As I sit down to write this, I realize a few things:
- it’s been a long long time since I wrote anything for this blog
- no one reads this blog
- I don’t have a job
- I’ve never owned a pair of cowboy boots
But today of all days (Rex Manning Day? I don’t know) none of that matters. Especially because of the epic review I’m about to write of the last two movies that I saw in theatres, both of which starred Ryan Gosling and neither of which I’ve had time to fantasize about whilst masturbating. But I digress.
When I first saw the poster for Drive, it was in Manhattan and it was one of the posters with Carey Mulligan in it alone. It caught my attention with it’s pink script and extreme closeup and I remarked that it looked like a poster for a Lifetime movie. Of course, when I found out that Ryan Gosling was in it and it was, in fact, an actual movie I wanted to see it. I didn’t really know anything about it except the stars and that “There’s no such thing as a clean get away.” Okay.
Turns out Gosling is a mechanic and stunt driver who has these really cool driving gloves with holes over the knuckles and lives alone. For extra cash and most likely for the thrill of it, he acts as a getaway driver for criminals. One day he meets his neighbor, Carey Mulligan when she’s having car trouble and gives her a ride home and then, OMG, they’re in love. Then, before they ever fuck, her husband (oops) gets out of jail and naturally all hell breaks loose, as it were and the whole thing moves from a kind of angsty movie about driving cars fast to a sticky, graphic, stylized bloodbath (but nary a nipple in sight, sigh).
Like, I know that it’s a cliché in movies, love at first sight, jumping, rushing in to an unexplained spiritual connection that transcends ‘dating’ and goes deeper than ‘sex.’ I get that that’s a thing. BUT. When you’ve got a character who time and again displays his lack of sympathy for fellow human beings, who revels in his solitary life and you’re going to give him a love interest (a mother, no less, as if) that he not only gives up all those things for, risks his life for, well you MIGHT want to give us a MOMENT where you explain what is so GODDAMN SPECIAL about this lady! But no, she’s just pretty. I mean, she’s definitely pretty. But she works at Denny’s and just thinking about her makes me want to yawn.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Ryan Gosling as much as the next girl. But I can’t help but feel that a lot of his acting talent is derived from his ability to widen and narrow his eyes. That is, a lot this film consisted of him and Carey Mulligan staring at each other. I don’t even really mind watching Ryan Gosling staring at things (ryangoslingstaringatthings.tumblr.com don’t take it my idea!) and the truth is that I enjoyed watching this movie, even the parts where people were having their brains splattered all over the inside of motel bathrooms. But there really wasn’t much to it.
The Ides of March, on the other hand, has a political-thriller plot that certainly bills itself as “substance” and a dreary Cincinnati backdrop that wouldn’t be considered “style” and yet, it makes me angry just thinking about how bad this movie was/is/continues to be/will always be. With a cast brimming with at least what Hollywood tells me is talent (Gosling, Clooney, PSH, Giamatti, Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, the guy from Social Network with the eyebrows) you’d think that it would be difficult to fail! And yet! Every scene was hackneyed, boring, predictable, stupid. Lacking any charm, humor, suspense, realism, meaningful characterizations, believable dialogue. ALL OF THOSE THINGS WERE MISSING.
Here, let me recount to you my favorite scene. It’s before Evan Rachel Wood and Ryan Gosling have sex. They are having drinks at a bar, sitting across from each other with their faces very close to one another. This is the dialogue (I’m only barely paraphrasing):
ERW: How old are you?
Ry: How old do you think I am?
ERW: Ummm [bites lip] 30?
Ry: You think I’m 30?!
ERW: Ooh, sorry. How old are you?
Ry: I’m 30. [pause] How old are you?
ERW: How old do you think I am?
ERW: I’m 20.
Ry: That’s young.
ERW: Too young to fuck a 30 year old?
Oh hey, that was PAINFUL. Evan Rachel Wood wants to FUCK Ryan Gosling (I approve) and it’s not sexy in the least! It’s retarded! (also, get some bronzer, girl – I know you rock that peaches & cream look but shit you’re so pale!)
The ‘love’ stories in these two movies could be held up in some kind of film or directing or casting class as an example of chemistry (Ryan Gosling & Carey Mulligan stare at each other and it’s like, ooooh yeah) vs no chemistry (Ryan Gosling & Evan Rachel Wood fuck and it’s like, ho hum, yawn, is this movie over).
It was terrible. So terrible. Still,