Meet the Allison: She is strict, driven, and always played by Allison Williams
The name is on everyone’s lips these days M3GAN. And that dancing doll ought to watch out. (Warning: spoilers for M3GAN continue). The title character from mega-producers Jason Blum and James WanThe new venture into horror comedy has gripped a certain corner of culture—let’s call it, gay culture—for the past week, and for good reason. M3GAN’s mastery of the English language makes ChatGPT look like AIM’s SmarterChild. Her cover of “Titanium” is blowing Sixand draft from the water. The precision of her eye work would impress a legendary film acting coach Bob Krakower.
However, the best part of the review is very good M3GAN not really M3GAN the doll. No, M3GANthe secret weapon – the reason the film is so terrifyingly silly and devilishly camp and works in any way – is the human lead, Allison Williams, who stars as toy inventor Gemma. Not only did Williams M3GAN with her stellar performance, she inadvertently invented an archetype all by herself while doing so. Introducing, The Allison.
The Allison™ is the polar opposite of the long-scorned Manic Pixie Dream Girl cliche. MPDG (Kirsten Dunst’s Claire Colburn in Elizabethtownfor which the phrase was coined, Natalie Portmanand tap dance Sam inside The Garden State; and Zooey Deschanel (in, well, a lot of things) are easy-going, vivacious, beautiful female characters who delight, surprise, and inspire the male protagonists (always) without necessarily having to live their lives -folded inside themselves. On the other hand, the Allison is overweight and neurotically intense. In addition, she is usually extremely ambitious, beautiful, carefully styled, very Type A, and often a bit of a perfectionist. She knows what she wants, she has a place to go.
Credit where it’s due, Reese Witherspoonthe tragic horror Tracy Flick in Selection (1999) was an early inspiration for Allisons everywhere. Flick is highly intelligent, ruthless, and is driven in pursuit of her goal – to win the student body president – often to the detriment of herself. All these features come together to create the plan we have seen time and time again in film and television, such as Leighton Meester’s Blair Waldorf on the original version Gossip Girland, of course, Lea Michele Rachel Berry on Keep Allisons, and their fictional ancestors, sacrifice anything and anyone to get what they want.
In M3GAN, Gemma Williams is a total Allison. She is a sex toy robot who becomes obsessed with creating an artificially intelligent doll capable of comforting, protecting and providing companionship to her recently orphaned daughter, Cady (Violet McGraw), who came into her care. Gemma means well, and her reasons for being a robot-slash-overlord baby machine (what could possibly go wrong?) seem valid – she has a tough job and a bossy boss, and she feels out of her depth taking care of a child with a serious problem. . But as the film progresses, it becomes clear that Gemma, unwittingly or not, has designed a doll to care for a traumatized child specifically so that she can get herself back to work.
Williams expertly and believably infuses the difficult humor and high stakes of the situation, delivering her punch lines and keeping the film’s campy tone high while not sacrifice the emotional stakes necessary to move the plot forward. Gemma’s obvious frustration when Cady forgets to use a coaster is, at the same time, understandable yet hilarious. Sure, it’s weird to get rings on your hardwood table, but, hey, didn’t that nine-year-old girl lose her parents in a freak snow accident? Maybe let her off the hook?
And when Gemma gently pressures her clearly suffering niece to perform in a make-or-break performance at her toy company (“I mean , there are people who flew all over the country for it, but if you’re not up for it, I’d rather you tell me now”) is a sincere request, and in a shout-out-worthy pocket.It’s an all-out Allison move that Williams pulls off perfectly.
None of this should come as a huge surprise if you’ve been paying attention to Williams’ career. She has been delivering great Allison performances for over a decade now, ever since she stormed onto the screen as Marnie Michaels, Dian’s best friend. Lena Dunhamand Hannah Horvath on HBO’s Girls in 2012. In an interview with Glamour due to height Girls, Williams revealed that Dunham told her that Marnie’s character was partly inspired by Witherspoon’s Tracy Flick. (KeepRachel Berry was also inspired by Tracy Flick, by the way.) “Lena says ‘Tracy’ a lot when she’s directing,” Williams said. “That’s Marnie’s thing.” Marnie’s thing is to be a Flick-acolyte – ie the Allison – albeit a worse version of one. And as for Williams’ mastery of it M3GANtone, which can be traced back to Girls. People treated wrongly Girls like it was a documentary when it came out, but it was definitely a terrible comedy, in which Williams did a great job – I’m still under a lot of pressure to ‘ think of a sight more startling and surprising than Marnie’s sonorous rendition of “Stronger. ” Six seasons on Girls it undoubtedly laid the groundwork for Williams to introduce the humor M3GAN.
Even when the part doesn’t necessarily call for it, Williams’ acting can sometimes look like Allison anyway. Although she certainly wasn’t to blame for the number of problems with 2014 Peter Pan Live!, some reviewers noted the seriousness and intensity in William’s portrayal of the title role that didn’t quite fit the bill, especially since the whole Peter Pan thing as a youth fierce, carefree, and the ability to enter the sky like, say, a manic pixie. “Williams had the serious air of a woman who would boldly wear a somewhat mannish haircut to fulfill a childhood dream,” he wrote Sarah Larson in her review of it Peter Pan Live! for The New Yorker. “She looked like she was daring you to see her perform. There was nothing fun about it. She had taken over that pirate ship, and it was hers now.” If that’s not like Allison playing Peter Pan, I don’t know what is.
But Williams seemed to get the last laugh, bringing those frayed nerves to their most surprising power. Oscar winner Jordan Peele told Business Insider to see Williams inside Girls– and “the incredible risk she took with him Peter Pan– inspired to cast her as the female lead in his directorial debut, go out: “She felt cosmopolitan but also undeniably Caucasian.
Although an Allison-esque character could be any race – we welcome you, Sandra But like Dr. Christina Yang on Grey’s Anatomyand Kerry Washington like Olivia Pope in Scandal– for many of these characters, whiteness is a crucial part of the formula. There is often a line between their perceived entitlement and their lack of self-awareness. Anyone who had even a crack open Robin DiaAngeloand White fragility in 2020, or paying attention to conversations about race and privilege in America in the last few years, be willing to stop the idea that privilege is largely unattainable from whiteness.
Williams was able to weaponize her Caucasianness and her innate Allisonness to deliver a vital, fully calibrated performance in the now iconic scene. go out. As the double Rose, Williams played a racist woman who knew exactly what she wanted, but, this time, she had to hide her sinister intentions from her boyfriend, Daniel Kaluuyaand Chris, as well as the audience, until the perfect moment cinematically. As the tension builds and Kaluuya panics, Williams sticks to the act until the big reveal: “You know I can’t give you the keys, right, baby?” In that moment we discovered that Rose is, to borrow another sign of 2020, a “Karen” – a white woman who feels entitled to whatever she wants – even if it’s a ‘ meaning the life of her Black boyfriend.