Most of IMDB's polls are rather prosaic ("What's your favorite Hitchcock film?"), but today's offering caught my attention for its novel concept:
"Who's your favorite three-name actress?"
Presented for your amusement is your Uncle Swan’s quick take on each of the trinomial candidates. These are listed in the same apparently random order in which IMDB’s polling page stacked them.
Sarah Jessica Parker: Never have seen what people love about her. Not attractive, not a compelling presence, just plain not interesting. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Four.
Sarah Michelle Gellar: Can’t act, really, but has that certain something that makes her fun to watch. Gets bonus points for being the star of one of my daughter’s favorite TV shows (we own all of the DVD box sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Three.
Jennifer Love Hewitt: Not feeling the love. Has no discernable talent whatsoever. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Three, but I wouldn’t waste them feeding her.
Jennifer Jason Leigh: Terrific actress, who often takes quirky, even downright freakish roles. The rare Hollywood star who is drop-dead gorgeous, but frequently allows herself to look hideous on camera when it serves the role. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Three, sometimes four, and I’ll be delighted to deliver them in person.
Mary-Louise Parker: An interesting presence on The West Wing, but I can’t say that I’m familiar with the rest of her oeuvre. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Zero. Looks like a normal human being.
Jamie Lee Curtis: One of my favorite actresses of the past 30 years, not because she’s supremely talented, but because she’s never less than a pleasure to watch. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: One, and I’d gladly split mine with her.
Marcia Gay Harden: A fine actress, though I’m not always crazy about the projects she chooses (case in point: the upcoming remake of The Bad News Bears). Gets bonus points for co-starring in three TV movies as Susan Silverman, consort of my literary hero, Robert B. Parker’s Boston detective Spenser. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Zero. Needs a Better Agent factor: Six.
Mary Stuart Masterson: If she’d done nothing else in her career, she gets mega-props for her performance as Watts, the little tough girl who captures Eric Stoltz’s heart in Some Kind of Wonderful. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Two, one for each of us.
Mary-Kate Olsen: Half of the creepiest set of twins in the history of the world. She and sister Ashley look as though they wandered out of a Keene painting into a casting call for Children of the Corn. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Seven fat cows.
Rachael Leigh Cook: Had the dubious pleasure of starring or co-starring in two of the most sleep-inducing films I’ve seen in the past decade: Get Carter (jovially known around these parts as Get Coffee) and Josie and the Pussycats. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Two. Needs a Better Agent factor: Off the charts.
Jada Pinkett Smith: Just saw her recently in Collateral, and she was marvelous. Will Smith is one lucky hombre. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: None. Needs Me to Come Over and Feed Her Grapes When Will Is On Location factor: Twelve.
Anna Nicole Smith: Why is this woman famous? Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Zero, but I prefer zaftig women. Needs a Dying Billionaire factor: Six. Needs a Lobotomy factor: Too late.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus: I may be the only person in America who never saw a single episode of Seinfeld. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Inconclusive.
Lara Flynn Boyle: The worst thing about one of my favorite TV series, The Practice. Crazy enough to date Jack Nicholson, skinny enough to disappear behind an upright dowel. Needs Her Own McDonalds Franchise factor: Fifteen.
Penelope Ann Miller: Can’t act her way out of a wet paper sack, but darn it if she isn’t as cute as all get-out. Her backless evening gown in The Shadow was worth the price of admission all by itself. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Two.
Joey Lauren Adams: I always get her confused with Katie Holmes, whose Dawson’s Creek character was named Joey. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: I ate it while I was trying to figure out who she was.
Evan Rachel Wood: Loses a point for having a boy’s first name. This whole androgynous moniker fad of the last couple of decades has to go. I liked her as the daughter in S1m0ne. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Three she’s still a growing girl.
Keisha Castle-Hughes: Wonderful in Whale Rider. Have no idea what else she can do, but it will be fun to watch her career develop. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Do they eat cheeseburgers in New Zealand?
Helena Bonham Carter: Too weird for words. Just knowing that she’s been intimate with a bizarro like Tim Burton makes me want to shower. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Who cares, as long as she’s eating them with Tim Burton and not with me.
Bryce Dallas Howard: I think IMDB just made up this name to confuse me.
Carrie-Anne Moss: Kicked major butt in the Matrix films, even though the last one and a half movies in that trilogy were the cinematic equivalent of Sominex. Excellent also in Memento. Gets bonus points for playing the loyal secretary in one of my all-time guilty pleasures, the late-night crime drama Dark Justice. (“Justice may be blind, but it can see in the dark.”) Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Would probably spin-kick the burger out of my hand.
Kristin Scott Thomas: A creditable actress with a knack for intensely boring films: The English Patient, Mission: Impossible, The Horse Whisperer, Random Hearts. I almost fell asleep at the keyboard just now typing those titles. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Three, and those are for me so I have something to keep me busy so I don’t nod off.
Robin Wright Penn: Three words: The Princess Bride. We’re not worthy. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: One, but be careful to check it for iocaine powder.
Holly Marie Combs: Anyone who tolerates Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano for as long as she did deserves some love. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Two, which she can conjure up all by herself.
Zsa Zsa Gabor: That’s not three names, you cheeky monkeys.
Catherine Zeta-Jones: Easily one of the five most beautiful women on the planet, and a pretty fair thespian besides. Needs a Cheeseburger factor: Zero. Needs to Dump the Increasingly Cadaverous Michael Douglas and Hook Up with a Real Man factor: (insert my phone number here).
And now, the three-name actress IMDB left out, but who would be at or near the top of my list: Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Doesn't need cheeseburgers, just more quality roles.