up regularly in films but with a different identity. In fact, every movie the actor White would appear in.

It may not have happened to White and his alterego Urkel, but it's happened with MICHAEL CERA and George-Michael Bluth, the awkward youth he portrayed in clever sit-com ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (2003-06). The one who has a crush on his own cousin.

You may have read my review on YEAR ONE (2009), the disappointing comedy starring Cera and JACK BLACK (SCHOOL OF ROCK, SHALLOW HAL) and directed by HAROLD RAMIS (GHOSTBUSTERS, GROUNDHOG DAY).


I made the point that in the film Cera is doing what he has become accustomed to - playing a shy and awkward yet 'lovable' geek, this time at the dawn of time.

But, it's the same one from ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. The same one from SUPERBAD (2007). The same one from JUNO (2007). The same one from from every other bit of film Cera's done.

As I said in the review, being typecast is not entirely the fault of the actor or actress, but Cera needs to learn some new tricks. Or demand he learn them. Fast.


Well, after ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, the movie, is released next year anyway. It is after all where the character originated ... And maybe a new feature length movie version of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, in which he plays the main character - a role I must admit he is almost perfect for as good old Gilligan is also a shy and awkward yet 'lovable' geek. Seymour Krelborn in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (above) could be another.

But, that's it. ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL (SIXTEEN CANDLES, THE BREAKFAST CLUB, WEIRD SCIENCE) couldn't play the nerd forever and neither will Cera.

While it's highly unlikely the 21-year-old will be changing his ways anytime soon - especially as it will be hard for him to shake that ridiculous look of his - let us imagine a world where Cera is not a shy and awkward yet 'lovable' geek.
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