The Tao of Michael Cera

By: The REEL Addict

With the recent release of NICK AND NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST (which I finally got a chance to see) it seemed like audiences love/hate relationship with the young Mr. Cera had finally reached its apex. People are either sick of seeing him insistently play the same character over and over again, or can’t get enough of it. Regardless of where you fall on the Michael Cera emotional spectrum, there’s no denying that there are some valuable life lessons – a lot of them romance related – to be learned from his now well-honed on-screen persona. Those of you looking for that little bit of edge to get you through life relatively unscathed, behold the Tao of Michael Cera.

Speak Quietly and/or Mutter Under Your Breath
For years your parents probably told you to stop mumbling and learn to speak and annunciate properly. You probably countered that it made you mysterious, sexy and cool, because if nobody knows what you said, then they might very well just assume by default that it was actually something cool or sexy. Well, you were right. Speaking loudly and clearly is for losers. Jokes, bitter insults, sexual longings … all of these things are scientifically proven to be better when spoken quietly.

Don’t Try To Be Funny, Just Be Funny
The coolest funny people are the ones who don’t make a big deal about it. That’s why whenever you make a joke or sarcastic comment, say it as deadpan as possible. This also can easily be combined with under breath muttering or quiet talking for maximum effectiveness. If you need help on how to do this, watch some early Bill Murray movies.

Educate Yourself
People like somebody who knows their shit. Authority and knowledge are hot. So be sure to really educate yourself on what you like and what you want to like. Know your indie music, know how to be Mr. Manager, know how to sing classic rock songs on command (especially The Guess Who), know what a controlled slide is, know what “Afternoon Delight” is really about, and yes, even know your sex ed so when you’re in the middle of the act you’re not caught off guard by anything.

Speak In A High Voice Whenever Possible
It can be difficult sometimes to get the attention of those you are crushing on. Eye contact, lecherous winking, “accidental” touching, faking shared interests, gifts, booze, or nudity all don’t work nearly as well as one might think. Then what does every person react to instinctively? High pitched noises. (We’re kind of like dogs that way). So whenever talking to the party of interest, be sure to let your voice sky rocket into the tonal atmosphere every now and then. It’ll show them you mean business, or if you’re starting to bore them it’ll snap them back to attention.

(Don’t) Know How To Speak To Your Crush
If you’re a smooth operator, capable of quickly and efficiently charming the object of your affection with the power of words and looks, well then go screw yourself, you shouldn’t be reading this anyway. For the rest of us, take a note from Cera. If you want true love, then you have to stutter, sweat profusely, awkwardly lie, seem borderline handicapped or emotionally stunted, and occasionally punch their boy or girl parts by accident.

Keep Chivalry Alive
Chivalry isn’t dead, it’s just that most guys are dill holes. Don’t be a dill hole. Offer your jacket to a cold partner, hold the door open for them or offer them a ride. Berate your friends for talking naughtily about your object of affection. Turn down hot messy drunken sex if you’re sober and the other person is boozed up. Yes, it’ll be hard (sorry), and there may be vomit involved, but you’ll be doing the right thing.

Know What Makes A Good Date
Know what makes a sweet, quirky, indie-style date: a night in the city hunting down a mysterious band, sitting on some steps playing sappy emo music, shopping for bed sheets, or repeatedly prank calling your father together a la The Jerky Boys. Okay, maybe not that last one.

If You’re In Love, Pine From A Distance and Pine Constantly. Except…
Generally in the real world if you like someone, you go for it. How often has that actually worked out? Yeah, that’s what I thought. (For those of you for whom it did work out, don’t be such keeners). If you’re into someone, and even if you sense they are into you, just pine. Let your love be a slow burn. Nothing is quite as pure and wild as unrequited love, smoldering with longing stares and pent up feelings. If you keep that up, eventually your loved one will find their way to you and convert that longing into awkward kisses without having to do a thing. Which brings me to the next lesson…

Don’t Kiss Well the First Time
Usually it’s a bad thing when one’s kissing more closely resembles a fish’s puckered breathing or a baby trying to suck on a pacifier that’s too big for its mouth. Sometimes it’s good. Bungling the first kiss in this way will actually work in your favor by making you seem nervous and therefore adorable and cute. After all, nothing says you care more than caring so much you screw everything up. That being said, an awkward first kiss is encouraged, as long as you tackle that kissing learning curve afterwards with appropriate passion and willingness to learn. Even babies adapt to new pacifiers.

Above all else …
Be awkward, quirky, and somewhat dumb in everything you do, but do it in such a way that isn’t anything but adorably befuddled. It will make you seem sensitive, emotional and charming – in other words, perfect dating material. Finally…

Unless You’re French, Don’t Go After Your Cousin
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.

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