Looking for Mr. Adorkable

Modern heartthrobs need fewer muscles and more comic books. Hello, Adam Brody

Lorey Sebastian / Warner Independent Pictures

Adam Brody and Meg Ryan star in In the Land of Women.

If Adam Brody had been around 20 years ago, I would have done a lot better with girls. Here's a guy doing the same nerdy, sarcastic, obscure-reference-laced Jewy thing, only instead of it just impressing friends' moms, as mine did, it puts him in PEOPLE magazine's Sexiest Man Alive issue and makes him the first boy ever on the cover of Elle Girl. What James Dean did for inarticulate antisocial depressives, Brody has done for dorks.

He even broke the cardinal rule of teen soaps; he hijacked school-locker-heartthrob status from the troubled, handsome blond lead character on Fox's The O.C. I...