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Top Five Movies of Zooey Deschanel


When I hear the words “quirky pretty” (I don’t think I’m making up the phrase), generally the first name to come up is Zooey Deschanel. At first I was incredulous at the saying because I find her flat out pretty, and then I realized that it isn’t a negative, just a comment on the movies and projects that Zooey chooses. (If you want an example of a “quirky” short, check out “Havin’ a Summah” with Howard Kremer, aka Dragon Boy Suede.)

Now she can add the movie “Your Highness” to her body of work, and since it is from the same people that brought you “Eastbound and Down,” I think it will be another notch in her quirky belt. So, let’s take a look at the top five movies that make up the filmography of a quirky screen beauty.

5. Mumford

Zooey Deschanel being hot

Directed by Lawrence Kasdan (“The Empire Strikes Back,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Big Chill” and “Silverado”), this movie almost seems to be tailor made to Jason Lee and his professional skateboarding past. It has a very likable cast including a young Zooey in her first film role.

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4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I can’t say this is a good movie. However, Zooey’s beauty, Alan Rickman’s voice as a depressed robot, Martin Freeman from the British “The Office” and Sam Rockwell (I think who defines “quirky handsome” from the other side) all give this movie moments that make me laugh.

3. Almost Famous

I like Cameron Crowe and I really like this movie. When I think of it, I usually think of the relationship between the mother (Frances McDormand) and the son (Patrick Fugit), but Zooey as the sister adds depth to this family dynamic.

2. Elf

Easily the most mainstream of the movies on this list, it’s also the most funny. Zooey adds just the right amount of cynicism to balance out Will Ferrell so that the moment when everyone believes at the end actually has some weight. As far as Christmas movies go that are played over and over during the holidays, this is about third from the top. (“Scrooged” and “The Ref” are about impossible to unseat.)

1. (500) Days of Summer

It’s not about “summah” (really, watch the video link above) but rather about Zooey’s character, Summer, and the relationship between her and Joseph Gordon-Levitt from his eyes. It’s a pretty cool romantic comedy/drama that has one of the best summation lines about the existence of love. Zooey’s character says to Tom who was madly in love with her since he first saw her after she’s met a new guy, “Tom was right (about love)…(snip)… It just wasn’t me that you were right about.” Trust me. It works in the movie.

Agree? Disagree? Which movies would make your Zooey Deschanel top five?

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About Jason McClain

Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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  1. Kellie

    May 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Tin man it was AMAZING

    • Anonymous

      October 2, 2011 at 4:24 am

      oh yeah tinman was the best

  2. charlie

    May 12, 2011 at 3:06 am

    Where’s “Yes Man”. One of my personal favorites.

  3. Vaportrail

    May 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Irvin Kerschner directed Empire Strikes Back. Kasdan helped write it.
    Just FYI.

  4. patricia green

    May 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I Zooey is wonderful in the fantastic (cult) classic EULOGY with Ray Romano, directed by, the hysterically funny, Michael Clancy

    • Sherry

      December 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      She was Awesome in that movie!!! I thought the movie was so “out there” kind of funny that I was really surprised that it got so little notice….Sherry

  5. Tim

    May 31, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    The Go-Getter is an incredible movie with Zooey being cute and awesome as usual.

  6. Aminona

    June 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I like “Flakes” xD I love cereals!

  7. Joe Michaels

    June 7, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    I absolutely love her eyes. But I absolutely CANNOT STAND her one-dimensional acting. She plays the same semi-disconnected role in every single movie she is in. Watched 500 Days of Summer and All The Real Girls back-to-back last week, and I am officially “over her.”

  8. Duncan

    June 12, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Elf? Almost Famous? If you wanted a list which includes shitty movies (the former) and ones in which she has hardly any screen time (the latter) why not just go for a two-fer and suggest Failure to Launch (which got her major critical attention as everyone who saw it agreed she was the only thing about that movie not self-immolation-provokingly awful).

    Along the same lines as the justification for including Elf and Almost Famous, her performance as the teacher in Bridge to Terebithia was pretty good but if you want to seek out Zooelicious movies you might not otherwise have watched you should try All the Real Girls (which sucks) and Winter Passing (which doesn’t. And is one of Will Farrell’s rare experiments in real acting). The good bits of Failure to Launch and The Good Girl are available on YouTube, as are most of her appearances on Weeds.

    Correct order would be:

    5: Almost Famous/Bridge to Terebithia
    4: All the Real Girls
    3: Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
    2: Winter Passing
    1: (500) Days of Summer

    You need to have your head examined for including Elf so high up a list of anything.

    • Sherry

      December 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      I loved Elf for just what it was…It wasn’t meant to be an Oscar winner…It was a charming bit of getting into the innocent magic of the Holiday….Lighten up….And don’t forget about Zooey in “The Eulogy”…A bit of off color fun and she was great, actually the sanest one in the bunch.,

  9. JD5DAD

    June 17, 2011 at 9:07 am

    That’s like picking the top five kids in special ed

  10. Eva

    June 29, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    she certenly made some good movies, but her guestrole in weeds is epic !!

  11. Gillian

    July 11, 2011 at 7:28 am

    My 5 would have been:

    5. Gigantic
    4. Tin Man
    3. Eulogy
    2. Winter Passing
    1. (500) Days of Summer

    I also loved her in Weeds!

  12. David Edward Martin

    July 20, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    The first time I saw Zooey was BIG TROUBLE (2001). She plays the teenage daughter of Renee Russo with deadpan humor.
    Although a TV miniseries here, TIN MAN was a good starring role for her.

  13. wphayduke

    July 24, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Yep, there’s something special about Zooey. With women you either have charm (which is always a childlike quality) or sex (large frightening bosoms and menstrual cycles) and Zooey is very much the former, which is what makes her a geek favorite. If this is a list of best movies she’s in then Almost Famous [which has to be watched multiple times to be appreciated, and is one of the best films EVER made – in my humble but correct opinions (opinions differ, I know)] is the best, Mumford and (500) Days of Summer, her Weeds work (like Zooey) were quirky but all good. I thought her best roles (I haven’t seen all of these) were in (500) Days and Tin Man & Hitcherhikers Guide (hated both of the last two as movies though). Just sayin.

  14. anon

    July 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

    You can’t say that Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy is a good movie? Dude don’t ever say that again!

    • Talon W.

      January 23, 2012 at 4:43 am

      Look HGTTG got bought by Disney. HELL YES, it could have been better. BUT PLEASE name one
      company that gave a crap enough to TRY to bring Douglas Adams to America and the world again. PS Zooey was AWESOME IN THIS. I also liked her acting enough to hate her in The Happening where I hated her Charecter but loved her acting.

  15. gazza

    July 29, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Failure to Launch?

    and @ Joe Michaels if you are “officially “over her.”” you never were a fan to begin with. GTFO this forum!.

    • Joe Michaels

      July 30, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      Hey, Gazza. Suck me.

      • Talon W.

        January 23, 2012 at 4:48 am

        Hey you if you don’t like her why are you even here?

  16. Paul G

    September 16, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I can’t believe no-one’s mentioned “The New Guy” – classic!

  17. xmasbby

    September 16, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Thank you Gillian for mentioning “Gigantic”. I can’t believe no one else did. Paul Dano, John Goodman and Zooey at their best. THIS is what makes Zooey so cool.

  18. Moustache1020

    December 7, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Well, I would certainly agree that Hitchhiker’s Sucked (except for Zooey), but I assume that you’ve read Adams’ work if you say that. I do disagree about Elf however. Will Ferrell drags everything down; it was stupid and childish (not in a good way). I would’ve suggested Yes Man instead; and Tin Man was really good.

  19. Anonymous

    December 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    The New Guy and Your Highness

  20. Al

    January 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    shes so hot! dont forget Our Idiot Brother! i actully like that one!

  21. sean

    May 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    i dont like zooey deschanel movies because she gets type cast as a quirky girl that i just find annoying

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