While Hollywood seems to be awash in talented thirty-something actresses these days, finding a guy who can hold his own against a strong female lead is a bit harder. There are plenty of distinguished older gentlemen who have proven that they’ve got the chops to keep a saucy 30 year old in check. But the list of thirty-something men is uninspired. Except for Ryan Gosling. Whether it’s luck, or good choices, or being raised in the wilds of suburban Ontario, Gosling has fashioned himself into a go-to leading man. This edition of Rave Reviews takes a closer look at Gosling in two of his latest releases, The Ides of March and Crazy, Stupid, Love.
The Ides of March was released in theatres earlier last month and when a friend wanted to catch it on the big screen, I jumped at the chance. George Clooney wrote and directed the tight political thriller, and the cast was solid: Clooney, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, and of course, Ryan Gosling. Gosling plays Stephen Meyers, a young campaign manager whose political savvy serves his boss, a presidential hopeful, well. That is, until an amateur move puts him on the outs with the campaign team. But what those around him don’t know is that Meyers has an ace up his sleeve, an explosive secret that could tank his boss. Gosling is picture perfect in this role. He has just enough ice in his veins to pull off the calm veneer of a political operative, yet still conveys a naiveté that he gradually sheds over the course of the film. The script adds just the right punch to make the Ides of March an Oscar contender.
After watching Gosling in Ides, I was more than a little surprised to see him starring opposite Steve Carell in the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. Gosling plays Jacob Palmer, a slick ladies man who takes Carell’s Cal Weaver under his wing after Cal’s wife leaves him for another man. The pairing is perfect. Gosling portrays Jacob as a bit of a wise guy with a soft spot for the hapless Cal. It’s not long before Cal is transformed into a debonair dandy, taking down marks with ease. As a girl who can’t abide rom-coms of the sappy variety, I was more than happy to find myself laughing at Carell’s antics and smirking as Gosling’s smug attitude comes undone. Gosling was, once again, a pleasant surprise, matching Carell’s comic timing with ease. If you’re looking for a date night movie I’d recommend picking up Crazy, Stupid, Love on your way home.
Gosling has a few movies slated for release in the near future, including Terrence Malick’s latest, Lawless, and The Place Beyond the Pines, co-starring Bradley Cooper and Rose Byrne. If you find yourself developing a Gosling addiction, as I have, Gosling filmography includes a little bit of everything: romance, drama, action, comedy. Curling up for a Ryan Gosling marathon is a movie night worth planning.