Brie Larson may not be recognizable in her new indie project The Trouble with Bliss, but her role is: She’s the sexy ingenue fooling around with an older guy. Sure, plenty of actresses her age invariably end up in movies where their youth is a shot in the arm to misdirected men old enough to be their fathers. But it’s saying something that since we met Brie through United States of Tara in 2009, she’s racked up at least four roles with this same dramatic arc.
Her latest project, though she shot it in 2011, is The Trouble with Bliss. Michael C. Hall plays a 35-year-old manchild still living at home, who starts dating his former classmate’s teenage daughter Stephanie. Although this character is one of Brie’s more understated — no crazy hair color or wacky outfits — she’s still a young woman scrabbling for maturity by squeezing herself into the life of an adult.
Like I said, Brie was a breakout star with Showtime’s United States of Tara, as narcissistic, naive Kate. To get back at her nontraditional mother, Kate lashes out and often gets herself into outrageous situations, but more than all of that I remember her secret relationship with her boss Gene.
But since I can’t find any clips of those two, here’s a video of Kate dressed up as the cult figure Princess Valhalla Hawkwind, doing peep shows for older men for extra bucks. (Hey, it was a crazy show.)
While on the show, Brie shot Tanner Hall. Even though the major storyline of that movie was Rooney Mara‘s character getting way too close to a creepy Tom Everett Scott, a lot of the comedy came from Brie’s character Kate and her calculated seduction of her teacher, played by Chris Kattan. She’d fake injuries in the shower, wear suggestive Halloween costumes to class, and drop double entendres just to watch him squirm.
Then came Ben Stiller‘s dramedy Greenberg. Yet again she’s the bright young thing attracting middle-aged men. But even before then she was in on the joke, playing a young babysitter who gets tricked into looking after a guy ten years her senior in this Atom Comedy video.
Early in their careers, Leighton Meester and Ellen Page seduced older men on-screen, but they’ve since moved on to starring roles where there’s no age difference to obsess over. I’m not saying anything negative about this trend in Brie’s roles, but I do hope that she gets more varied choices soon. After all, she was killer as Michael Cera‘s sultry singer ex in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Not to mention, she’s playing opposite Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street, out next week.