Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Live Free or Die Hard
Credit: Everett Collection (2)

IMDb might just be the greatest sociological advancement since the invention of the wheel. Or electricity. Or at least processed cheese.

Case in point, last night, I’m watching Quentin Tarantino’s gleefully silly Death Proof on demand, and right as the movie kicks into its second half and introduces the character Lee, clad in a cheerleading uniform, sitting on the hood of her friend’s car, I hit the pause button. “Who is that actress? Where did we just see her?” I ask my husband. He nods and says she looks familiar, but after a long pause that makes it clear I’m the only person in the room who’s about to suffer a pop-culture panic attack, I press play. And yet, I can’t focus on the action — not with the internal monologue going on in my head: “You’ve watched something starring this actress in the last week, probably the last couple of days. Why can’t you think of it? What is wrong with you? Stupid! Stooopid! Think! Think! It’s right there, on the tip of your brain! WHY CAN’T YOU THINK OF IT?”

I hit pause again, sprint to the computer. “Just give me 30 seconds! I need to IMDb this, or I’ll go crazy!” And indeed, in less than a minute, I’ve got my answer. The actress is Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who played Bruce Willis’s daughter in Live Free or Die Hard, which I’d just watched as part of a disparate New Year’s Eve triple feature (along with Nanny McPhee and For Your Consideration). Sanity restored!

So riddle me this: When was the last time you used IMDb to quiet the angry voices in your head? Please tell me I’m not alone on this one, because otherwise I’m gonna have to add “score new meds” to my long list of New Year’s resolutions.

addCredit(“Live Free or Die Hard and Death Proof: Everett Collection”)