Wednesday, December 04, 2013

(7) Days of Zooey - Day 3 (#643.)

The first time I really noticed Zooey Deschanel was in 2005's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Being a big fan of the trilogy (as it were) by Douglas Adams, it was always going to be a given that I'd watch this movie.  A lot of fans, or as it sometimes seems every other fan, just didn't care for it, but I loved the movie from the start, and Zooey was the reason why.  Although it stars the very British Martin Freeman, Zooey is obviously not native specific to the source material, which is pretty much the case with the rest of the cast as well (including the manic Sam Rockwell and Mos Def), although there's always Alan Rickman and Bill Nighy to tide the restless fan over.  The fans thought this was one of many details that just didn't ring true with everything they'd already loved about the original story.  They thought it was far too Hollywood.  Although for the record, Sam Rockwell?  About the last guy you could call the Hollywood mainstream.  Even George Clooney couldn't sell this guy (even though he's completely awesome).  So anyway, I realized I loved the movie in perhaps its biggest deviation from the novel/radio program, when Freeman's Arthur Dent declares his unabashed love for Zooey's Trillian.  What sells this moment so well is Zooey's innate ability to draw sympathy from the audience, and it comes from those distinctive eyes of hers.  A lesser actress would have long ago consigned themselves to movies where they were sad all the time.  Instead Zooey has become, as mentioned before, the epitome of adorkable (stealing that title, arguably, from Kirsten Dunst).  Jennifer Garner can do extremely sad and extremely happy (and extremely badass), but I think her options tend to shrink because audiences are looking for a blend of all these.  Zooey is the more perfect version of Jennifer Garner, minus the extreme badassery (for now).  Anyway, when this big dramatic moment occurs, it's the point where the movie stops being the British Men in Black (as I like to consider selling it to anyone who is not particularly obsessed with things like always traveling with towels) and becomes its own entity entirely.  And maybe that's kind of what the fans noticed all along, without realizing it.  It's the moment where you realize this is not Arthur Dent's movie at all.  It's Trillian's.  Which is to say, Zooey's.

9 comments:

Pat Dilloway said...

I like the movie but would disagree with your assessment of her importance. Really they could have used someone a little older for that role as basically Trillian is more a mother to Beetlebrox and Arthur than a lover as she has to keep things going since Beetlebrox is too lazy and Arthur is too scared.

Purists were probably annoyed at Arthur and Trillian hooking up at the end but I thought it was better than in the books. And why not have a happy ending if you're just doing one movie?

DAVID WALSTON said...

I didn't mind her in HGTG.
I liked the cheesy one from the TV show a little better, but that might be nostalgia talking.

Tony Laplume said...

Pat, indeed!

David, I owned the BBC original, and watched it and all, but it just hasn't aged very well. I'd much rather finally listen to the original radio version.

DAVID WALSTON said...

I still don't have the Radio version. I guess I can ask Santa.
*looks at wife with puppy dog eyes*

The Armchair Squid said...

I enjoyed the movie alright but, like David, I'll take the old BBC series anytime. The spirit of his writing (since it was, after all, his screenplay) is much better preserved.

Regarding the Siri commercial, I'm not sure there's much in the way of controversy. It's just a terrible ad and she comes off like an idiot:

"Is that rain?"

Maurice Mitchell said...

She gave the movie a wide-eyed innocence with a dash of spunk which I enjoyed. I didn't hate the movie, but the mini-series was just so iconic...

Remembering Grace said...

What do you call a HGTG fan who didn't see the movie?
I don't get out much.
:(

Tony Laplume said...

David, I'll send some positive vibes.

Squid, I don't know whether to seek this commercial out now or avoid it...

Maurice, I guess I just had no idea how important the mini-series was.

Grace, you call them lovers of Vogon poetry, that's what.

Tony Laplume said...

For the record, Squid, I did go back and research the Siri commercial. Turns out it's definitely one I've seen before and loved quite a bit. Especially the dancing at the end! I think if there's any controversy to it, there're the apparently many, many parodies of it.

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