It’s a happy birthday to Iowa-born Michelle Monaghan, who turns 32 today. Monaghan rocked the tight T-shirts effectively in Gone Baby Gone, but it’s the festive Christmas outfit from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang that her most obsessive fans probably remember.* Though the above photo, taken by Giant Magazine‘s Alex Freund, seems like a decent enough send-up of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” music video, it does little to highlight Monaghan’s real appeal — her intrinsic relatability. That factor was at the core of Monaghan’s casting in The Heartbreak Kid, and it will continue to be in every movie in which there’s a necessary play for off-lead female sympathies; she’s the anti-Angelina Jolie in this regard.
* – by which I mean have saved as their computer’s wallpaper…
Old news, but Ben Affleck has stepped in for Edward Norton in Universal’s State of Play. This after Russell Crowe took over for costar Brad Pitt, who bailed only a few weeks before production was set to commence. The movie — based on a six-hour British miniseries of the same name — centers on a House member whose speedy political rise is
threatened by an investigation into the death of his mistress. Crowe plays a politico-turned-journalist whose relationship with the lawmaker (Affleck) is
compromised when he oversees his newspaper’s investigation into the
murder, and subsequently develops a relationship with the pol’s estranged wife.
Can anyone honestly say this pairing makes them more excited and interested in seeing the movie than a Pitt-Norton pairing? After Gone Baby Gone, I’m much more interested in Affleck’s career as a director than I am in seeing him in front of the camera anymore, especially in something where he has to lock horns with a heavyweight like Crowe. Affleck’s on-screen appeal, as it were, was always rooted in a matinee idol’s identification and a nimble sense of cleverly apportioned timing, and maybe that’s why it makes sense to some to cast him as a smooth, glad-handing politician. When he tries to play cunning, though, (e.g., Boiler Room), it just doesn’t fly. Less of this, please, Ben…