Friday, December 04, 2009

George Clooney

In today's San Francisco Chronicle, movie reviewer Mick LaSalle takes what he thinks is a close look at actor George Clooney's popularity and success. I am a Clooney fan, so I read the article, and shook my head all the way through it.

The case LaSalle tries to make is that Clooney is today's "American actor," which he never really defines, though he offers a bunch of examples. But he misses the most obvious comparison to Clooney, omitting from his list of past "American actors" Cary Grant.

If you've seen a few Grant films and a few Clooney films, the comparison couldn't be more apt. They're both charming, attractive, graceful in a loose-limbed way. You sometimes get the feeling they're playing themselves rather than whatever character they are nominally representing.

Really, by the end of the article, I was rolling my eyes and thinking, never send a guy, and especially a straight guy (which as far as I know is the case with LaSalle) to write this sort of article. He completely and totally missed the most obvious facts about George Clooney: the man is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, he is aging beautifully and not trying to hide his age (think Paul Newman, who was a stunner right through to his last film, versus the grotesque current appearance of Robert Redford), and he's always charming. Honestly, if George Clooney turned up on my doorstep...well, never mind.


Joe Barron said...

>>never send a guy, and especially a straight guy. to write this sort of article.

Bigot. There are some of us who can do justice to any topic.

Anonymous said...

If Clooney were only handsome, he wouldn't have this appeal. There's such a thing as an aging boy toy. He succeeds because he also has this character that LaSalle describes. Paul Newman, though his character was different, succeeded for the same reason. Don't forget that straight men like him too.

Where I disagree is that I don't see him as an actor who's always playing himself. I was much impressed by the stylization of his acting a rather repulsive character in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou".

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yes, that role was somewhat against type!

You're right - I should have attributed how thoroughly LaSalle missed the point to LaSalle himself!!

Sarah said...

Hi Lisa- It's funny, because in every other article it seems George Clooney is always compared to Cary Grant. Didn't he even do a Vanity Fair spread where he channeled Cary Grant? As for what would happen if he showed up on your doorstep: I have a friend who browses the Casual Encounters at Craigslist, and has a pretty wild sex life, and gets a lot of e-mails from anonymous guys asking her basically to come over and blow them. She says she tells them "Are you George Clooney? Because if you're George Clooney, I'll come over and suck your dick, but if you're not, then forget it." Not sure if that's what you had in mind with the doorstep scenario, but there you go.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Ahahahah! That's a great response! And I bet George has not been the person making requests.