How Three Summer Movies Could Have Been Saved By More Judy Greer
If you don’t know who Judy Greer is, you’re living life wrong. But maybe that’s not your fault. Maybe you’ve been living under a rock, or under the thumb of a charismatic bunker dweller for the past 16 years. If so, let’s take a brief moment to acquaint you with why we love Judy Greer.
It all began in 1999 with Jawbreaker, the bonkers teen comedy where she went from the painfully awkward Fern Mayo:
To cruel and cool Vylette, outshining famous co-stars Rebecca Gayheart (remember when she was a thing?) and Rose McGowan (ditto).
After a string of sparkling supporting roles in comedies like 13 Going on 30, The Hebrew Hammer and 27 Dresses, Greer cemented her comedy legacy with the deranged mistress Kitty Sanchez on Arrested Development:
And of course she’s been killing it on Archer as Cheryl/Carol/Crystal/Cherlene:
Before you go thinking she’s only good at getting goofy, she hit us hard in the feels with The Descendants. But you’re going to have to trust us on that because the clip we want is not on the internet for some infuriating reason.
And for all this, it makes tons of sense to us that Hollywood came calling to Greer no less than three times this summer with Ant-Man, Jurassic World and Tomorrowland. Yet each time, Greer got a shockingly small role, causing critics to bemoan the wasting of her talent.
Having seen all three and finding them all underwhelming, I realized that despite their differences, these summer blockbusters all would have been better movies with more Greer. Imagine what could have been!
Slight spoilers ahead for Ant-Man, Jurassic World and Tomorrowland.
The Role: Greer plays Maggie, the ex/baby momma of Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd’s)
mission motivation child Cassie. Beyond that she lives with her new beau (Bobby Cannavale) and demands recently released from jail Scott get his life together before getting involved in their daughter’s life, we learn nothing about Maggie. And her absence in the final fight scene which involves her home, daughter and ex, is all the more distracting in that she is just downstairs. But hey, running into the fray apparently what cop stepdad Cannavale is there for.
The Fix: On my podcast I’ve complained that Ant-Man is a film overstuffed with characters, and studded with females who are more plot devices than characters. Both of these problems could have been fixed in part if Maggie had been the cop chasing down her on-the-run ex instead of her boyfriend/husband/whatever. Isn’t there inherently more drama in a woman who once loved this apparent crook chasing him down for justice, but hoping he can pull his life together for their kid? YES. MARVEL, YES THERE IS.
The Role: Greer plays the frantic mom to two young boys sent to the titular park so that she and her husband can get a divorce while they’re looked after by her younger, childless sister Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard). Aside from loving her kids, thinking her sister should have some, and getting a divorce, we know nothing about “Karen.”
The Fix: Combine Karen and Claire. Instead of it being an aunt who apparently needs to discover only children and a man (Chris Pratt) will complete her life, having the kids visit their work-obsessed mom could have made Jurassic World a movie about reconnecting with her kids post-divorce, and maybe finding a new romance with that wily raptor tamer. Then the divorce would actually have had a purpose in the plot, and we wouldn’t have needed to argue over BDH running in heels.
The Role: Greer plays the unseen mom to Britt Robertson’s young heroine in an old home movie in the film’s clunky first act. Despite never been seen in the rest of the film, not a single member of the Newton clan mentioned the mom again.
The Fix: Well, if…no. You know what. There are some things even more Greer can’t fix.