Monday, September 28, 2009

Observe and Report

Director: Jody Hill
Starring: Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Michael Pena, Collette Wolfe, Ray Liotta, Celia Weston Patton Oswalt, Jesse Plemons

Running Time: 86 min.

Rating: R

★★★ 1/2 (out of ★★★★)

It's so rare when a comedy dares to do something different that when one does it sticks out like a sore thumb. Such is the case with Jody Hill's Observe and Report. I guess you'd have to call it a comedy since it is very funny but nearly all the humor is of the darkly subversive variety, not the laugh-out-loud "haha" kind you'd expect from the advertising. It's so dark that it could almost be called a violent tragedy with comedic elements thrown in for seasoning. Whatever it's supposed to be, Seth Rogen decided he would rather act in his own personal Taxi Driver instead. And it's a good thing he did.

This film goes places most mainstream American comedies can only dream as Rogen dares audiences to accept him as a violent, mentally unbalanced date rapist (!). It's no wonder everyone stayed away, yet still a shame they did because this is the first comedy to come along in a while that actually contains socially relevant ideas and will still have you thinking days after you've seen it. One viewing probably isn't enough to fully absorb this.

I sympathize with all who complain Rogen is overexposed because he is to an extent, but when an actor works hard to prove he's worthy of the attention he's getting, I don't have an issue with it. No one can say he's been coasting or phoning it in since hitting it big with Knocked Up and this represents the pinnacle of his efforts, revealing a shocking hidden dimension to his talent we've never been exposed to. The spirit of another dark comedy, The Cable Guy, lives on in every scene of the picture, only this is sicker and more depraved, just as bipolar as the film's lead character. It also joins another Rogen film, Funny People, and this year's Adventureland, as comedies marketed as something they weren't, sharing with the latter one of the year's best soundtracks. But what's scariest is that if this were actually marketed as what it was, there's a good possibility EVEN FEWER people would have seen it. Hill has constructed a film that seems deliberately intended to shock and attain cult status, which it likely will. Yes, it knows it's cool. But that's hardly a problem when it really is every bit as cool as it thinks it is.

Rogen plays Ronnie Barnhardt, the bipolar head of security at Forest Ridge Mall who lives at home with his alcoholic mother (Celia Weston) and is not so secretly in love with the make-up counter girl Brandi (Anna Faris). When a serial flasher begins terrorizing the mall's patrons, Ronnie sees it as his big opportunity to step up and come to the traumatized Brandi's rescue by launching his own investigation. He assembles a crack team consisting of Dennis (a crazily cast Michael Pena), the Yuen twins (John and Matt Yuan) and newbie Charles (Friday Night Lights' Jesse Plemons) to uncover and apprehend the culprit. This ruins the plans of Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta in his best role in YEARS), whose own investigation is being sabotaged by Ronnie's shenanigans. A nasty feud begins, dragging to the surface Ronnie's lifelong dream to join the police force, a near-impossibility given his unstable mental condition. It isn't enough that he merely defeats Harrison at his own game. He actually wants to be him.

The brilliance of the film is how careless it is. Almost as if it was intentionally made for the studio to lose money. How many comedies do you see where the characters are shown shooting heroin? Or where the hero date rapes a nearly unconcious girl after she's vomited all over herself? It's sick stuff and Rogen plays it completely straight, his character operating under the illusion that he's always doing the right thing and is the protector. Of course in actuality, he's far more of a threat and much more unbalanced than the streaker he's trying to bring to justice. A fact lost on every other character in the film.

Expectations are challenged and reversed, putting the viewer in the awkward position of rooting for a psychopath. This is especially true with the strange relationship that develops between Ronnie and Detective Harrison. One scene in particular, where Harrison vindictively sets him up, has a payoff you would have never guessed any writer could be smart enough to think of, much less have the guts to pull off.

In what can't amount to more than 10 minutes of screen time, Anna Faris gives a supporting performance unmatched by most actresses so far this year. No joke. At one point Ronnie describes Brandi as "the most beautiful girl in the world," but Faris peels the layers away to reveal her instead as the ugliest and most repulsive. She shows complete fearlessness and a total lack of vanity in going to all the uncomfortable places the part requires. At first glance you think she's going to be playing another lovable, air- headed ditz but it soon becomes obvious this is much darker and very far removed from that.

Brandi is so self-centered and detestable that even her worst act of betrayal against Ronnie isn't an act of betrayal at all because that would operate under the false assumption that anyone's else's feelings would be on her radar screen. Faris makes every second this character is onscreen a vile, unpleasant experience in which we quickly lose patience with Ronnie for not being able to see through this. Ever wonder what would happen if the super-talented Faris were given darker, more challenging material to work with? Here, we finally find out.

The ending of the film is disturbing in that Ronnie's delusional actions are actually considered heroic by these people. As if that's not enough, Hill's screenplay also forces us to identify with him and them. We see how he feels marginalized by society and the scenes with his frequently drunk mother are sad, but strangely touching. The Taxi Driver comparison is appropriate because despite the vulgar humor around him, Rogen plays Ronnie as scary, not funny, and the entire movie seems to exist in this pitiless vacuum of moral depravity.

If the movie has any heart at all it belongs to disabled food court worker Nell (played brilliantly by Collette Wolfe), whose friendliness and optimism in the face of verbally abusive treatment from her manager (Patton Oswalt) so starkly contrasts to the goings on around her that the character really leaps off the screen as someone special. It's such a well-written part, never cloying or begging for sympathy as we hope the clueless Ronnie eventually sees what's been right in front of his face the entire time.

I'm not familiar with Jody Hill's polarizing work and have never seen his cult comedy The Foot-Fist Way or Showtime series Eastbound and Down, both of which star Danny McBride (who cameos in this as a gang member), but I now have a good idea what to expect. It's kind of sad that a comedy has more to say about the society we live in than most dramas released recently. That Hill somehow manages to do it all in an economically sound running time of 86 minutes and with a killer soundtrack (featuring obscure gems from The Yardbirds, Queen, The Band and Patto) to heighten the crazy mood, is even more impressive. This isn't Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but as dark as it is it's still a lot of fun because there's a real thrill in watching a comedy take chances like this. Observe and Report proves that it isn't showing off if you're able to back it up.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Director: Tony Gilroy
Starring: Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 125 min.

★★ (out of ★★★★)

Considering the talent involved in the making of it, Duplicity is a shockingly dumb film. And it's the worst kind of dumb film in that it delusionally thinks it's intelligent. Worse yet, it conveys an attitude of smug self-importance. Almost as if we should be honored to watch two big stars play unlikable characters bickering endlessly about the same issue for over two hours in a needlessly convoluted plot. The movie just spins its wheels telling two converging stories (one personal the other professional) ineffectively. As if that's not bad enough, writer/director Tony Gilroy, in his highly anticipated follow-up to 2008 Best Picture nominee Michael Clayton, actually has the nerve to not deliver on anything he promises, defeating the purpose of the entire film.

Usually, when a movie doesn't work there are at least some things in it that make me feel like I at least haven't totally wasted my time. This is different. Here, there are so many pointless (and often predictable) red herrings that the film seems to be setting itself up to fail unless it can deliver on any of it. That would be tolerable if Gilroy presented this as what it should be (a slick 90-minute crime caper). Instead, he attempts to merge an old fashioned Hollywood screwball comedy, an espionage thriller and an epic romance.

The result is a bloated, self-indulgent vanity project made so its writer can pat himself on the back for writing cool, slick dialogue and to remind us what wonderful stars (notice I said "stars," not "actors") Clive Owen and Julia Roberts are. The sad thing is that they are exceptional actors, but this isn't designed to take advantage of that. It feels like one of those Ocean's movies and if you replaced Owen with Clooney it would be. Is it December yet? This is the kind of film that usually rolls into theaters during Awards season so voters over the age of 70 can cast their votes for safe, inoffensive material starring big names. At least Michael Clayton was exciting...and didn't have a stick up its ass.

The movie opens five years ago in Rome when MI-6 agent Ray Koval (Owen) has a one-night stand with CIA operative Claire Stenwick (Roberts) in which he wakes up the next morning having been drugged and outplayed. Their paths cross again as we cut to present-day New York and both are now working as spies for two rival pharmaceutical companies. Ray is a corporate spy for Equikrom, led by its unpredictable CEO Dick Garsik (Paul Giamatti), while Claire is the head of security for Burkett & Randle, whose CEO Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson), is sitting on a huge secret that could change lives. Despite their opposing allegiances and a complete mistrust of one another, Ray and Claire make a pact to go into business together in the private sector, a decision primarily based on mutual physical attraction and the potential monetary benefits. What unfolds next is a series of double-crosses, fake double-crosses and twists all built around whether Ray and Claire can trust one other and which side each is actually on. Are their feelings for each other real or is it part of the con? That question grows tiresome when its repeated in scene after scene and situation after situation for 125 minutes. Anyone expecting a big payoff to this elaborate, overwritten and labor-filled set-up will be greatly disappointed.

Owen and Roberts are charismatic and likable leads who share a breezy chemistry. So the movie coasts on it, offering little more. We know from the beginning that Ray and Claire can't trust each other and there's no reason why they should considering both are spies. It's up to Gilroy to sell us on their potential romance, which is difficult because the two characters can't stand one another and continuously throw cranky fits. When they're not doing that they're busy congratulating themselves for delivering cleverly written dialogue that feels and sounds like cleverly written dialogue. Their exchanges are too snappy and movie-like, to the point that they draw more attention to the writer than the actors actually delivering the lines. And it always seems like lines are literally being "delivered." As are the all-too complicated details of the plot, which at times are impossible to follow, even though the story is as simple as can be.

It's tough to pick what Gilroy falters worse with; his tale of corporate espionage in which he can't decide whether this is a farce (Duplicity!) or a dead-serious Hitchcockian thriller or the would-be romance between two lying spies who hate each other which means they really love each other. My vote goes to the espionage portion if only because he makes the screenwriting mistake of introducing a huge SECRET (the contents of which the two companies are battling over), only to reveal it as a huge letdown. It was supposed to be humorous...I think. You can never tell with the film's uneven tone. Gilroy was trying to make about three movies at once and his "twist ending" wasn't just obvious, it was pointless and if you think back on the whole thing, at the end every character is essentially exactly where they started off. Nothing happened.

I don't know what's going on with Owen. After a promising career start he's really found himself in a rut, also starring in this year's equally awful espionage thriller, The International. Here he's playing the familiar role he seems to have mastered lately...himself. Roberts fares much better if only because she's at least cast against type (as she was opposite Owen in 2004's Closer), even if her character is too bitchy and uninteresting for us to care much at all what happens to her. To Roberts' credit though, as she pushes past forty she's much more believable now as a sexy spy than she would have been in her supposed prime. Unlike Owen, she escapes this disaster completely unscathed and reminds us that she's capable of more than she's often given credit for. Wilkinson and Giamatti unsurprisingly impress with what limited screen time they have as the movie definitely could have used more of them. Wilkinson, such an integral part of Clayton's success, is criminally underutilized, hardly appearing at all. The entire film would have been better off if it were just about those two.

Gas is expensive. Movie tickets are expensive. So is soda and popcorn. Paying actors' salaries and promoting a movie is even more expensive. Too much of everyone's money is at stake to deliver a film that accomplishes nothing other than entertaining the director and actors who made it. The leads are appealing, the scenic locales look good and I'm glad everyone seemed to have had a nice time. Now they all should get back to business. Luckily, audiences knew enough to stay away from this and it was released at a time when intelligent adult dramas are bombing left and right. The biggest trick Duplicity attempts is trying to convince us it is one.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Crank 2: High Voltage

Director: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
Starring: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Efrem Ramirez, Dwight Yoakam, Bai Ling
Running Time: 96 Min.
Rating: R

★★★ (out of ★★★★)

Sometimes there's nothing like great trash. 2006's Crank was great trash. Crank 2: High Voltage is dirtier great trash. When I found out about this sequel my first thought was, "HOW?" But I should have known that you just don't ask any questions. The sequel picks up literally where the original left off, without skipping a beat or pausing to worry about how our hero could have possibly survived a 10,000 feet fall from a helicopter. Just as the tagline says, "He was dead...But He Got Better." That's all we need. The first movie was jacked up, high adrenaline fun that lacked any semblance of logic, but succeeded because it understood that and proudly rubbed our faces in it. It was more a video game adaptation than most films actually adapted from video games, knowing its place as a wicked satire of action films and never taking itself seriously.

Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's follow-up provides more insane awesomeness while adding bonus humor and vulgarity. It's sexist, racist and homophobic but they get away with it all by simply being in on the joke. Little needs to be said about any movie that features a shotgun being shoved up someone's rectum, nipples and elbows being cut off, a woman being shot in her silicone implants, a character with "Full Body Tourette's," a disembodied talking head and a title card that reads "9 SECONDS LATER." That time frame pretty much lets you know about the attention span required to follow the action. This definitely isn't for all (or maybe any) tastes but if you loved the first film you'll love this since it's essentially just a repeat of its prequel, even so much as cribbing individual scenes and situations, but with a nastier, more mean-spirited tone. As incredulous as they were, the events in the first movie did at least seem to spring organically out of the craziness the protagonist found himself in. Here, they're just piled on one after another for shock value which makes for a slightly inferior film but does nothing to lessen how entertaining it is. The novelty may be gone, but the thrills aren't.

Hitman Chev Chelios (Jason Statham), who in the original film was injected with a deadly Chinese cocktail that would kill him if his heart stopped pumping adrenaline, is scraped off the L.A. pavement after his deadly fall by Chinese mobsters. He wakes up three months later to discover they've replaced his indestructible ticker with an artificial battery-powered heart just long enough to keep him alive to harvest the rest of his organs. He escapes and finds out from Doc Miles (Dwight Yoakam) that he must keep electricity running through his body to stay alive and hopefully reclaim his real heart from crime lord Johnny Vang (Art Hsu). Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Eve (Amy Smart), thinking he was dead, wasted no time getting on with her life and took up an interesting new profession, which effectively adds another layer of sleaze to an already very sleazy movie.

Whereas the original somewhat resembled an action movie of sorts, this one is a full-on parody loaded with rogues gallery of bizarre characters and weird events, jumping a mile a minute from one scenario to the next as Chev has to find creative ways to keep his artificial heart charged. Like him, we don't even get a second to catch our breath. This is the best example of an achievement of style over substance if there ever was one but Neveldine and Taylor do deserve credit as writers for coming up with a clever scenario to keep the franchise running and recognizing that the only way they were going to pull this off was to throw caution to the wind and turn the volume up on everything that worked in the first.

At the end of that film no one could stop talking about the infamous Chinatown scene and this time no one will be able to stop talking about the racetrack scene, which is really just an encore of it, except far crazier and more graphic. Amy Smart, so memorable in the first film, is given more to do this time around and plays an even larger role. We can hope she's paid really well for these movies considering the amount of sexual degradation her character endures, which she admirably never backs down from. And while the first interspersed classic rock songs over the soundtrack (i.e. Jefferson Starship's "Miracles") at the most insane moments, you'll have similar problems listening to The Marshall Tucker Band and REO Speedwagon the same way again after this.

You don't have to have seen the original to fully appreciate the sequel but it helps since there are many subtle and not so subtle nods to it throughout. In addition to Smart and Yoakam reprising their roles, Efren Ramirez returns, but as the twin brother of his flamboyant character from the previous movie. There's also a parade of welcome appearances from the likes of Gerri Haliwell (in something resembling a flashback scene), porn star Ron Jeremy, an unrecognizable Clifton Collins Jr., Corey Haim (in a mullet!) and a well disguised David Carradine in one of his final completed roles. Bai Ling's weirdness is utilized the best it's been yet as psycho Asian prostitute Ria.

Is it hypocritical of me to slam something like Transformers: ROTF while praising high-octane garbage like this? No, because this knows exactly what it is and doesn't pretend to be anything more. It actually pretends to be a whole lot less, playing more like a low-budget grindhouse exploitation flick than a mainstream action movie. Plus, this has Statham who's always a reliable bad ass and it capable of selling just about any crazy situation. The film's wildest moment is a power plant brawl that cleverly spoofs the Godzilla movies. No one can watch that scene and tell me the filmmakers aren't just out to deliver a fun time, nor can you hold the final product on screen to any normal standard of good taste. It might be slightly messier and uneven, but Crank 2 is riskier, succeeding exactly where its predecessor did in providing the ultimate mindless thrill fix.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

5 Actors/Actresses Who Need a New Agent (Badly!)

When I recently reviewed Adventureland I noted that the big surprise of the movie for me was the performance of Kristen Stewart. It was the kind of perfectly written part any young actress would dream to play and she hit it out of the park. Those who know Stewart only from THAT OTHER THING she starred in will be equally surprised. Unfortunately for her, due to said choice, her reputation as an actress is pretty much shattered and she'll now have to work about a million times harder to prove herself. This got me thinking. When the right actor or actress meets the right role magic can happen, but more often then not that's like hitting the lottery. And to be able to build on that momentum and sustain a consistently successful career is nearly impossible. The fact is many of these actors probably have agents who don't have a clue what they're doing and the ones that do might not listen because their egos are too big. Angelina Jolie doesn't have an agent. Neither does Bill Murray. And they've done just fine.

The actors/actresses on the list below don't have careers that are in dire straits, nor do they necessarily need a "comeback" (that's a different list entirely) since they're still planted firmly in the public's conciousness, but if things keep going in the direction they are, it won't be long before they do. Yes, they're all making money but they could be making MORE MONEY and MAKING GOOD MOVIES also. In a perfect world, they go hand in hand. The good news is that the situations of these five (with the exception of one) could be considered "fixable" and don't have problems a simple change in representation or a dose of reality couldn't quickly solve. At one time or another I was fan of all of them and if anything they should take it as a compliment they were singled out because it means I think they're talented and still have a lot left to offer. If I didn't I just wouldn't have wasted my time. This list could easily be expanded but I've chosen to narrow the focus only on these five because their careers are most worth salvaging. Two of these sting because I was a huge fan of theirs, but only one makes me furious with disappointment (it'll be obvious who). This person has been torturing us with her shitty choices for nearly a decade and it's time for an intervention. As a special gift I'll be giving all of them some free advice as to how they can turn things around. They'd be wise to take it.
5. Nicolas Cage-Okay, so he lucked out with Knowing which, thanks to a good director, turned out to be successful despite on paper carrying the hallmarks of his embarrassing blockbuster action choices over the past decade (frequently featuring him with crazy hair). That minor success aside, things haven't been great creatively for Cage, who basically traded in his Oscar for cash. He's an action star, not an actor, which would be fine if the movies he made weren't Ghost Rider, Next and Bangkok Dangerous. Things don't look good for the upcoming Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Seeing his name on the marquee is practically a dead give away that the film is going to blow. Only The Weather Man and Lord of War stand out as anything worth writing home about in the past few years.

I think it's great that he used the Oscar to leverage for bigger paydays in action movies, but I wish they were good movies and that he mixed it up occasionally with dramatic roles (like his brilliant turn in Adaptation) that remind us he is a very talented actor. Compared to others on this list he isn't in such bad shape because the public actually likes him and wants to see him do well. All he needs to do is pick better scripts and work with better directors and he's set. Easily solvable. 

4. Sandra Bullock-Anyone who thinks that the moderate success of The Proposal in any way signifies some kind of return to form for Sandra is kidding themselves, especially considering that her latest, All About Steve, is sitting at 0% (!) on the Rotten Tomato Meter. Everyone (well, at least the ladies) saw The Proposal because of Ryan Reynolds, who probably could have co-starred with a corpse and still opened it huge. But the good news is that no one stayed away because she was in it and the public will always like her.

It's now just a matter of finding the right projects, which is difficult because of how Hollywood tosses actresses aside when they hit 40. A select few like Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep have been able to overcome this but they have more talent and versatility than she does. Bullock is more similar to Meg Ryan in that while she's a solid actress, she was popular throughout the 1990's primarily on the basis of her cuteness and likability. What Sandy should do is the opposite of Cage. Take a huge blockbuster type role in a mindless action franchise to get audiences accustomed to seeing her as a big deal again. Playing an ordinary woman thrown into extraordinary circumstances is what drew audiences to her to begin with so there's no reason to think it can't happen again. Four words: SPEED 3 JASON STATHAM. Then after that she can attempt to stretch a little dramatically (which she once did to awesome effect in 2005's Crash).

3. Harrison Ford-It seems these days the only way you're going to see Ford in a good movie is if he's being referenced in a sight gag or used as a punchline [like in Fanboys and (500) Days of Summer]. Who can forget his "accent" in K-19: The Widowmaker or his unfortunate turns in Hollywood Homicide and Firewall? No matter how much money Indy 4 raked in it didn't do anything for him as far as a career resurgence. The film being awful likely contributed to that.

What he needs to do is stop taking silly comedies (he isn't funny) and cool it on the action roles. Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone can still get away with it at their age. He can't. Not because he isn't believable but because he's a different kind of actor than they are. He's a lot quieter and more low-key, making him difficult to cast. The answer at this stage is to take more gritty, independent character driven parts, even if they're supporting roles. He needs to take a page out of Stallone's book and pull a Cop Land (but of even higher quality). Ford is lucky in that he's a big star and age isn't nearly as much of a factor for actors as it is for actresses. It's really perplexing that he's struggled this much. 

2. Katie Holmes- Katie, Katie, Katie. When The Dark Knight opened last summer, one of the biggest surprises to come out of it were the amount of Holmes fans coming out of the woodwork claiming they actually preferred her take on Rachel to Maggie Gylennhaal's. I disagree, but it was a much closer call than expected. While she was definitely the weak link in Batman Begins, looking back the performance couldn't have been as bad as everyone originally thought if Maggie just barely managed to top it and no one can claim the sequel would have been any worse off had Katie chosen to return. That's cause enough for her to celebrate. What isn't is that she backed out of one of the most critically and commercially successful movies of all-time so she could co-star in Mad Money, which is cause for alarm any way you look at it. But the public's lukewarm reception (misplaced or not) to Gylenhaal in the role proves moviegoers may finally be willing to put concerns over Katie's personal life aside to give her a chance again.

Many forget that she was really on a roll for a while and could have possibly achieved the fame she has now through her work if things had continued down the path they were going. Make all the jokes you want about Dawson's Creek but she was amazing on it and there would have been no show without her. She had small but memorable turns in The Ice Storm, Go, Wonder Boys, Phone Booth, Abandon and The Singing Detective. And of course an appearance in Sam Raimi's The Gift that's legendary for reasons completely unrelated to her acting. Her career high point came in 2003's Pieces of April, where as the title character she delivered her best performance to date. She may have been woefully miscast in Thank You for Smoking but at least she had the foresight to work with a future Oscar nominated director. What's interesting is that the parts weren't showy or huge, just great fits for her. Her agent deserved a raise, a new house and a yacht. Instead, she got her walking papers when YOU KNOW WHAT happened in 2005.

Taking a couple of years off and keeping a relatively low profile may have been the best possible thing she could have done in terms of her public perception. The timing feels right now for a comeback. I'd start with really good supporting roles and then work my way up. If under a good director she can find a part that somehow combines the girl next door we originally fell for with her new mature persona it would be a solid first step. Even though she cheated a little, her name alone is now big enough to open a movie whereas just a few years ago it wasn't. That's an opportunity she can't pass up.

1. Kate Hudson-

2002- The Four Feathers
2003- Le Divorce, Alex & Emma, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
2004- Raising Helen
2005- The Skeleton Key
2006- You, Me and Dupree (I actually liked this one but it was still an unquestionable flop)
2008-Fool's Gold, My Best Friend's Girl
2009- Bride Wars

I don't even know what to say about her anymore. If we combined all the pitiful choices of everyone else on this list it wouldn't equal an eighth of the damage Hudson has done to her career in the past five to ten years. Most frightening of all is how someone so young could have amassed a filmography of such garbage. Even if I refuse to believe she's Goldie Hawn's biological daughter until I see a birth certificate, she's insisted on taking roles her mother would of played 20 or 30 years ago. The difference: Her mom was funny.

I guess this finally settles the debate as to whether Kate was just "playing herself" in Almost Famous. She wasn't. Penny Lane would have never been dumb enough to sign on to those movies listed above. Nothing she's done can erase the magic of that performance but you can't say she hasn't been trying. Would it be wrong if my advice was to quit acting? Yes, it would. Which is why I'd tell her to just take a little break and then give Cameron Crowe a call. On the bright side, a lot of moviegoers like me still refuse to forget how unbelievable she was in that role and would be happy to welcome her back.