Friday, October 28, 2005

Darling Dakota doomed to be a Bonaduce

I would like to start out by dedicating this post to my dear friend James who has declared Miss Fanning as his favorite actress. Granted, he also thinks Love Hewitt is hot.

This is quite possibly the funniest thing I've ever read. I couldn't help but repost the whole article by Daniel Fienberg which you can also find at the normal source, www.zap2it.com.

Happy Friday...


LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) As a fan of the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and USC Trojans, I'm uniquely aware that the only thing more important than when you jump on a bandwagon is when you make your graceless exit. Thus, while the pedomorphically obsessed press are spending the week declaring Dakota Fanning to be America's Sweetheart, the next Julia Roberts, or at the very least, the second coming of Anna Chlumsky, it's clear that it's time to make a stand.

Dakota Fanning is so 2005, folks. Do you want to live in the past and the present or do you want to look to the future?

Of course, there are still objectives that Team Fanning has yet to achieve before the campaign for world domination can cease. Sure, her box office returns are impressive, but where's the hardware? And her spiffy new braces don't count. Anna Paquin had bad teeth too, but she also got an Oscar at 11. That Osment tyke was the same age when he got a nomination. Dakota probably pulls the heads off her Carebears at night in frustration that back in 2002, even though she got a SAG nomination for "I Am Sam," the Academy passed her over in favor of a bunch of wrinkly British Dames from "Gosford Park." Which is more challenging, playing a grungy maid with an accent or coping with a wildly hammy Sean Penn?

The way I see it, Fanning has several options, none of them necessarily good. She can continue to play robots, aliens and children of preternatural wisdom and morbidity until the shine wears off and critics stop comparing her to a younger, blonder, tinier, more articulate Marlon Brando and start yawning at her every precocious word. She can make a baseball movie, vanish for a few years, marry John McEnroe and then have a series of unfortunate emotional problems. She could disturb everybody by continuing to make movies as she goes through puberty, skeeving out viewers who wonder why that nice girl from "The Cat in the Hat" is making out with the flavor-of-the-month WB star in a Miramax romantic comedy about a jock who falls in love with an awkward-looking girl (Fanning), who's really beautiful inside, except for the parts of her that are riddle with cancer. Or, she could step aside gracefully for the next decade -- suffer through acne in privacy, get a little bit rebellious, attend Princeton, Yale, Penn or NYU and get a degree in something serious like economics and return to acting on 2015 refreshed and ready for a FOX sitcom about a former child star who inherits her grandfather's bar in rural Arkansas.

The moment has come for Dakota Fanning to step back and let the world see that the new Dakota Fanning, just waiting in the wings, is Elle Fanning. In an industry that puts a premium on youth, why are buzzmongers so obsessed with 11-year-old Dakota, when Wee Elle is only seven and every bit as freakishly mature. She was great in "The Door in the Floor," showing that Fanning-esque ability to seem ready to discuss Sartre when most of her peers are stuck on Seuss. There's no way of knowing for sure if Elle is really qualified to pass Dakota as our nation's Official Fanning of Record, but you never get the big score if you only back favorites.
If recent Hollywood history has taught us anything, it's that prematurely endorsing the first talented sibling at the expense of their kin is a mistake. Beau Bridges or Jeff Bridges? Eric Roberts or Julia Roberts? Randy Quaid or Dennis Quaid? Haylie Duff or Hilary Duff? Alec Baldwin or the combined superpowers of Billy, Stephen, Daniel and the entirely unrelated Adam Baldwin? Yes, everybody loved Meg Tilly back in the mid-80s when she was a helium-voiced Oscar nominee, but how much emotional attachment could have been skipped if audiences had just known back then that helium-voiced sis Jennifer (more advanced in age, but several years behind in the biz) would see that Oscar nod and raise it one "Seed of Chucky" and become a championship poker player to boot?


Maybe it's the advantages of learning from experience and maybe it's just our collective obsession with upgrading to the next flavor-of-the-month, but we live in a Johnny-come-lately world. As we speak, my own younger brother is getting ready to usurp me, preparing to become the Elle to my Dakota, the Jacob to my Esau.

I'm just trying to warn Dakota that whether you're younger or older, it's the way of the world. One minute you're Jeb Bush and you think you're the family's Golden Boy choice to become president and the next minute your screw-up of a brother sneaks in and suddenly you're stuck down in Florida playing shuffleboard and visiting Epcot while the other guy is in the White House. Garden variety fate is fickle, but she's got nothing on Hollywood fate.
Don't look back, Dakota. Elle might be gaining on you
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