The role: Strong, independent woman — frequently in law enforcement — who learns to let her guard down through love and/or enduring friendship
Refer to: The Heat, The Proposal, Miss Congeniality, Two Weeks Notice, Murder By Numbers, 28 Days, Practical Magic, Speed, While You Were Sleeping, Demolition Man
Either Sandra Bullock gets a real power trip from strapping on a handgun holster, or there is something about playing FBI agents and other rough-around-the-edges women that she identifies with. But we’re not complaining — the moments when her character lets her guard down (the Betty White forest scene in The Proposal, for example) are bust-a-gut funny.
The role: A victim turned survivor turned woman seeking revenge
Refer to: Missing, Twisted, High Crimes, Double Jeopardy, Kiss the Girls
Hell hath no fury like Ashley Judd scorned. The circumstances under which she becomes a victim vary — whether she gets drugged and duped, kidnapped or elaborately deceived — but Ashley is obsessed with playing a woman who flips the script on misfortunate and makes her assailant(s) her b****.
The role: Beautiful outsider who, despite her blank stare, captivates every hot guy in a 50-mile radius
Refer to: Twilight, Snow White and the Huntsman, On the Road, The Runaways, Adventureland, The Messengers
While watching Twilight, we kept waiting for Chris Hemsworth to come rip Bella from harm’s way or for Bella to follow a creepy undead kid into an old barn. Oh, wait… those were scenes from other movies in which she plays pale, troubled waifs. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much the role she plays in real life, too.
The role: Quirky hipster type who rocks eclectic clothes and an endearingly offbeat attitude
Refer to: 500 Days of Summer, New Girl, Failure to Launch, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Elf
They say the term “adorkable” was coined in reference to Zooey Deschanel, and it’s no big mystery why when you peek at her movie role resume. She always — even, it seems, in that jingly cotton commercial — plays that girl. You know, the accidentally cool one that marches to the beat of her own drum and makes everyone else want to go out and buy the same wonky drum set.
The role: A gangly, socially awkward and often lovestruck dude who somehow always gets the girl
Refer to: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Year One, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Juno, Superbad
Not since nerdy Lewis bagged head cheerleader Betty in Revenge of the Nerds have geeky guys had a hero who gave them hope they’d one day get laid… until Michael Cera. Even sporting bright yellow “sausage sword” short shorts in Juno, the fumbling, socially inept character he repeatedly plays manages to get some action.
The role: Charismatic English cad who, despite his superficial and/or selfish ways, proves impossible to resist — particularly after facing a potential loss that forces him to grow a grown-up pair, if you know what we mean
Refer to: Music and Lyrics, Bridget Jones's Diary, Love Actually, Two Weeks Notice, About a Boy, Notting Hill, Nine Months, Four Weddings and a Funeral
If you look at the body of Hugh Grant’s work — Bridget Jones’s Diary, Two Weeks Notice, About a Boy, Nine Months, etc. — a clear pattern emerges. You spend half of the time spent watching Hugh’s movies wanting to punch him in his wiener and the other half wanting to make out with him.
The role: A hulking, hen-pecked lug who — save the occasional temper tantrum or wild night with the boys — turns out to be a big softie
Refer to: The Dilemma, Couples Retreat, Four Christmases, Fred Claus, The Break-Up, Wedding Crashers, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Old School
You know what they say… the bigger they are the harder they fall. Well, Vince Vaughn is one big ol’ dude, so it’s no wonder he gravitates toward characters who evolve from clueless buffoon to sentimental softie seemingly overnight.
The role: Tough as nails Latina with a penchant for kicking a** and taking names
Refer to: Fast & Furious, Resident Evil: Retribution, Battle Los Angeles, Machete, Avatar, The Breed, Blue Crush, S.W.A.T., Girlfight
We get it, we get it… you’re a touch chick! We seriously can’t recall any character Michelle Rodriguez has played that doesn’t make us think she could totally kick our a**es. She’s constantly typecast as the tomboy who has no problem keeping pace — and sometimes out pacing — the boys. But hey, even ballsy sistahs need a good rom-com role from time to time!
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