Michael Cera is a renaissance man not by his multiplicity of crafts but by his extreme range. His two main occupations, making music and acting, don’t tell the whole story. It is what he does within these fields that offers a glimpse of Cera’s creative energy. He escaped a possible typecast created by his roles in Juno and Arrested Development— the socially awkward, soft spoken sweetheart—by taking part in films like This Is The End and Crystal Fairy. However, today Cera is newsworthy today because of his music not his acting.
Cera has composed scores before. He and Sex Bob-Omb scored Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World together, and he contributed to Juno musically as well. He’s also contributed to a Weezer album and played with the indie supergroup, Mister Heavenly.
Directors Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles have a new movie coming out, Dina. Sickles is best known for his award-winning documentary, Mala Mala. Dina is a documentary about Dina Buno and her fiancé Scott Levin as they live their lives. Cera, after seeing an early cut of the movie, asked to be involved musically. The directors agreed, and Cera’s music is scattered throughout. Cera worked with Sharon Van Etten in making “Best I Can,” a happy-go-lucky synth track.
Cera’s song had been rejected by the directors in favor of “Only You” by Yaz to occupy the same spot. The directors were unsure they’d be able to get rights to the song, and Cera offered to write one just in case. Though they cleared the Yaz song, Cera’s song was still released. Cera used this idea as inspiration to release the song as a single with a music video. Van Etten and Cera actually share a recording studio together that they split time in. Though they share a studio, this is the first time they’ve actually worked together creatively.
The video takes scenes from Dina and strings them together along with Cera’s song. Spliced in-between scenes of Dina, her fiancé mimes the words to “Best I Can” from a stage in a small concert space, with neon hearts floating upwards behind him. The song, which features synths that almost sound like the theme from ‘Mr. Softee,’ is as happy sounding as it is reflective. It’s ice-cream jingle quality gives its happy tune a quality of nostalgic sadness, however, which reflects the child-like quality of Dina and Levin’s love for one another, despite their being adults.