Monday, September 13, 2010

Scene stealer: Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig is arguably the most valuable cast member on Saturday Night Live for her characters that include Target Lady, Gilly, and Suze Orman. Earlier this year she provided the voice of Ruffnut in How to Train Your Dragon (on DVD in October) and also voiced the character of Miss Hattie in Despicable Me over the summer. In recent DVD release MacGruber Wiig plays Vicki St. Elmo. In the coming months you'll also see her on screen in the drama All Good Things (out December 17), co-starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst; Paul (March 2011), written by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg and including a cast of who's who in comedy; and Bridesmaids (May 2011), co-written by Wiig, directed by Paul Feig and co-starring Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Maya Rudolph (SNL), Melissa McCarthy (Gilmore Girls), and Ellie Kreiger (The Office), just to name a few. Here are some Wiig highlights you can check out from the library's collection:

Knocked Up (2007)
As E! TV executive Jill, Wiig steals her scenes with Katherine Heigl. Early in the movie Alison (Heigl) receives a promotion and Jill can barely hide her lack of enthusiasm: "I was so surprised." Then, along with boss Jack, she strongly suggests Alison lose weight: "We don't want you to lose weight, we just want you to be healthy. Y'know, by eating less." Months later when Alison is confronted about her obvious pregnancy, Jill tells her she should have been truthful with them: "This is Hollywood. We don't like liars."
Find it in the catalog!

The Brothers Solomon (2007)
Brothers Dean (Will Forte) and John (Will Arnett) want to have a baby so that their father, who is in a coma, will have something to live for. Through craigslist they find Janine (Wiig), who initially signs up to be their surrogate because she needs the money. Wiig actually plays the straight woman in most of the scenes and leaves the craziness to Forte and Arnett.
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Walk Hard (2007)
Wiig has a small role as the first wife of musician Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) and tells him, "I do believe in you. I just know you're gonna fail."
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Ghost Town (2008)
Wiig plays the surgeon who informs Bertram Pincus (Ricky Gervais) he died during his colonoscopy procedure: "We brought you right back. People die all the time."
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Adventureland (2009)
As Paulette, Wiig is the soft-spoken wife to Bobby (Bill Hader), and they both run the amusement park Adventureland. Bobby is very enthusiastic about amusement park work and also goes to crazy extremes to protect his employees. I think Wiig balances out Hader's moments of unhinged madness with her awkward calmness. In one scene Bobby takes the microphone from James (Jesse Eisenberg) to show him the proper way to announce the horse races, getting very animated and yelling so fast it's hard to understand him, while Paulette proudly looks on: "This is how we met."
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Extract (2009)
Wiig plays Suzie, a coupon designer and the wife of Joel (Jason Bateman), who feels ignored by her. He rushes to get home from work before 8 o'clock, which is when Suzie puts the sweat pants on, a sign that he won't be getting lucky.
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Whip It (2009)
In this Drew Barrymore-directed film Wiig shows a more dramatic side. Wiig plays Maggie Mayhem, a member of the roller derby team the Hurl Scouts and a single mother. I really enjoyed watching her performance in this movie because she's down-to-earth and believable, demonstrating that she doesn't always have to be outlandish or funny to steal a scene.
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MacGruber (2010)
MacGruber (Will Forte) recruits Vicki St. Elmo (Wiig) to be part of his team to stop the villian Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer) from using a nuclear warhead on Washington, D.C. I think the funniest part of the movie is when, dressed as MacGruber, Vicki is sent into a coffee shop while MacGruber and Lt. Piper (Ryan Phillippe) wait 20 blocks away in a surveillance van. Even though she fears other people will think she's talking to herself, Vicki talks to MacGruber using a surveillance wire, with him giving her exact instructions on how to order. After she tips the barista MacGruber tells her that he would never give a tip; the scene then becomes incredibly awkward as she digs into the jar to get the tip back. When one of Cunth's men starts shooting at the surveillance van, Vicki hears the commotion in her earpiece and drops to the floor screaming, while everyone in the coffee shop stares at her.
Find it in the catalog!

Where to find more Wiig: In the Flight of the Conchords season 2 episode "Love is a Weapon of Choice" Wiig plays a "sexy lady" who lost her dog and runs into Bret and Jemaine in the park. They both are attracted to her and disagree over the correct pronunciation name, Brahbrah or Barbara. Listen to the song "We're Both in Love with a Sexy Lady" on the CD I Told You I Was Freaky for their song about Wiig's character. Also watch the unrated version of Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) for Wiig's appearance as a yoga instructor (in the DVD commentary actor/writer Jason Segel admits to having a crush on her).