A few nights ago we finally caught Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story on cable, having intentionally missed it last winter. It was exactly the kind of movie we expected it to be… a better version of the Scary Movie/Date Movie/Epic Movie/Please God Not Another Movie spoof films but with lots of unnecessary full frontal male nudity. Seriously. But what caught our attention wasn’t the misplaced and uncovered penis; it was Jenna Fischer. We’ve long wondered what the future would hold for the better half of The Office‘s Jim and Pam, once the Dunder-Mifflin offices shuttered their doors for good. While John Krasinski gets most of the press (we’re still waiting for him to become the next George Clooney), making movies with serious filmmakers like Sam Mendes, Ms. Fischer quietly sits and waits for her movie career to blossom, much like her television alter-ego would.
Beyond being unbearably adorable, we never felt that Ms. Fischer was particularly exciting on The Office. She gives off about as much personality as a piece of office furniture, forever bowled over by the more blustery supporting turns on the show. However, in Walk Hard, she was a revelation: funny, brave and go-for-broke in a way that no modern comedic actress seems to be. Why haven’t we seen this from her before?
With that in mind, consider us slightly upset with Ms. Fischer’s decision to star in A Little Help, a twee little indie film from one of the brilliant minds behind King of Queens. Sure, it sounds like a good premise: a recently widowed single mom falls in love with her sister’s husband causing predictable tensions. However it feels like a project more suited to Amy Adams (who, incidentally, looks a lot like Ms. Fischer). And the fact that A Little Help will come on the heels of Ms. Fischer’s supporting role in Solitary Man, co-starring heavyweights like Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon and Mary-Louise Parke,r makes us more concerned. While taking a leading role in any film can’t hurt her career, we feel like Ms. Fischer is wasting her time. She has a marketable resource that needs to be tapped: a complete lack of vanity. The Apatovian Revolution has, thus far, not found its leading lady. And there stands Ms. Fischer, poised to be the Madeline Kahn of that boys club. If only she would start embracing it.