Rashida Jones loves you, man

The roles seem
to be piling up for Rashida Jones lately,
and personally, I think the pile-up is a darn good thing. Since ending her stint on
the popular American version of The Office, Jones has been hired
for several parts in both film and television. The most recent job announcement came just this week. Jones is set
to play opposite Paul Rudd in a romantic comedy from DreamWorks
entitled I Love You, Man. Although it’s billed as a romantic comedy,
and in the film Jones and Rudd are engaged to be married, I was still
a little thrown off by the "man" at the end of that title.
But what the heck, it’s from DreamWorks, and that’s not chump change,

But it sounds like one of those male bonding movies.
The early synopsis says it’s about "a
soon-to-be-married man who goes on a search to find a buddy to fill
his empty best man spot." Hmm, yeah, OK. Whatever. I get it; it’s another
platonicomedy or platonomy (yes, I just made those up) between
two straight men. They’re all the rage these days. But forget about
that at the moment and concentrate on Rashida Jones. I am.

Jones, the Harvard graduate
and daughter of music guru Quincy Jones and actress Peggy
, seems to be making steady headway in an on-screen career
that poses barriers she has found difficult to break
through. She has discussed more than once the challenges of being
biracial in Hollywood: She is judged “too fair” for some roles and “too exotic" for others, and naturally, she finds it frustrating and irritating.

In what was probably not far
from a real-life exchange, an early appearance on The Office
had her character, Karen Filipelli, annoyingly asked by the fictional
manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin (played by Steve Carell)
whether her father was a G.I. because she was so “exotic.” Of course,
exotic is code for I can’t figure out what the hell you are and I really want to label you!
And obviously that is not fiction for Jones.

What Jones is, if you must choose a label, is beautiful,
smart and talented. That’s pretty much really all anyone needs to figure
out. She’s made People magazine’s list of most beautiful people. Twice. And
that’s without being particularly well known.

Jones’ mother has called her a child prodigy in music — she played piano at age 5 and was a young composer. Rashida composed the music for Harvard’s annual Hasty Pudding show
the year she graduated. She has sung background for Maroon 5. She has written
articles for various magazines. She is the epitome of a Renaissance woman.

Rashida is also set to star in the
Renee Zellweger film Chilled in Miami, and in ex-boyfriend (and The
Office co-star) John Krasinski‘s Brief Interviews with Hideous
. And she’s due back on the small screen in a few weeks in Unhitched,
from the pens and minds of the Farrelly brothers. DreamWorks’ I Love
You, Man
is due to begin filming in April and is scheduled for a January
2009 release date. Hopefully by then, Jones will be attached to a whole
new pile of creative projects, because brains and talent, and not just label-defying beauty,
should always be in demand.