Six Pack: Alanis Morissette on the Silver Screen
As of today, Alanis Morissette is the answer to life, the universe, and everything....by which, of course, we mean that she’s just turned 42. You already know what she’s brought to the world of music during the time she’s walked the earth, so in celebration of her birthday, we thought we’d shine a spotlight on a six-pack of occasions when Ms. Morissette has shown her cinematic side. Just as a caveat for those nitpickers out there, we should concede that the title is not entirely accurate: one of these six films was never in theaters because it never actually existed beyond a fake – but still very funny – trailer, while Alanis’s appearance in another of the films was actually cut. Still, it appears on the DVD as a deleted scene, so we’re calling it close enough for jazz.
1. Dogma (1999): With all due respect to George Burns and Morgan Freeman, both of whom turned in particularly memorable performances as God, we’re particularly fond of Alanis’s enigmatic and bemused take on The Man Upstairs. Sorry, make that The Woman Upstairs.
2. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001): Although she’s not actually credited as reprising her role from Dogma, we’ve been led to understand that it is indeed supposed to be God closing the book on the View Askewniverse at the end of the film. One could argue that this proves God’s fallibility, since Kevin Smith ended up producing further additions to the Askewniverse, but we prefer to believe that God went back and re-watched Mallrats, decided it was underrated, and wanted a sequel. Thy will be done!
3. De-Lovely (2004): Alanis doesn’t actually get a name for the character she plays in this bio-pic of legendary composer Cole Porter, but when one is presented with an opportunity to sing “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love),” one’s general response tends to be, “I don’t care what you call me, just as long as you call me!” We don’t know for sure if that’s what Alanis said, but let’s misbehave and just pretend that she did. The only thing that really matters is that she sings the hell out of the song.
4. My Mother’s Red Hat (2009): We don’t want to spoil this little gem for you, so we’ll just say that it’s a road-trip film which co-stars Alanis and Alicia Silverstone, and the soundtrack will blow you away.
5. Radio Free Albemuth (2010): When it comes to adapting the works of Philip K. Dick for the big screen, the results have been a bit hit-or-miss, and…well, let’s just say that Radio Free Albemuth is no exception. Still, kudos to director John Alan Simon for giving it the old college try.
6. The Price of Desire (2015): Nothing says “gripping motion picture drama” like a tale of intellectual property law, right? Okay, maybe not. But the story of Le Corbusier vs. Eileen Gray is certainly one which warranted telling, and setting aside the previous snarky remark, there really are those who will find this scintillating viewing. Morissette plays Marisa Damia, a French singer and actress who was right up there with Edith Piaf in the realm of chanson réaliste.