The Rule of Actress Displacement

So last night, I journeyed out to $5 movie night at the South Side Works to see “The Other Boleyn Girl.” For those of you that know, I got my certificate in Medieval and Renaissance studies in college, though my focus was more on Elizabeth I’s reign than Henry VIII. But my friend Gwen is a HUGE history buff (her goal in life is to be Indiana Jones. There’s a whole story, I’ll tell it at the end because it amuses me…) who knows a ton about Henry VIII’s reign and can recite, at will, the exact procession of Henry’s wives.

SO, we go to see this movie. And it’s…good? I guess? I mean, it wasn’t BAD. It was very pretty. And Natalie Portman is AMAZING, but that’s to be expected. It’s Natalie fucking Portman. And Eric Bana? Well, after I got over the urge to yell “HENRY SMASH INFERTILE WIFE!” very loudly during most of his scenes, I was good.

But Scarlett Johansson? Can we talk, sweetie?

You’re gorgeous. You are a gorgeous woman and you’re very outspoken and come off as fairly intelligent from what I’ve seen. But there are a lot of things you are not.

One of them is a serious actress.

Don’t get me wrong. She’s an actress. But you have levels of actress. One of those contains women like Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren. That’s the top fucking tier and is where Natalie Portman belongs and will eventually reign supreme over us all. There are lower tiers, not so much saying that these women can’t make enjoyable movies, but that they do not raise acting to the level of a fucking art form. ScarJo falls into the tier of “action heroines.”

Scarlett could be an excellent action heroine. She can point the gun at people and look serious and give that sort of smug “I told you so,” look to the hero. Basically, ScarJo SHOULD BE PLAYING THE PARTS THEY GIVE TO JESSICA ALBA.

Jessica Alba? Should…um…okay, I just don’t like her.

So the general rule of actress displacement is as follows:

Natalie Portman should be playing the serious roles that Scarlett Johansson plays (unless they are in the same movie, then it gets tricky)Scarlett Johansson should be playing the action roles that Jessica Alba plays (meaning she’d be The Invisible Woman and there might be some redeeming quality to the Fantastic Four films)Jessica Alba, magnum to the head, thank you grandpa (to quote Eddie Izzard).

Here’s a helpful chart:

And that’s the end of that chapter!

(So, the story with Gwen is she wants to be Indiana Jones. To the point that she’s majoring in history with a concentration in Early Christianity. Like, we went to see Jumper on Sunday night and when the Indy 4 trailer started, she literally leaned forward and grabbed my ankle hard enough to bruise, because you could see Karen Allen. We are threatening to dress up as Marion and Indy for opening night in Pittsburgh, since she has high waisted pants and I have an Indy hat. This would also serve to completely confuse a few of our friends who are convinced Gwen and I have slept together.

But, anyway, she only wants to do the “This is the ancient blah blah and it does blah blah,” parts, while her friend is going to do the whip cracking and gun shooting bits. You can compare this to Rick and Evie from The Mummy, but do so in her presence and prepare to die a painful and bloody death. Because no, it’s nothing like The Mummy, why are you so stupid?

And I am going to be the friend who follows them around going “WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!” and then trips and falls against a wall and finds the hidden chamber that contains the ancient blah blah that does blah blah.)