Who's THAT?!: StinkyLulu's Favorite Breakout Performer of 2004

StinkyLulu never noticed Rachel McAdams before enjoying her Alpha Bitch turn as Regina George in the most excellent Mean Girls... Who had? And as Regina George, McAdams' vicious charisma was a crucial anchor for a film that would otherwise prolly have fluttered away into the pop culture effluvia of 2004. But, in no small part because of McAdams, Mean Girls emerged as one of StinkyLulu's favorite films of 2004.

But. Playing the uber-bitch in a smartish teen comedy is -- honestly -- a real easy place to shine. So it was in The Notebook -- the unabashedly sentimental romantic epic that no one saw -- that StinkyLulu really sat up to notice Rachel McAdams. She was playing the kind of plucky 40s heroine, involved in a wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance, complete with southern accents, that inspires most movie actresses to excel in banality. (Hi Ashley!) But not Ms. Rachel... Parrying with Ryan Gosling (whose preternatural screen presence crowds most everyone from his scenes), McAdams more than holds her own. Even more she makes you believe that she would grow up to be Gena Rowlands (which -- in the film -- she ostensibly does). Either of these accomplishments StinkyLulu considers totally remarkable. That a heretofore unknown actress did, doing so in a thoroughly charismatic way... well, StinkyLulu was suitably impressed...

Even more though: in either role, any seriously competent actress would likely have done well. However, it takes someone with the uncommon gifts of a real movie actress to (a) dodge the cliches scripted like landmines all over both characters and (b) to put a personal but not-distracting stamp on two such incredibly different roles. Rachel McAdams does and -- StinkyLulu suspects -- might just be the rare kind of movie starlet who can really act. (Sorry, Kirsten). StinkyLulu's got the appropriate digits crossed!

Yay, Rachel McAdams, yay!

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