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Why I Don't Hate Ryan Reynolds

I am a very negative person. I don’t know if you get that from reading my posts. It’s true though. Mostly I only blog cause I get to slam people. Positivity just ain’t my bag. My bag is filled with darkness, not sunshine. If my bag ripped nothing but black gooey muck and sharp implements of exotic design and weird twisted Lovecraftian beasts would spill out. My soul is basically a wasteland.

But despite my evil proclivities every now and then I do feel the need to curtail the darkness and inject a little note of the upbeat. I need to put away the knives and take out whatever the opposite of a knife is for the purpose of this metaphor. I’m going to do that today. I’m going to pat someone on the back instead of verbally stab them. Okay here goes.

I have to admit: I don’t completely hate Ryan Reynolds.

This may seem like a strange confession coming from me. Given all the time I spend slamming today’s bland, flavorless, colorless, stale DiCaprio/Pitt-style leading men. Isn’t Ryan Reyonlds just another of that ilk? Just another boring pretty boy no-talent plastic mannequin taker-of-space?

Well actually yes. That is just about all Ryan Reynolds is. Another cute soulless empty vessel who sits in the middle of his movies like a black hole sucking down all energy and life and spitting out endless streams of dullness. But for some reason I don’t hate him like I hate the others.

Knowing I was going to be writing this post, I tried really hard to understand my mostly ambivalent non-hatey feelings toward Ryan Reynolds. If he is indeed worthy of the same level of hatred as the other boring Hollywood leading men, why in fact do I not hate him as much as them? What is it about Ryan Reynolds that causes my hatred to fizzle like a flung snowball evaporating upon impact with some kind of invisible snowball-repelling force field?

I thought about it really hard and I think I now understand it. I think I know why I don’t totally hate Ryan Reynolds. It isn’t just that he seems completely vapid and harmless, like a puppy dog that suffered a tiny bit of brain damage and now spends most of its time trying to lick its own reflection. It’s something behind his essentially brainless, unthreatening quality.

What is this thing? This hate-defusing quality of Ryan Reynolds’? For lack of a better word, I will call it “funniness.” Not that I find Ryan Reynolds especially funny in any conventional sense. In fact there is nothing at all really funny about him. Either on the surface or in a deeper sense. The idea of him is in fact totally unspeakable and not the least bit amusing.

It isn’t that Reynolds is genuinely funny or that he’s actually trying to be funny. In fact I believe he is being totally serious most of the time. In a movie like Green Lantern or Safe House. He’s not out there hamming it up Nicolas Cage-style (nor should he ever under any circumstances try to do that or someone will have to hammer-smash his crotch with Thor-like force). There isn’t even a tiny hint of a wink like you sometimes get from a smart actor who knows he’s not very good and is essentially starring in crap.

So what exactly is this not-funny-but-sort-of-funny quality of Reynolds’? It’s not self-deprecating. It’s not sly. It’s not ironic. It’s not even deliberate. It’s completely unintentional and not even the tiniest bit self-aware. You know what it really is? Adorable ineptitude. That’s what it is.

Basically, I can never hate Ryan Reynolds, because I am always too busy chuckling at him. I am too busy being amused by the fact that he has no business even being in movies. Certainly not starring in movies. He is so vanilla. So anodyne. So lacking in any of the fire or electricity that make an actor interesting.

I think what I’m saying is, I sort of feel sorry for him. Just a tiny little bit. But in kind of an amused way? The way you feel sorry for someone who doesn’t really deserve or need your sympathy.

Green Lantern is Reynolds’ quintessential “performance.” He is so nothing in that movie. And yet there he is, trying his hardest to come across like an actor. And damned if I don’t find myself rooting for him just a little bit. “You go Ryan,” I am thinking. “You emote buddy. You PLAY that feeling. Whatever it’s supposed to be.”

But what comes out isn’t feeling. It isn’t anything that really engages the attention. It’s just this darling semi-funny barely-thereness. Ditto his wife Blake Lively. Such a perfect teaming of non-entities, these two. Yes, they are both insanely hot. Yes, there is something vaguely homely about them if you look really close. No, neither of them will be taking home the Oscar one day (unless there is a terrible fire and all the good actors die).

I can’t hate Blake Lively either. And believe me I’ve tried. At this point I just have to accept her existence. I feel the same way about Ryan Reynolds. I can’t work myself up to hating him. He is protected by a deflector shield of irrelevance. And I’m slightly amused by his face. It’s such a blank. It’s like Chris Pine’s face but without that semi-interesting battered bloodshot-eyed meth-head-prize-fighter quality. I can almost imagine Chris Pine someday being almost good. But not Ryan Reynolds.

Ryan Reynolds will never be anything but Ryan Reynolds. A guy you plug into a movie because you need A Handsome Leading Man. Not one but TWO movies are out this week with Ryan Reynolds filling that particular made-for-Ryan-Reynolds role (yes I realize one is animated, but his voice is just as blandly cute and forgettable as the rest of him). This guy is in demand in Hollywood. How we got here is a question no one can answer. Not even Ryan Reynolds. He’s as bewildered as I am.

Tags: Movies

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