QUICK CUTS – Spotlight on RYAN GOSLING (Part 2 of 2)
Hosted by Michael Arruda
L.L. SOARES and I recently reviewed the movie DRIVE starring Ryan Gosling, a terrific flick in which Gosling delivered an excellent performance.
So, this week, we’re shining the spotlight on Ryan Gosling. We asked our panel of writers, including L.L. and myself, to name their favorite Gosling movie performances. Here’s what they had to say:
I’m going to go with DRIVE (2011) as my favorite Ryan Gosling role, for the simple reason it’s the only Gosling film I’ve seen! So, I’m with you Dan, as being a Gosling newbie. Actually, I did see him in REMEMBER THE TITANS (2000) but that was in a supporting role behind Denzel Washington. He impressed me in DRIVE, that’s for sure, enough to make me want to go back and check out his other movies.
I don’t do sappy, so I’ve never seen THE NOTEBOOK (2004). I’ve only seen the very end on, like, TNT or USA. But I remember when Gosling and Rachel McAdams re-enacted their famous ocean surf kiss scene at the MTV Movie Awards. That was hot!
MURDER BY NUMBERS (2002) deserves some recognition, but…
I would definitely put HALF NELSON (2006), LARS AND THE REAL GIRL (2007), and BLUE VALENTINE (2010) at the top of my list. All three are uncomfortable to watch, and I mean that in a good way. It’s been several years since I watched HALF NELSON and LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, but BLUE VALENTINE is still very fresh in my memory. For anyone who’s gone through a break-up (and haven’t we all?), this is particularly painful since it flashes between the cute and happy meeting and past, and then the depressing present so viewers can see the dissolution of their (Gosling and Michelle Williams) marriage. It’s heartbreaking, but very realistic. The film centers around a drunken night at a seedy hotel to “save the relationship”, which is tough and cringe-worthy viewing.
I tend to judge movies by their re-watchability factor. Comedies aren’t the only films I find endlessly re-watchable. There are a ton of hardcore dramas that I own on DVD that if, god forbid, I stumble across them on cable, I will STILL re-watch. Mainly war, baseball, and crime flicks. I’m not sure I could re-watch HALF NELSON or BLUE VALENTINE more than a couple of times in my life without wanting to fill a bathtub and slit my wrists.
So, as far as re-watchability and total entertainment, my full vote would probably have to go for CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE (2011). That film was pitch-perfect. A smart adult comedy that didn’t rely on lame Hollywood clichés. Gosling’s scenes with the recently separated Steve Carell, particularly the makeover (“Be better than The Gap!”) and lessons about dating, are downright hilarious. And when Gosling meets Emma Stone, a “game changer,” his playboy lifestyle gives way to serious commitment. He walks the line between being a douche, a cool guy, someone you’d want to go out drinking with, and a sweet guy you’d love to fall for. And his character is a nice reminder that none of us use the word “schvantz” enough in our daily conversation.