Michael Cera really gets his share of flack, doesn’t he? You’d think he’s just some talentless asshole who happened to be young and play aloof really well, then suddenly he falls into a shit ton of movies that he has no business being a part of. And that’s simply not true. He’s just been cast in far too many films. That’s mostly the fault of his agent and Hollywood not being able to cast, y’know, any of the other thousands of kid actors out there. When someone gets overexposed like this, it leads to horrible taunts, disparaging comments on the internet, and, of course, animated gifs. What teenage movie has anyone ever done that didn’t involve chasing after a girl? Hell, what flick has Woody Allen ever been in that doesn’t have the same drive?
We have lost touch with what made him so talented and popular in the first place: his deadpan delivery, his willingness to go along with anything, and his fearlessness to make himself look like both an asshole and an idiot in broad strokes. With this in mind (and after watching Scott Pilgrim for the 30th time) I bring to you one of my favorite things Cera has ever done: Impossible is the Opposite of Possible.
The video itself is a parody of this video wherein some guy brags about himself for an uncomfortable amount of time as some sort of video resume. It’s a horrifying look at self-masturbation and should be shown in classrooms around the country as the sort of things Americans shouldn’t aim for. That, of course, would be utter douchebaggery. In all honesty, you don’t need the source material to enjoy Cera’s performance.
Some of my personal favorite highlights:
Immediately throwing out hollow phrases for success as the mic is being put on
1:13 – The “Alfred Winford” quote and photo
1:25 – The double-take on his tennis ball-retrieving prowess
1:47 – Throwing a totally dry paint brush over an already finished (and framed) photo
2:05 and forward – The entire guitar playing section, as the strumming never matches the audio, climaxing in the electric guitar solo overheard as he strums his acoustic in some kind of children’s park.
2:31 – “Hi, I was wrong. How are you?” I do picture him doing this every time she calls, making the apology rather rote, and probably even funnier.
3:21 – Describing how he lifts weights and how he becomes “a better investment for a company” probably worked well in the original video, but takes on a whole new meaning when you see Cera, The Actor (and, of course, Scott Pilgrim. I know, I know, it’s all I talk about other than Kanye. Well get his album and watch Scott Pilgrim and maybe you’ll understand why I’m this way).
3:30 – The deadpan delivery he has become known for shines so well in this section about what kinds of relationships he has. He rarely–if ever–tips the joke; he’ll always have a normal, even-keeled delivery that really makes you listen for the gag. It’s a talent that we overlook with Cera cause he’s so good at it (…well…and he does it all the time).
3:41 – He doesn’t like reading, sure, but notice how that coffee mug is still in the exact same position.
3:49 – This entire speech murders me every time: Take it to the limit. Meet the extreme. You have to knock them dead. Deal yourself a full house. If you want to dance, then dance! But do it with passion. All bets are off. Four on the floor. This is go time, and it’s…the final quarter.
3:55 – The combo of the girl doing her big spin move into dancing (in a room that is clearly just the two of them, alone) with Cera’s “if you want to dance, then DANCE” is just perfect, especially as he is so mechanic as he goes to touch her, completely uncomfortable.
4:00 – The snowboarding shot that’s definitely not him.
4:10 – Mentioning at the end of the four-minute tape to help people improve themselves that if you are a loser, well, you’ll always be one. Sucks bro.