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Mini-Posterized: Tina Fey

With Admission opening tomorrow and a Posterized for the ridiculously prolific Paul Rudd on its way, I thought we'd look quickly at Tina Fey's film career. It has to be quick since it's so short. Though Tina has appeared in a few other pictures in tiny comic roles and done a couple of voice parts for animated features, these three are her claim to cinematic fame...

How many have you seen?

The correct answer is "all" even though the first, Mean Girls (2004), is the only keeper. The problem with Baby Mama and Date Night, which both have LOL moments if far far too few of them, is that Tina didn't write them. She's a solid actress but her true gift is writing (witness: 90% of the brilliant seven years of 30 Rock and 100% of Mean Girls). Fey was WGA nominated for Mean Girls (well deserved) but the movie shamefully garnered no more Awards Heat. Oscar looked the other way (boo, you 6000 whores) and even the Golden Globes didn't recognize a great comedy when they saw it because they had to find room for, um, Phantom of the Opera (ugh) and Ray (zzz). But then, high school comedies, even the undisputed champions of the genre, never get awards respect.

What would you like to see Tina Fey do with her Post 30 Rock years? Another series, more movies, just writing? Or perhaps you're a non-discriminatory Fey Lover... whatever she does, you'll want to go to there. 

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Reader Comments (31)

God, that new movie looks so sooo bad. Who finances something like that? I don't get it.

Mean Girls is so brilliant though.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Mean Girls is SO brilliant. Absolutely should have been Oscar-nominated for that screenplay. Given the Academy's hatred of all things high school (unless it comes with a generous shellacking of nostalgia), it would have gotten a nom if it took place, say, in a law firm.

I always think it's ridiculous when rock star biopics like Ray and Walk The Line get nominated in the Musical/Comedy category at the Globes. There's a HUGE difference between a musical and a dramatic film in which the lead happens to be a musician and thus plays a lot of music.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

You do realize they don't make musicals often and to fill up space the musical biopic becomes their haven. That's how Bassett earned her only major award for What's Love Got to Do With It.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Give me another movie, Tina.
I've waited almost ten years.
It's time.
Love, Beau

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeau:

3rtful: Or they can refuse to indulge the fraud decide to be more primarily comedic. For the last ten ceremonies, in picture.

2003: Love Actually out, School of Rock in.
2004: Switch out, at the very least, Phantom for, at the very least, Shaun of the Dead. After that, maybe, Ray for Mean Girls.
2005: Mrs. Henderson and The Producers out for Serenity (what, if In Bruges is a "comedy", so's this) and Sin City.
2006: Really, relative to the year, the only think I can think of is (maybe) Prada out for Talladega Nights. Still, relative to needing to balance "hip" and "prestige" they did a pretty good job here.
2007: Switch out Across The Universe for Hot Fuzz.
2008: Switch out Mamma Mia for Tropic Thunder.
2009: Switch out Nine and It's Complicated for In the Loop and Crank: High Voltage.
2010: Trash all but the winner (this is destined to be remembered as, at the very least, one of their worst years in this category, if not the absolute worst) for Get Him to the Greek, I Love you Philip Morris, Kick-Ass (quite a few hated it, but I think it could, at least, be understood due to the amount of glowing love) and Scott Pilgrim.
2011 (Mus/Com Picture): Except for The Help confusingly pitched in Drama, this is the best field that could be expected.
2012 (Mus/Com Picture): Switch out Salmon Fishing for The Avengers.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I never saw Baby Mama. Where I live it went straight to DVD. I think she needs to use her 30 Rock fame to do at least one movie exactly as she wants. She has earned it.

PD Paul Ruud posterized? Is it necessary? I find him so annoying lately...

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Can you imagine if Lindsay Lohan had gotten some kind of major nomination for Mean Girls? She would still be coasting on that.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I heard an interview with Tina once where she said if she wrote Mean Girls now it would be structurally better, which was interesting because for me it is such a great screenplay. Date Night was awful, Baby Mama had some funny moments mostly during the Sigourney Weaver scenes

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRami

I actually rather like Baby Mama. Date Night, not so much.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSean

I haven't seen any (ducking). I would love to see Mean Girls but I have a severe allergy to Lindsay Lohan. Like I could die.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Bia -- the sad part is that she kinda deserved that Globe nom for Mean Girls

brookesboy -- you MUST see it.

March 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathan, you sold me. I'll use deep-breathing techniques when Big L is on screen.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Mean Girls is one of the most eternally watchable movies. The script is not perfect...some of the lines fall flat and the film makes the misfortune (similar to The Devil Wears Prada) of presenting the "supporting" characters (in a literal sense, Cady's friends, similar to Andie's friends in Prada) as the unequivocally moral center of the story, even when they are dull as dishwater and have annoying and irksome traits themselves, which are never addressed in the film. I mean, The Plastics may all be sociopaths but they are a hell of a lot more fun and delicious than everyone else in that movie.

And yes, I would have without a doubt given Rachel McAdams a best supporting actress Oscar nomination. Regina George is one of the great villainesses of cinema.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Raise your hand if you feel personally victimized by Regina George.

March 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I and the world would like to see Tina Fey write roughly 12 big screen comedies in the next 5 years, preferably with her appearing in at least 10 of them.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran

Also at least one of the above-mentioned dozen should be a political satire set in an alternate reality where Sarah Palin became president.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran

goran -- co-sign.

March 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

As others have stated, I would just love for Tina to write some great material for herself if nothing substantial is offered her way.

Also just as a sort of fantasy, I would love to see Tina Fey in some intense monster role a'la Monique in "Precious". Only for the sheer absurdity of it.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZacary Landolt

'who does she think she is? I like invented her!'

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrami (ramification)

Zachary Landolt: The issue is, I don't necessarily think Ms. Fey has the hard life to even DO that kind of monster role. Mo'Nique was born to a drug counseler and an engineer in Baltimore and she lived around sexual abuse. Tina Fey, meanwhile, had, by all accounts, a loving family.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Tina Fey had her face slashed from an adult male attacker when she was a girl.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

3rtful: Was that "adult male attacker" who slashed Tina Fey a family member? If it was, or the adult male attacker ALSO sexually assaulted her, maybe she could play that kind of part. If it wasn't a family member and it was just a knife slash, I still hold to my doubts. A family member physically assaulting you (or ANYONE sexually assualting you) would cause deep seated emotional pain. A stranger physically assualting you would possibly leave permanent cosmetic damage, but NOT the truly long lasting "this'll let me play a monster" emotional damage. Mo'Nique, on the other hand: Sexually abused by her brother, who was also abused by other members of his family. On some level, that tough environement is probably A LOT of the reason, if not THE WHOLE REASON, that Mo'Nique was ABLE to be Mary Jones.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

A grown man attacked a little girl with the most brutal of violence leaving a physical and emotional scar where she doesn't want to publicly delve into the details. That's enough to draw from with a dramatic performance or a dark character.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

3rtful: Or she actually did just completely forget about it because (due to it being a total stranger) it wasn't, ultimately, an absolutely earth shattering moment in her life. I err on the side of caution by saying that people let whatever they can naturally slip into the half formed liquid side of their memory banks.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I admit, I really like Baby Mama. It may not be Mean Girls, but it makes me laugh every time it's on.

I'm going to see Admission this weekend because Tina will get me to the theater regardless of what she does. And it has Lily Tomlin as a bonus.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I would like to state that I was being completely sarcastic with the suggestion of Tina Fey playing a "Mary Jones" type role. haha. But I do love that It sparked an actual discussion over whether she could go to that place as an actor. Personally I hope it happens someday, because I will most certainly be there waiting for a revelation or a train wreck. I would be fine with either one.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZacary Landolt

I would like to just state for the record that actors do not need to have had any experience they play. They only need to be gifted enough to invent a space within themselves to understand what a) b) and c) would do to one's psyche and be gifted enough to them convey it to the audience.

I hardly think Isabelle Huppert could have sustained her decades long career playing absolutely insane women if she were even half as crazy as any of them. Obviously Charlize Theron's life experience is very very very very very times 1,000,000 different than Aileen Wournos's you know?

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternathanielr

"I would like to just state for the record that actors do not need to have had any experience they play. They only need to be gifted enough to invent a space within themselves to understand what a) b) and c) would do to one's psyche and be gifted enough to them convey it to the audience.
EXACTLY. I'm not even sure why this is an issue.

Tina's great at what she does but her diving into a dark character like that might be asking too much of her. I mean, it's not like she can't, (Mo'Nique was primarily a comedian too) but i don't think she has the chops or range to really go there. I could be wrong. I just don't see it happening.

But like Nat said, i don't think Charlize had to use any homicidal, lesbian, psychotic tendencies or traumatic incidents from her past (or maybe she did. i don't her know her life) to be Aileen in Monster. Yeah, actors can do it and there's no problem with that, but it's not a necessity in the slightest.

Method actors like Daniel Day-Lewis immerse themselves wholesale into their characters in order to play them rather than drawing on their own experience. It depends on the actor, really.

Plus, drawing on your own experiences might actually be more self-indulgent and limiting because it might impede your understanding of the character beyond your own scope.

Also, it can probably lead to a godawful experience if you put alot of yourself into a character. I wonder how Nicole Kidman felt shooting something like Rabbit Hole so soon after the birth of her third child and having a fourth right around the time she was promoting it...or for any actress who may have been sexually abused before and has to participate in a rape scene or something just as terrible.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck

Plus, i forgot to mention actors like Glenn Close who go and do their research (like some of the things she did for Fatal Attraction to understand the psychology of Alex Forrest) in order to portray their character.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck

I liked "Baby Mama".

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Theron's mother shot and killed her abusive husband (Charlize's father).

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

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