Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Case For Melissa McCarthy

Well, the Academy Awards are finally here.  And while all decisions have been made, envelopes sealed, scripts written, etc, I felt compelled to make one final plea in favor of a nominee.  No, this time the plea is not for Meryl, who is arguably the best actress of my generation if not ever.  This time, my plea goes out for proper recognition of Melissa McCarthy, nominated tonight for her incredible performance in Bridesmaids.

If you've seen the movie (and you really must), you'll agree that all the characters are well-written and acted.  But Melissa created something indelible in "Megan", the fight-club loving, nuclear engineer who doesn't give a crap what anyone thinks of her.  She's brilliant, brutally honest and more than a little sexually adventurous.  She steals every scene she's in, eating it up like a bad Brazilian lunch.

And yes, while tonight's favorite Octavia Spencer had some good lines and one killer scene in The Help, the character she played was already well-structured in the novel.  Melissa created a character from nothing, with only dialogue (some of which she improvised) to go on.  Much the same way Johnny Depp created a legendary pirate out of nothing (and was egregiously overlooked for it), Melissa's Megan will be a Hallowe'en costume that will be instantly recognized through time.

So there it is - I'm putting it out there:  Melissa McCarthy should win the Oscar, but won't.  I guess the good is that we all know who she is now, and that she is sadly wasting her time and talent on that crappy TV show, whose first and only episode I caught only after watching "Bridesmaids".  Tonight will be fun with friends, but I will feel a little sad for Melissa.