It has been so crazy with the grammar blog taking off that I haven’t had time for anything (besides grammar blogging and reading Harry Potter). Check out The Grammar Vandal if you have a chance.

I was reading EW.com and I came across an interesting feature: 12 Small Roles with a Big Impact. The magazine listed twelve film performances that have minimal screen time but are unforgettable, either for the acting, the hilarity, or the sheer impact of the performance.

Here are the ones that EW picked:

1) Drew Barrymore in Scream
2) Christopher Meloni in Wet Hot American Summer
3) Ned Beatty in various films of the 1970s
4) Leslie Mann in The 40-Year-Old Virgin
5) Adam Brody in Thank You For Smoking
6) Patricia Clarkson in High Art
7) Neil Patrick Harris in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (YES! YES! YES!)
8) Wilford Brimley in Absence of Malice
9) Sam Kinison in Back to School
10) Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross
11) Brian Cox, Adaptation
12) Brooke Smith, The Silence of the Lambs

I agree with the ones I’ve seen (especially #7 — HILARIOUS!!). I started thinking about it, and there are so many other ones that come to mind. Here are a few of my favorite small roles with big impact:

–Emma Thompson in Love Actually. I love that movie, and every time that I think about it, Emma Thompson’s performance stands out from the rest for how real it is. How can you forget the moment when she’s in the room alone, realizing that her husband is cheating on her, wide-eyed, her hand covering her mouth, tears falling down her cheeks?

–William Hurt in A History of Violence. I saw this movie recently for the first time, and when he was nominated for an Oscar, people were shocked — he hadn’t even been in the running! He’s only on screen for 15 minutes or so near the end of the film, but he is astoundingly charming, witty, cunning and sinister.

–Robin Williams in Nine Months. As an OB-GYN just over the boat from Eastern Europe, who always seems to say the wrong thing (“You have a small pussy?” when asking if they have a cat), he is the funniest thing in the movie.

–Christopher Meloni in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. He played Freakshow, and it’s not even worth describing the character, because you have to see the movie to get how wonderfully deranged he is. “Hey Randy! What? The devil! Wha? The devil is everywhere!”)

–Matt Damon in Eurotrip. So unexpected and so hilarious. Rumor has it that he stumbled upon the set and offered to play the band’s lead singer. He’s nearly unrecognizable with a shaved head, tattoos and piercings.

–Steve Carell in Bruce Almighty. This guy came out of nowhere — nobody knew who he was — and stole every scene. That goes for Anchorman, too! “There were horses and a man on fire and I stabbed a man in the heart!”

–Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise. Oh my God….if you’ve seen this movie and like men, you know there are NO WORDS. Nothing like that before or since….

–Will Ferrell in Austin Powers, in Wedding Crashers, and probably in so many other movies in which he didn’t star.

Any other suggestions, Facebookers?

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