October 27, 2009

shameless love: martha plimpton

I feel like Martha Plimpton's name has been buzzing in my ear lately. She will of course always have a special place in my heart as Stef the Goonie. I always saw myself as more of the sarcastic "best friend" character in the movie of my imagination, so I just loved Stef (plus I totally wanted to kiss Mouth).

Stef: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, stop, stop! You can't do this.
Data: Why?
Mikey: Why?
Stef: Because these are somebody else's wishes. They're somebody else's dreams.
Mouth: Yeah, but you know what? This one, this one right here. This was my dream, my wish. And it didn't come true. So I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back.

She was also great as Julie in the Parenthood movie. I learned so many things from that movie... most of which my parents would probably have preferred happen a bit later. She was the first onscreen damsel to show me that taking naked pictures is NEVER a good idea. People will find them, probably your mom. She was also in one of my favorite movies of all time - Beautiful Girls - playing Paul's jaded girlfriend Jan. That scene with Paul tearfully plowing her driveway gets me every time.

Paul: Willie C.! What's up bad boy!
Willie: Paulie!
Paul: You remember Elle MacPherson? (a dog)
Willie: Hey Elle! How you doing?
Paul: Jan's banging some meat cutter.

Paul: What kind of future can she have with this guy, he cuts meat.
Tommy: You plow snow.
Kev: Hey, at least meat you can eat.

Martha's recent insurgence into my life was through two memorable guest spots: Grey's Anatomy and The Good Wife. I watch a fair amount of medical and crime shows that have an endless parade of big and little guest roles - patients, criminals, victims, etc. Grey's Anatomy tends to write patient stories particularly well, and Martha's role in the 2-part season opener was no exception. She played over-protective-mom among the grieving Seattle Grace amazingly well. It was great to be reminded of her talent.

So, it was a nice surprise to see her again on last week's The Good Wife. I'm liking this show more and more, by the way. It has heart and good storytelling (though the cases are a little cliched). Martha came in to play super tough (and hugely pregnant) opposing counsel for a mega powerful train company. We see a lot of scary fembot defense attorneys on legal shows, but this character had a fun spark. I would love to see her come back regularly.

These days it looks like Martha's spending most of her time doing prominent stage work, but I would strongly encourage her to think about a full time small screen gig!

P.S. Did you know that she's Keith Carradine's daughter? Being a Carradine somehow makes you automatically cooler.


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