When Zooey met Richard

Scientists are wondering whether the world’s resistance to sickly cuteness could be in danger of being lethally compromised by a sinister transatlantic alliance. The threat is presented by the possibility that ditsy, wacky, loveable American Zooey Deschanel may be teaming up with cloying, slushy, sentimental Brit Richard Curtis of Love Actually notoriety, on what is guaranteed to be an excruciatingly sugary confection.

Curtis’s proposed project is called About Time, which, from descriptions, might even turn out to be the world’s first science-fiction chick-flick. And they said it couldn’t be done. It’s about a time-traveller called, with Curtis’s traditional fondness for insipid middle England, Tim. The love interest is called Mary, which is where Deschanel comes in.

Gooey Zooey, currently making Channel 4 viewers either moist-eyed with joy or reaching for their sick bags with her sitcom New Girl, is reported to be considering the role. She already has some form in the sci-fi genre, having played Trillian in the forgettable 2005 film of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

She is probably wading through thousands of offers to play kooky but adorable indie girls in a host of wet romcoms, although, judging by her website Hello Giggles, Deschanel is not too bothered about trying to shake off her infantile image.

Deschanel recently split from her husband Ben Gibbard, the singer with Death Cab For Cutie. He has been saddled with a song he wrote for Deschanel called Stay Young Go Dancing that is so sweetly adoring that the lyric could almost have been written by Curtis.

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