Saturday, October 27, 2007

Real Boy Ryan

It's really frustrating that most of the movies I want to see are released during the time of year I have the least time to see them: mid-October to late November. Sometimes I just have a brown out due to the wealth of choices and decide to see lesser works as I did today with Lars and the Real Girl. I can always say that it was an excuse to see a preview of I'm Not There on a screen larger than the one of my VAIO (also the name of my favorite beach near Osaka). Seeing that preview on the big screen was worth the price of admission. I also have to admit that Lars, which has been receiving decidedly mixed reviews, is one of the first films where I did not look at my watch once.

I would go to about any movie with Ryan Gosling in it, and he is certainly the best method actor younger than my niece with both the Mickey Mouse Club and experience playing a Jewish neo-Nazi on his resume. In fact, I can't think of an actor I've been so smitten with in ages. It's all the more remarkable that his blond boy smoothness defies every predisposition of my past states of being smitten, though he closely resembles my first...well, I won't get into the details of that in this post. As in The Half Nelson, his Lars is another irresistible mess though of a completely different order. Interestingly, Lars has been critiqued most frequently for a lack of cynicism and for presenting a kind Middle America that the likes of Alexander Payne have long educated us does not exist. Personally I've grown increasingly tired of Payne's dark portrait of the great muddle in the middle. Election, yes; Schmidt, no. Seeing Lars in a church lady knitting circle with pro-gay grannies didn't bother me and wasn't that unbelievable either. Even as a chubby Lars, Ryan was fetching, but certainly not in the intense Half Nelson way, in which he made even a band aid take on a life of its own.

According to recent sightings of Gosling in Manhattan on Gawker/Stalker (he reportedly shops at Urban Outfitters -- wonder if it's the same one in Soho I frequented weekly in the early 1990s?), he's very pleasant and approachable in person compared the predictably jerk-off Russell Crowe (much less talented and far less attractive). He also hangs out at a bar named Mr. Biggs. (Hmmm. True Junk Thief insiders will get the multiple meanings of that one.) In interviews he won't even take the bait to trash fellow Mousketeer Britney. Then again, maybe it's the Canadian thing, further evidence that it is a country known for producing comics and people with good manners.

Too bad they don't make a blow up Ryan, unfortunately. Would I be as disciplined as Lars as to have him chastely waiting upstairs in my dead parents' bedroom if they did? Probably so. I'm much more romantic than many of you would be led to believe. But my blow up Ryan would accept my wedding proposal and all would eventually be consummated. By the way, I agree that the movie is totally manipulative, but I also cried during the last third.

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At 9:14 AM, Blogger WAT said...

I think Ryan is attractive.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

WAT - I'd say that's a major understatement, even when he's made up as Lars to look pudgy with greasy hair.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger kusala said...

As a coworker said yesterday, "He's a patootie."

To which I'd say: YEAH he is. So very cute. Sigh.

However, his "pudginess" is kind of like "Hollywood starlet pudginess". As in "I suffered for my craft by gaining, like, 10 whole pounds for this role!!! I had to eat omelettes and cheese and stuff!"

I enjoyed Lars well enough, but I guess I was expecting something more... I don't know... more poignant and touching?? It was sweet and has that Harvey thing going on as many critics have mentioned. I was much more engaged by Half Nelson.

Still, it's worth seeing, and I admire the outrageous chance the filmmakers took. Maybe I can visualize "Joe and the Real Ryan" into happening...

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Kusala - He is definitely patootie worthy, but he's several notches above the others out there and much more than eye candy. Of his characters, the one that I would be most drawn to was the teacher in Half Nelson -- post rehab, of course.

However, I think he may be relying too much on "extremes" of characters -- physical quirks, addiction, Nazism, etc. He's a gifted, subtle actor and doesn't need over the top situations and physical excesses.

At 1:32 PM, Blogger kusala said...

Except even in a film like Half Nelson, he's still pretty subtle and human-scaled. It's not like some raving, screeching, melodramatic, total crash-and-burn portrayals of addiction we've seen. He's still very much the everyman-next-door (and I have to admit I'd probably be attracted to him and stand by him pre-, during-, AND post-rehab....).

What was his Jewish neo-Nazi role? I don't think I've heard of that. I only heard of him being in the über-squeaky-clean The Notebook a few years back.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Kusala - Gosh, are we going to get into a feud if we ever run into this boy? Ah, well, if he goes for you over me I'm happy for you.

The neo-Nazi role is a movie called The Believer. He really appealed to me in Nelson even during the addict phase. He was still so intensely bright, committed to his students and a good basketball coach. He just needed me in his life to set him on the right course.


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