Welcome Back, Rachel!

rachel Welcome Back, Rachel!We can’t say we’re all that surprised that the return of Rachel McAdams has been met with decidedly few huzzahs—after all, on the list of under-the-radar actresses, she would rank near the top—but come on! Where is even the slightest display of giddiness? Here we are on Friday with her latest film, State of Play, opening nationwide, and it seems that nary a peep has been uttered about the Canadian actress. (Perhaps everyone spent too much energy discussing Julia Roberts’ comeback last month to bother with another broad-grinned box office queen returning from years in the wilderness.) Because, while it might seem hard to believe, it’s been five years since Ms. McAdams first broke through the clutter of Hollywood ingénues with The Notebook ($81 million) and Mean Girls ($86 million). And after turning herself into a viable box office draw the following year with a triumvirate of hits—Wedding Crashers ($206 million), Red Eye ($58 million) and The Family Stone ($60 million)—she basically disappeared. Save appearances in the little seen indie’s Married Life and The Lucky Ones (the two films grossed under $2 million, combined), Ms. McAdams has become a ghost. Thankfully, it looks like 2009 is going to be her comeback year.

We’re not completely alone in our love, of course. Ms. McAdams was recently named the ShoWest Female Star of the Year, an award that has as much meaning and significance as the Perfect Attendance honor you got in the sixth grade. But, hey, it’s something! In fact, superstardom is almost preordained for Ms. McAdams despite the fact that in the past she has seemed content to not work—she recently told Variety she was in New Zealand “making memories, not movies.”

That being said, we guess Ms. McAdams could use the break. In addition to State of Play, where she plays a lithe Woodward to Russell Crowe’s portly Bernstein, Ms. McAdams will co-star with Eric Bana in the long delayed and much anticipated adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife, which is currently scheduled for an August release. Then, in December, she stars opposite Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes, a movie already drawing both positive and negative comparisons to the first Pirates of the Caribbean film. (For the record, we’d consider any comparison to the original Pirates of the Caribbean a great thing.) As if that weren’t enough, in 2010 she’ll appear with Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford and Patrick Wilson in the J.J. Abrams–produced Morning Glory, from director Roger Michell.

Phew! With all those projects and future press tours lined up, Ms. McAdams has plenty of opportunities to establish herself permanently on Hollywood’s A-list, alongside permanent members like Reese Witherspoon and Ms. Roberts. And, at the very least, she won’t have time to break Ryan Gosling’s heart for a third time!