When most people think of the characters Catherine Keener has played over the years, the over-arching characteristic would be “kinda bitchy.” Okay, maybe more than “kinda”. From “Being John Malkovich” to “Your Friends & Neighbors” to “Lovely & Amazing” to “Friends With Money”, Catherine Keener has shown the many faces of a strong willed, selfish, ambitious, unkind, and, perhaps, narcissistic woman.
But then there are some characters that are actually quite sweet. Way back in 1992, Keener appeared in a “Seinfeld” episode as Jerry’s artist girlfriend. Yes, the who painted that infamous Kramer portrait. Wouldn’t you want to hang out with that girl? Or how about Sally Jackson in “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”. Good enough for Poseidon, good enough for you, I say. But which Catherine Keener characters are good enough to marry? To the list!
The Five Catherine Keener Characters To Put A Ring On:
5. Being the ersatz step-mother is never easy, but walking into the tightly-knit relationship between Jack (Daniel Day Lewis) and Rose (Camilla Belle) is a serious challenge. Keener’s Kathleen in The Ballad of Jack and Rose is very good at balancing the needs of her sons, her step-daughter, and herself. She also knows when to get the heck off the island.
4. Hard-nosed, pragmatic, and good for a left hook when necessary, Keener’s Nora Wells in Death to Smoochy comes in strong at number four.
3. While some here at IFC (*cough* Will Weinand *cough*) are deeply troubled that Catherine’s character, Trish, suggests Steve Carell grow up and throw out all his highly collectible toys, we still thing the love interest from The 40 Year Old Virgin is worth putting a ring on. Even if the inevitable anger over selling still-in-the-package “Star Wars” memorabilia will some day overtake the relationship and require time on a couples therapist’s couch.
2. In Into The Wild, Catherine Keener’s character, Jan Burress, is simply sweet. She doesn’t judge Chris for being out on his own, she just wants to make sure he is being safe and that his parents aren’t worried. Awwwww.
And what is the number one most lovable character Catherine Keener has played?
1. Connie, the mom in Where The Wild Things Are, of course. As a single mom struggling to make it on her own, she manages to raise smart, ultimately kind, and very creative children. She is there for her son, ready to forgive and welcome. Not only is that admirable, but it’s definitely marriage material.
The Ballad of Jack and Rose airs on IFC at Thursday, Dec. 9 at 5:15 PM ET and Saturday, Dec. 18 at 10:00 AM ET and at 5:00 PM EDT