By David Poland email@example.com
Rachael Leigh Cook… Take Two?
The 2001 run of Anti-Trust, Blow Dry, Josie & The Pussycats, and Texas Rangers kind of ended the sense of inevitability that many had pegged this young actress with when she was a darling of the indie circuit. The run went from from The House of Yes in 1997 (at 18 years old) until She’s All That and an arc on Dawson’s Creek killed her street cred at 20.
I don’t know this woman. I don’t know what she wanted. I don’t know how she saw her work or how she behaved on sets or in meetings. All I do know is that it kinda ended with that studio run in 2001.
So when I put an indie from Anchor Bay called Bob Funk, due for a brief theatrical release before DVD, into the DVD player… and her name, not a male name, was on top… I wondered what that was all about. And indeed, she is not the star of the film, but with Amy Ryan in a small role, she was the closest thing to a commodity they had.
And then I wondered… when is she going to turn up in the movie? And then I realized… she had. She’s blond (obviously a pliable condition), but more so, she is no longer a waif. She is a woman (30 in October) and she now has the curves of a woman. He face has filled out into a somewhat less pixie-ish shape, but she is still quite beautiful (if not terribly well photographed in this film). And she has a personality! One could see this there in Josie & The Pussycats, but that, it seems, is not what people wanted to hire her to do in films.
She really struck me – and the movie is indie okay… really a highlight reel for the star and the writer/director… feels like a stage play full of hard talk converted on a whim – as someone ready for the next round of their career to begin. It is very easy, now, to imagine her carrying a sitcom, taking a strong role on a good hour-long, or even crafting a career as a chick flick star. She is beautiful, but accessible… she is funny, but not showy… she seems daring, but not precious… really interesting.
It is easy to imagine her going into meetings and the execs or producers being surprised by who walked into their office. She doesn’t read as that girl we once saw in those movies. But if they can get over their youthful excitement about who she was, I think there is a real chance that she could have a better career as who she might be. Really interesting…
(CORRECTIONS Thurs, 12:55p – Apparently, Magnolia is distributing the film, Bob Funk, and Anchor Bay has another film I watched very late last night, The Education of Charlie Banks (with shockingly solid directorial work by Fred Durst) with their name is all over the screener. And Ms. Cook’s name was short an “a,” which I have now corrected.)