In interviews, Michael Cera has been ambivalent about his newfound fame. He's even expressed gentle skepticism regarding the Arrested Development movie everyone's buzzing about. I'm sure he has legitimate personal reasons to be concerned about his celebrity – it can't be easy for someone who doesn't have a huge personality, and who isn't a natural attention hog. But we fans and viewers also have reasons to worry. Foremost among them is the concern that Cera's popularity could drive him to roles where his talents are wasted. Indeed, as this fall's Nick & Norah's Inifinite Playlist demonstrated, it's already begun to happen. For the first time in the comic's career, his presence hurt the project instead of helping it.
In my first go-round with Nick & Norah, after reading the book and before seeing the film, I was optimistic that the role of Nick was just the opportunity for Cera to expand his range – play a character who is a little more confident, a little less tentative and hesitant. Sadly, that's not what happened. Instead, some subtle differences aside, Cera transplanted his (very funny) stock character from Arrested Development, Superbad and Juno into a story where that character wasn't needed, or welcome. In the process, he turned what could have been a sweet, moving romance into a tepid, if still amusing, teen comedy.