5. “SAMANTHA” IN GARDEN STATE (2004)Classification: Eccentric hipster sexy
It’s a good thing that Portman is never less than button-cute, because, had she been something less appealing, her bizarre character in actor-turned-director Zach Braff’s dramedy Garden State would never get a man—not even a passive aggressive tool like Braff’s protagonist.
For starters, Sam (short for “Samantha”) is a chronic liar, telling ridiculous personal anecdotes that stink of bullshit from the moment she first opens her lips. She’s also a space cadet (no NASA), walking through life with a certain airiness that’s both playful and irritating. And then there’s her insistence on eulogizing a dead hamster.
But, despite her inner strangeness, Sam still possesses Portman’s girl-next-door cuteness, so we’d gladly give thoughtful speeches above shoebox coffins and allow a seeing-eye dog to dry-hump our legs for her amusement. Though the whole can’t-tell-the-truth thing might not work in the bedroom, unless there’s a muzzle on hand; otherwise, “That’s the biggest I’ve ever seen” would piss us off, not flatter us.