Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Casting Re-Call: The To Do List

Last month, I wrote a post where I completely re-cast The Fault in Our Stars to better fit who I thought should have played each character in the film version of John Green's fantastic novel (in a perfect world). You can check out that post, here. Not only did that post get a good number of hits, but I really had a blast writing it. So, although it hasn't been very long since I wrote that Casting Re-Call, I decided to do another during the slow movie-month of July.

Although it flew well under the radar of most moviegoers, The To Do List was one of my favorite comedies of 2013. In fact, the film ended up taking third place in the Best Comedy category of my 2013 Above Average Awards, which is my list of the best in film from each year. If you have yet to see The To Do List, I would definitely encourage you to check it out! However, there is a good amount of perverse humor, so just be aware...

If you want, you can check out my review of The To Do List, here. Now, let's move on.

I'm sure you are asking yourself "Why would he want to re-cast one of his favorite films of 2013?" which is quite a valid question. The answer lies in the fact that not every good film is a perfect film, and, certainly, not every good film is perfectly cast. And, when it came down to it, many critics disliked The To Do List for just one reason... the casting! So, in an effort to appease the naysayers and also improve my own assessment of the film, I went back and watched The To Do List, picking the cast apart and coming up with a new cast that would have made a good movie even better...

First, let's take a look at the decisions that the filmmakers got right:

Character: Cameron
Actor Chosen: Johnny Simmons
Why?: Johnny Simmons was the only actor from The To Do List to make my Above Average list last year, and he was certainly deserving of my praise, even after watching the film a second time. Not only was Simmons hilarious, but he did a great job of hitting the goofy, emotional moments as well. Hopefully, Simmons will stick to comedy, because he could certainly have a promising future!

Character: Judge Klark
Actor Chosen: Clark Gregg
Why?: Today, Clark Gregg is known solely for his role as Agent Coulson from Disney's Marvel Universe, but people should really check out his other work, because this dude can bring on the laughter. This innocent father character was absolutely perfect for Gregg in The To Do List. Watch it! You'll love him!

Now, for the not so positive casting decisions:

Character: Brandy Klark
Actor Chosen: Aubrey Plaza
Ideal Actor: Analeigh Tipton
Why?: Personally, I think Aubrey Plaza is hilarious, and, because I find her funny, I quite enjoyed her performance in The To Do List. However, there is no denying that the casting decision was not perfect. In my opinion, Analeigh Tipton would be able to pull of the awkward, cocky-nerd school-girl a little bit better than Plaza. Tipton's comedic range is much larger than that of Plaza, who is good at dry and rude and not much else. As the focal point of the film, Brandy Klark shifts her attitude and personality a bit throughout the film, which is something that Plaza struggled with a bit. I'd be interested in hearing other candidates, but I think Tipton is quite funny and would be a great option, in my opinion.

Character: Mrs. Klark
Actor Chosen: Connie Britton
Ideal Actor: Michaela Watkins
Why?: Connie Britton is great! Connie Britton is NOT funny! On the other hand, Michaela Watkins might be the funniest person to ever walk the face of this earth. The free-spirit that Mrs. Klark turns out to be would be perfectly represented by Watkins, even if she did have to tone her usual stupidity a bit. If you've never seen Michaela Watkins, check out Wanderlust and, of course, Trophy Wife, which was recently axed by ABC (stupid ABC!).

Character: Rusty Waters
Actor Chosen: Scott Porter
Ideal Actor: Any guy who has taken steroids and isn't supposed to be the paralyzed former quarterback of the Dillon Panthers
Why?: Jason Street is a likable guy, and, although I've not yet finished all of Friday Night Lights, I can't look at Scott Porter without thinking that he is supposed to be QB1. Unfortunately, the character of Rusty Waters is a jock/jerk, which was just a bit awkward for me. Really, anyone with a big, buff body could have played Rusty, and Scott Porter wasn't a poor decision. To me, however, he is supposed to be a good guy, and it just didn't quite fit.

Character: Willy
Actor Chosen: Bill Hader
Ideal Actor: Jake Johnson
Why?: I don't know if there is another person who can make me laugh as easily as Bill Hader. In fact, I cannot remember a time when I watched Bill Hader do something without making me laugh! Unfortunately, the role of Willy (the pool manager) just didn't allow Hader to be his normal, funny self, and I believe that Jake Johnson is better suited to play a laid-back pool manager. The options were plentiful, as I considered Sam Rockwell and Dax Shepard, but I settled on Jake Johnson, because he's just a fun guy!

Character: Van
Actor Chosen: Andy Samberg
Ideal Actor: James Franco
Why?: Andy Samberg is a funny guy... at times. But, his short cameo in The To Do List was not one of those times. Also, if you're going to have someone do a cameo, go all out! In my opinion, James Franco would have fit the role and the opportunity much better. I'm sure they would have had a hard time getting Franco to show up (it's not his group of guys), but one can dream...

There you go, folks! That's my ideal cast of The To Do List. Feel free to chime in with your comments, and, also, I would love suggestions for other movies to re-cast. These posts are a lot of fun!

Happy Summer!

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