I got the chance to see Amanda Bynes’ latest flick Sydney White (pictured) earlier this week — a modern-day version of Snow White in which the dwarves are replaced by dorks, and the evil queen is replaced by a sorority president whose last name is Witchburn — and while it was cute, I couldn’t stop thinking throughout the entire movie: haven’t I seen her play this exact role before?
Case in point:
Bynes’ movie plots are always somehow driven by parental issues:
- In Sydney White, she strives to join a sorority to reconnect with her mother, who passed away when she was a child.
- In She’s The Man, her parents are so consumed by their divorce that they don’t even notice their daughter is now dressing up as their son.
- In What A Girl Wants, she heads to London to try to reunite with her long-lost dad, who is, conveniently, a British aristocrat.
…and she always plays characters with a go-girl attitude who’s trying to right the wrongs of society:
- In Sydney White, she’s fighting against the reign of Greeks in student government on campus in order to restore power to the rest of the students.
- In She’s The Man, she’s out to prove to a sexist boys-soccer coach that girls are, in fact, good enough to play on a boys team.
- In What A Girl Wants, she’s at odds with her father’s new family, who find her Bohemian style and adventurous nature unsuitable for the high-society in which they live.
- Even in Hairspray, her character Penny helps Tracy Turnblad stand up against segregation on the Corny Collins show.
… and, finally, without fail, she always portrays afree-spirited, anti-girly girl who prefers jeans over dresses, embracessports, and rejects conformity.
Looking at the examples above makes me wonder: What happened to Bynes once-budding career? Not too longago, following the success of her sitcom What I Like About You,she was being hailed as Hollywood’s next big young female comedian. In fact, here at EW, we even dubbed her the “It Ingenue” inour 2002 It List issue, proclaiming, “She looks like the teen next door, but has a knack for slapstick reminiscent of Lucille Ball.”
Having stayed out of the tabloid spotlight (unlike a majority of herformer teen-queen counterparts), I think most people are rooting forBynes to succeed (I know I am), but if she keeps taking on suchformulaic roles, I’m not so sure how that will ever happen.
So tell me, Popwatchers, how do you think can she save her future?Do you think she’s already squandered her early fame and success? Or do you think she keepstaking on the same type of role over and over again because Hollywoodjust doesn’t know how to handle funny women?