Was it her role in Jawbreaker (1999) that first caught my eye? Keen observers probably took note of good-girl-Fern turned bad-girl Vylette all the way back then, but I have to admit I was too distracted by Rose McGowan as bosomy teen vixen Courtney to notice anything else. No, it was during her run as the Best Friend in two awful romantic comedies (27 Dresses, The Wedding Planner) and one good one (13 Going on 30) that I first became aware of Judy Greer’s charm and comic timing. Whenever she popped up in some crap movie, it would briefly come to life, and I started thinking of her as a pal.
But what really sold me on Greer were her guest appearances on TV comedies. Recurring roles on Arrested Development, Two and a Half Men, and Californication turned me into a fanboi. Inevitably Greer gets cast as a gleefully libidinous woman – “Doctor Slut-Bunny” as Penny calls her on a memorable episode of The Big Bang Theory – and the cartoony land of TV somehow lets her freak flag fly in a way that doesn’t happen in formulaic rom-coms.
In addition to her sitcom guest spots, Greer has her own (disappointing) show called Married, she is the voice of Cheryl Tunt on cult cartoon Archer, and she recently published a hilarious memoir I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: My Life as a Co-Star. But some of us always need more cowbell, and I was hoping that this was going to be the Spring of Judy – she has four high profile movies either in theaters or soon to be released. This slate of films should have catapulted her to the A-list, or at least provided a few laughs. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Let’s find out why.
Tomorrowland – Jennifer Lawrence look-alike Britt Robertson stars in this sort-of-fun-if you-don’t-think-about-it-too-hard attempt at uplifting filmmaking. Judy Greer plays Mom, but almost her entire role was cut due to “first act pacing issues.”
I was too busy wondering why they didn’t cast the actual Jennifer Lawrence in this movie to even notice Judy Greer’s cameo appearance.
Role JG should have played: George Clooney’s hippie-dippy comic relief wife or evil Hugh Laurie’s sexy sidekick.
Entourage – This spring’s critical piñata didn’t suck as much as people say (shut up, it was funny), but it did commit one fatal error: relegating Judy Greer to a tiny cameo appearance as “Casting Director.”
Role JG should have played: Ball-busting studio executive or love interest for lonely Johnny Drama.
Jurassic World – Dinosaur thrill-ride stars Bryce Dallas Howard, who comes off as sort of a sexy robot version of Julianne Moore. Judy Greer plays another Mom role, but at least she gets a few lines (and hopefully a piece of the pie).
Role JG should have played: Some sort of adorable scientist. Like evolution in reverse, women in the Jurassic Park Universe have devolved from Laura Dern’s intelligent paleobotanist in the first movie to shrieking ninny Tea Leoni in Jurassic Park III, and now to unfeeling corporate clone Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World. Bring back Judy Greer in Jurassic World 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold, and make her at least a PhD in paleo-ethno-crypto-botany or something.
Ant Man – Here is the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly. It isn’t out yet, but I think I already hate this movie. According to IMDB, Judy Greer is in here somewhere, playing a character called Maggie. But you wouldn’t know it from the trailer.
Role JG should have played: Ant Woman. No more screwing around with Mom roles and cameos. It’s superhero time.
So, to sum up, Judy Greer needs a new agent. And you know who has two thumbs and is willing to take on the job?