A few years ago I re-watched The Notebook and realized that Ryan Gosling is what has been missing in my life. I’d seen that movie before, and seen him in other films before (namely Lars and the Real Girl), but during this viewing my eyes were opened, so to speak. I have no shame in telling you he is most definitely my #1 celebrity crush.
We have only a few weeks left of the basketball season – praise the Lord. I hate not seeing my husband, and I often refer to myself as a basketball widow, but I decided this season that I would do something constructive during my period of widowhood: I would put our Netflix payment to good use and watch every film of Ryan Gosling’s while my husband was away. My goal has purely been to do a character study.
The point is, this guy baffles me. Although technically the first time I ever laid eyes on him was in The Notebook many, many years ago, his role as Lars in Lars and the Real Girl will always be his quintessential role for me. I feel like that role was created for him and he performed it perfectly in a way that few others could. But as those lovely little red envelopes began to arrive in my mailbox, I started to notice something strange: Ryan Gosling is constantly cast as the tough guy hottie. Now the hottie part I won’t deny, but the tough guy part is so strange to me. What I love about Gosling (other than his abs, of course) is his quirky aloofness. Sometimes it works, but other times it’s just weird. Let me get all analytical here – something I’m really not qualified to do, but whatever.
First I watched Drive. Hmm. When it began I thought, “This is ridiculous. Gosling can’t pull this off.” And I’m still not sure. To be honest there is a moment where he is beating the living crap out of a guy and I just couldn’t buy it, but somehow that quirky aloofness worked in his seedy life of crime, and his oddly charming quality worked really well as he related to Carrie Mulligan’s young son. In other news, the actual movie was fantastic. What a soundtrack, man, what a soundtrack.
Next was Fracture. While the movie thinks it’s a lot smarter than it is, I have nothing negative to say about Gosling. I never pictured him as a lawyer, but he can represent me any time. Again, the aloofness did its thing quite nicely for him.
Then came All Good Things, and I was even more skeptical. My beloved Ryan Gosling simply cannot be an abusive wife beater perhaps even murderer, right? Well, I don’t know. I’m still conflicted. He is just strange enough that it worked in a way which I never thought it could. My admiration grew.
But then the latest movie arrived, and, incidentally, Ryan (my husband) was home and agreed to watch it with me. Ooops.
Crazy, Stupid, Love, folks. Quite possibly one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a long time, but do I need to tell you that I really didn’t care? This Gosling role had me at my most skeptical. While I can’t deny that spray tan and abs much of anything, I was not sure that he could really pull off cynical play boy. That’s not who he is.
Or is it?
Somehow he pulled it off. That quirky aloofness came out at just the right time, when we all needed it most, and that sensitive side melted my heart and won me over yet again. Of course it was slightly awkward with my husband right there, but whatever.
So, to summarize the most pointless blog post I have ever posted, in the words of one of my AP students (because we totally discussed this in class), Ryan Gosling’s looks sometimes work against him, resulting in roles which are typically for your average hunky Hollywood heart throb, and yet he is able to adapt and make everything fantastic! My fandom continues to soar, and I continue to be in love. I’m sad that basketball season is almost over and I will have to stop this covert movie-watching operation in lieu of something more, um, family friendly? But it’s been a nice run. I should probably also mention that I’d already seen The Ides of March and Blue Valentine. I kind of fell asleep during the former, and the latter made me question everything about my marriage, but none of that is a reflection of Ryan Gosling, I assure you.
I’ve got two movies left to go, and then I have to move on. It will be a sad day indeed.