Amanda Seyfried’s Only Character: The Helpless Nymph

Some actors strive to carve out a niche. Take, Ryan Reynolds, who plays smart-ass superheroes, Paul Bettany, who takes roles defying God to fight a supernatural army, and Charlie Sheen, who pretends to be human.

And then there’s Amanda Seyfried (Pronounced “sigh,” as in the sound you make when you behold her beauty, and “frid,” as in the only nonsense you can babble when you try to ask her out). Despite other diverse talents, Amanda has dibs on any role for a fecund victim of circumstance. When Hollywood has a sexy character whose destiny is sealed on page one of the script, they call Seyfried. And while we’re glad to see her getting work, it would be nice if Hollywood threw a comedy her way.

Don’t expect anything to change this weekend when Seyfried’s “Red Riding Hood” hits theaters though. As always, she plays a vulnerable yet completely sexy character just like she’s done so many times before.

­Lilly Kane-–”Veronica Mars”

Lilly Kane oozes more sex than a porn DVD in a microwave. She’s outgoing, intelligent and out of control, but by the time we meet her she’s already a murder victim. Despite haunting–and in some ways, almost possessing–her best friend Veronica throughout the season, she can’t do a thing except point like Hamlet’s father to her murderer and urge the scales be balanced. Damn, that’s some noir story right there.

­Sophie-–”Mamma Mia!”

And now for something completely different. “Mamma Mia!” is based on a musical stage play, which is based on Abba songs, which is based on the soul-crushing darkness that is the Swedish winter, where the soul turns toward any glimpse of joy before death snuffs it forever…holy crap, where was I going with that? Oh, right, so in “Mamma Mia!” our bride-to-be tries to figure out who her father is at her wedding, but that knowledge cannot save her from the depths of Swedish despair.

Fortunately, it takes place in Greece, so the end result is that three men agree to share paternity of her without ever finding out who has always been her father (it was Zeus all along!). So it starts as unchanged and indeterminate as it began. Wow, you don’t usually see Broadway or pop songs get so…existential.

­Karen Smith-–”Mean Girls”

Karen Smith is not, technically, a mean girl. Nor is she a smart girl. Karen drifts like a spring breeze through life, vaguely mimicking Queen Bee Rachel McAdams, but when she reveals a secret talent and passion, even it’s sexy yet incapable. “My breasts can always tell when it’s gonna rain,” she confides in a breathy whisper. “…Well, they can tell when it’s raining.” Oh, Karen, no true harm will ever come to you, because people are going to watch out for you wherever you go.

­Savannah Curtis-–”Dear John”

The plot of any Nicholas Sparks story: couple on the beach drawn together by circumstance. Terrible disease rending life apart. Eventual reunion of some sort. Seyfried isn’t just up against her husband’s cancer or her heart’s destiny, she’s doomed by a force more powerful than fate: an audience that eats up the same plot every time. But does sexy complete the formula? Of course it does. Just look at that picture.

­Valerie-–”Red Riding Hood”

While the new film “Red Riding Hood” takes an acute turn from the fairy tale, there’s no Grimm heroine so undefined as Red Riding Hood. Her tale is an obedient, unveering errand from point A to point B. So there’s the helpless part. A story about grandmothers getting eaten and traumatic axe wounds shouldn’t be sexy, and yet…there’s something about a woman in red, isn’t there? Despite a body made for bathing in a moonlit lake, Val spends most of this story hiding from full moons. We’re betting things are set in stone for her because this film opted for a marketing campaign of artistic, snowy forests when it could have just as honestly been titled Gary Oldman vs. The Wolfman. That, friends, is at least twice the draw of even the comeliest young lady kneeling in a cloak of spattered blood.