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The Evolution Of Anna Faris

Southern Belles (2005)

Despite her burgeoning profile, Faris shows she’s not above small Indie films with this little drama. Made for a pittance (just $500,000), she stars as Belle Scott, who lives in a trailer park with her best friend Bell Granger.

Tired of their boring lives, the two girls decide it’s time for a shake up, and head to Atlanta to make their dreams come true. Though it attempts to do something different, Belles too often falls back on cliché.

Dramatic Potential? Definitely, Faris shows she can hold her own in an intimate drama. And a santa hat.

Waiting... (2005)

The directorial debut of Rob McKittrick, Waiting gets behind the counter of a restaurant and follows the lives of the people who work there.

Among them are waitress Serena (Faris) and Dean (Justin Long), the latter having been a waiter for four years after high school but churning in directionless hell. Instead of going for witty observations, however, McKittrick plumbs for gross-out – and the film suffers for it.

Dramatic Potential?
Faris has a go, but she’s saddled with soggy material. Nice eye make-up, though.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Things get back on track as Faris lands another role in the same classy vein as Lost In Translation . She’s the chatty Lashawn (who, according to hubby Randall, “talks a blue streak”), one half of a couple who Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Lureen (Anne Hathaway) befriend.

“He wouldn't listen to me if he was going deaf tomorrow,” she dryly retorts of her other half. It’s a wry, reigned in performance deserving of kudos.

Dramatic Potential? Though she’s still doing comedy, Faris finds ways to sketch Lashawn as more than just another dumb blonde.

Just Friends (2005)

“I was never the class clown or anything like that,” Faris insists, even though she’s now best known for comedies like Just Friends . “When I was growing up and doing theatre in Seattle, I was always doing very dramatic work. Now I can't get a dramatic role to save my life!”

Perhaps if she avoided drivel like this, she’d fare better with the drama crowd. Here, Faris teams up with Ryan Reynolds for a second time (after Waiting ) as burgeoning pop singer Samantha James. The film’s cripplingly unfunny, and not worthy of Faris’ talents.

Dramatic Potential?
Not a jot.

Scary Movie 4 (2006)

Faris returns to the franchise that she just can’t say no to, still playing Cindy Campbell, this time in a seriously low-on-ideas fourquel that makes a mockery out of J-Horror, King Kong and Saw (not to mention its cast).

Is Faris finally done with the scary movies? “After Scary Movie 3 , I was like, ‘No I'm done,’ but then I had so much fun making [Scary Movie 4] that I think that I would [do another],” she says. “I would definitely be open to doing it.”

Dramatic Potential? Seriously?

My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006)

This probably sounded fantastic on paper – Uma Thurman plays Hannah Lewis, a closet superhero called G-Girl. With Ivan Ghostbusters Reitman directing from a script by Simpsons scribe Don Payne, what could possible go wrong?

Sadly, Super Ex is completely abysmal. Not least when Faris’ Hannah is transformed into a superhero during the film’s final act, and the actress suffers through the indignity of a horror wig and seriously dodgy CGI. Painfully bad.

Dramatic Potential? Faris doesn’t have a chance here.

Smiley Face (2007)

Faris fares better with this stoner comedy from Gregg Araki, playing young Jane F., who goes on a series of misadventures after consuming cannabis-laced cupcakes.

It’s a typically zany film from the director of The Doom Generation (and the upcoming Kaboom ), with Danny Trejo, Adam Brody and Jayma Mays all stopping by for an appearance. The New York Times commended Faris for her “freakishly committed performance”. Which we assume means she makes for a convincing stoner.

Dramatic Potential? Faris gets to break out here with a wacky role in a wacky movie. It’s about time.

Entourage (2007)

It’s back to TV for Faris, who lands a recurring role in this celebrated Tinseltown comedy. Getting all meta on us (or something), Faris plays herself. “That was really tricky, because it wasn't a crazy enough character to clearly not be me. But it wasn't me,” Faris recalls.

Anna meets Eric after their cars collide, and he thinks that he’s shared “a little moment” with her. Soon Eric’s her agent, and bogged down under the weight of her demands.

Dramatic Potential? Totally, Faris embracing the chance to play a different version of herself. Or something.

Mamas Boy (2007)

More low budget fare trundled along with this limited release comedy, which was made for just $618,000 by a director who’s yet to make anything else (Tim Hamilton).

It’s essentially Cyrus before Cyrus was made. Jod Heder plays 29-year-old Jeffrey, who still lives with his mother (Diane Keaton). But things get turned upside down when mom starts dating a motivational speaker (Jeff Daniels). Which is where Faris’ singer-songwriter Nora comes in, who likes Jeffrey even though he’s a total loser.

Dramatic Potential?
Sadly the spotlight belongs completely to Heder.

The House Bunny (2008)

Faris buys herself a business suit and starts making her own movies, producing (alongside Adam Sandler) this light-hearted romp following a Playboy bunny who’s kicked unceremoniously out of Hef’s bed.

Emma Stone makes an appearance as a nerdy (yeah right) sorority girl who takes the bunny in. Together, they learn how they can change their lives for the better. Faris is perky as Shelley Darlington, but the film’s nothing more than forgettable, inoffensive fluff.

Dramatic Potential?
None to be found here.