Yesterday morning, I chanced upon a "Behind the Scenes" portfolio of Vanity Fair's latest themed photoshoot "re-enacting classic Depression-era films." Being a huge fan of their all-star photoshoots since their 2006 homage to film noir and their later homage to Hitchcock, I glanced through the portfolio and I must admit that I was somewhat concerned. It's not that the film they're recreating are wrong--for my money, they picked some of the most appropriate and interesting ones (although I would have swapped out 42nd Street for The Gold Diggers of 1933)--it's the models they choose that worries me. An obnoxiously over-tanned Mila Kunis portraying Joan Crawford in Letty Lynton, the movie that defined the "Joan Crawford" look? Rose Byrne, whom I'm only really familiar with as the tightly wound and relentlessly focused lawyer on Damages, doing Ellie Andrews aka Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night (I'm fine with James Marsden as the Clark Gable character although he's not exactly the first guy I think of when I think of rough macho men)? A fat guy doing Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath? Come on, seriously?
The picture that caught my eye and, consequently, won't get out of my head is the above one with Amanda Seyfried and my beloved Channing Tatum recreating the 1936 screwball classic My Man Godfrey. I can totally see Amanda as the dizzy heiress played by Carole Lombard in the original, but Channing Tatum as William Powell? Not so sure. Don't get me wrong, I love the man, I think this outtake is perfectly adorable and I'm pretty sure he'll pull it out in the end (he was a model before his acting stardom) but he's not exactly light and funny in the way Powell always was. When I think of Tatum, the first adjectives that come to mind (related to his on-screen persona, anyways) are "intense" and "driven." I know I shouldn't get this analytical about a dumb photo shoot and worry about the perfect casting for a re-enactment still, but stuff like this bothers me. They had James Marsden all ready for this shoot, why didn't they trade him Channing? His on-screen charisma is obviously more closely related to Powell than Channing. I suppose it all came down to something like age or which model looks better with the other one, but still. Let's choose a little more wisely next time, okay?