We often tie our Tuesday Cinematical Seven picks with DVD releases, and this time, I was torn. On the one side, there was the out-to-lunch Hollywood science that allowed there to be identical cousins in The Patty Duke Show. But aside from the wonder of creating a girl with a crappy computer, a barbie, and some David Lee Roth personality, there wasn't much I felt could battle with cousins who look exactly alike. But then there's also the DVD release of the first two seasons of Felicia Day's famous web series, The Guild. Sold -- The Best Big-Screen Geek Girls.
Elisabeth's Geek Beat recently discussed what it means to be geek, and for the purposes of this list: It's on-screen characters who have smarts and delight in things that usual characters don't. They might love learnin', comics, computers, geek flicks, or even following around freaky people and collecting warped memorabilia. They're a little bit different, all sorts of kickass, and all sorts of worthy for the Best Big Screen Geek Girls. Check out the rundown after the jump and weigh in with your own picks!
Codex -- Felicia Day -- The Guild
I'll start off with my cheat, solely because I can't not include Day on the list when she inspired it, and I can't not talk about her real self. I'm also quite sure that the big screen will be seeing more of her, and I hope, her brand of geek. After solidifying a spot for herself in the Whedonverse with her potential slayer Vi, Day slowly built up the roles before exploding with two web series -- Joss Whedon's own Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and The Guild. But it was the latter that really solidified her as, what Spike calls, The Goddess Among Geeks. She created a successful show out of her gamer ways, which she writes, produces, and carefully expands through the Internet without compromising on her vision, while spending free moments talking about everything else geek. As Codex, she's a little softer, but still sweetly gamer.
And since Whedon's best geek girl is on the small screen (Willow), Day allows Joss to represent.
Hermione Granger -- Emma Watson -- Harry Potter Series
Hermione is the excellent geek girl whose knowledge and wise ways extend well beyond the reach of her years, and additionally, never pale when she does age. She starts off with insecure arrogance and an uptightness only comforted by the books she carries and studies like a mental security blanket. With Harry and Ron, however, she begins to break out of her shell. But she never gives up her passion for knowledge, even going so far as to get a time turner device so she can take more classes, and learn as much as possible. Hermione's strength is balancing her passion for reading with life, and firmly believing the two can co-exist. (And double points for Watson taking a cue from Granger and heading to Brown University.)
Kate Libby -- Angelina Jolie -- Hackers
Jolie herself might be far from the halls of geekdom, but her Kate Libby isn't. This is a girl who might be hot, sexy, and able to nab good-looking men with her lascivious ways, but under the pleather and makeup is a girl who likes to spend her evenings beating her high score at video games before retiring with her "insanely great" laptop boasting a 28.8 BPS modem and active matrix display. The film might stretch the realms of ridiculous with computer screens that reflect on the face and programs and operating systems that look funkier than the stuff we even have now, but Kate, she's a geek.
Zoe -- Kristen Bell -- Fanboys
Bell pretty much solidified her cred by taking on the world of Veronica Mars -- a move that immediately gained her the passionate support of Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon (who both guest-starred), but she really solidified it on the big screen with her gig in Fanboys. Bell's Zoe works in a comic shop, loves scifi, can hold her own against the ubergeek boys, and can deliver lines like "That better be your lucky R2 poking me." And it never seems like one of those eyeglasses and ponytail portrayals. She's perfectly comfortable in the tees and casual spunkiness, but can also pull off a mean Princess Leia.
Enid -- Thora Birch -- Ghost World
A geek of an entirely different kind, Birch's Enid loves all things kitsch and rare. Rather than light sabers and elves, she busies herself with herself with Bollywood tunes like "Jaan Pehechan Ho," creating comic characters of the strange people she sees, and befriends Seymour simply for his awkwardness and appreciation of things most would cast aside. She's one of the best comic-to-screen adaptations, with Birch knowing just how to translate Daniel Clowes' art world into a pseudo-real current world.
Trinity -- Carrie-Anne Moss -- The Matrix
The much more popular alternative to Kate Libby is Trinity. She's the computer programmer and hacker who worked her way into the FBI database in the Matrix, before busting her way out. But computer skills are just the tip of her cool. She also happens to be the first mate on the Nebuchadnezzar, and can whip out the martial arts moves and kick butt with ease. Basically, she's a mixture of all the objects of male geek affection: the sexy beauty, the tough woman, and the smart brainiac. If only her role didn't become so much of the lover-o-Neo, I'd include the trilogy and not just the first film.
Lisa Simpson -- voiced by Yeardley Smith -- The Simpsons Movie
My animated inclusion, Lisa blurs the line between big-screen and small. In the recent film, she used her brainy ways to lecture on An Irritating Truth and the ways to clean up Springfield Lake, but that's just more of her geek pie. The uber-smartie is the vehicle for tackling social and moral beliefs from environmentalism to vegetarianism on the show, and she is fluent in a number of languages, invents things, and happens to be a killer baritone sax player. Not to mention -- one of the most recognizable and long-standing geeks in media today.
Plus one honorable mention to Alyssa, Ms. Comics herself from Chasing Amy. In fact, she would've been included had she not come to mind after the list was completed.