Six Degrees: Reynolds to… Reynolds

by Lady Darcy

Well folks, it’s my first Six Degrees of the year and I’ve decided that my gift to myself will be writing about my favorite actor, Ryan Reynolds!  Almost nothing else in the world gives me more pleasure than to sit and watch -or think about- all the films I’ve seen this year’s Sexiest Man Alive in.  You might think I’m exaggerating but I can assure you I am not.  As far as RyRy goes, I’ve seen just about his entire filmography so thinking of actors he’s worked with wasn’t exactly a challenge.  However, coming up with films senior citizen Burt Reynolds has been in wasn’t nearly as fun so I tried to rip the band-aid off quickly.  Really though, can you blame me?  It’s Burt Reynolds.  Anyway, here you go…

Gorgeous, funny, talented, stunningly brown-eyed, bronze-haired, statuesquely-built Ryan Reynolds has been on the scene for over a decade now but has only been gaining A-lister status in the past year.  In fact, he might not even be quite A-list yet (but he WILL be!).  2009’s loveable The Proposal certainly gained him household recognition even if it wasn’t near the caliber of dramatic acting he’s capable of.  I definitely own it and have watched it at least 5 times already so I can’t really complain.  It was every bit as cheesy and heart-warming and funny as any classic chick flick should be; complete with nutty Grandma, complicated father/son relationship, predictable hate-turn-love romance and, yes, even a naked run-in (minus the typical awkward-when-watching-with-your-mom sex scene).

Along with current rumored main squeeze Sandra Bullock, RyRy starred in the rom-com alongside Betty White and Craig T Nelson, his less than supportive businessman father.  Right about now I have a confession to make; I had to look at the DVD case to get his name right.  I still think of him as Coach!  It’s not like he’s done anything huge since then.  Lately he’s been making the rounds playing daddy in a variety of comedies and dramas.  One such dramedy being The Family Stone with Dermot Mulroney.  The cast in that film contains several recognizable names so rather than bore you with the long list we’ll just focus on Mr. Mulroney.  Why don’t we see this guy playing the leading man more often?  Or even on a TV show by now for that matter.  He’s aging beautifully, he’s intelligent, he’s talented, he can be funny but we hardly ever see the guy!  Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

In all honesty, some of the performances in The Family Stone were good but overall I wasn’t terribly impressed with the film.  Being that it’s a Christmas film about family I believe I just assumed it would “happy” but was not prepared for the agonizing awkwardness of Sarah Jessica Parker’s character trying to fit in at her boyfriend’s family Christmas.  At the end of the day it’s about family but from beginning to almost end, it was like a much less funny Meet the Parents.  I mean I can handle a few things going bad and I can handle family dramas but I wasn’t expecting it all to be melded together in this one surprisingly downer-ish film.  I don’t know how much more I can say about it without giving anything away so I’ll just let you know that you want to watch this movie only when you have tissues close at hand and are equipped for constant uncomfortable situations being thrown at you.

Moving right along to a more pleasant film, for the first time since My Best Friend’s Wedding, Dermot starred as the lead hunk in 2005’s The Wedding Date opposite adorable red head Debra Messing.  I happen to loooooove both films (and any comedy based on weddings) so my review on The Wedding Date is probably a tad biased.  That being said, this was a great movie!  Like the before mentioned RyRy film, this film had every element needed to make a successful rom-com; quirky and vulnerable but inevitably likeable leading woman, handsome mysterious leading man, predictable hate-turn-love romance, and of course family drama.  The film itself doesn’t contain any Oscar worthy performances but it does have past (and likely to be this year) nominee Amy Adams.  She co-stars as the selfish little half sister whose wedding is torturing Messing’s insecure pushover big sister character.  The realistic love/hate relationship between the two of them is one of my favorite aspects of the movie.  Amy Adams is every bit as bubbly yet obnoxious as my own sister so I winced and laughed right along with big sis Kat throughout every moment of the 4-day wedding marathon experience.

Amy has done well playing leading ladies since then but she’s also made her mark as a more than decent supporting actress in critically acclaimed hits like this year’s The Fighter.  It’s nice to finally review something that’s fresh in my mind (like 3 weeks ago fresh).  I agree with just about everything I’ve read about the little boxing movie.  Within the first 10minutes of the film you already know why Christian Bale is a frontrunner for an Oscar nod this year.  And I’d say about 30minutes in you can see why Mark Wahlberg is getting similar buzz.  The only reason he took a little longer to convince me was that Marky Mark already has a tough Boston guy attitude.  His body is already built like a boxer and he’s got the Boston accent down, considering it’s where he’s from.  Playing a character more similar to yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you’re any less deserving of recognition but I think it’s safe to assume it was a little “easier” for him to slip into the guy’s skin than it was for Aussie Christian Bale to play a convincing has-been, wisecracking, crack addicted Bostonian.  In fact, our very own adminymous could still hardly contain his laughter minutes after Bale’s comedic jump from a 2nd story window.  Be honest folks, did you really think Batman had it in him to make people laugh that hard?  Heck, I’m now laughing about it again as I sit here thinking about that scene and the audience’s reaction.  Overall, the performances in The Fighter were phenomenal but it wasn’t quite what I imagined in terms of Best Picture.  Don’t go see it expecting Cinderella Man because it’s actually much more like My Big Fat Greek Wedding but with boxing and crack (I’ve been waiting weeks to use that line!)

As long as we’re on the topic of Mark Wahlberg, I’m thinking it’s time to bring this around to my last degree of separation!  Mark’s first big (no pun intended) role came in 1997’s Boogie Nights starring opposite Burt Reynolds.  Marky Mark plays fictional up-and-coming 70s porn star Dirk Diggler, where Burt plays one of the porn industry’s big wigs.  I must say, as a good Christian girl it makes me slightly uncomfortable to review a movie about porn… especially considering the fact that it was one of the first Rated R pictures I ever saw.  My memory of it is fuzzy because I was likely a little too shocked at the time to really sit and appreciate the well acted film.  I know it was nominated for a slew of awards and I remember thinking Marky did an excellent job but beyond that I draw a blank.

That’s a really pathetic way to end a post isn’t it?  Ok then just go back and read the part about The Fighter again please :)

To recap:

Ryan Reynolds *sigh* was in The Proposal with Craig T Nelson

Craig T Nelson was in The Family Stone with Dermot Mulroney

Dermot Mulroney was in The Wedding Date with Amy Adams

Amy Adams was in The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg was in Boogie Nights with Burt Reynolds

Boo Yah!

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