CHOPSY, TAKE A LETTER: An open letter to Ryan Gosling, or why “Drive” is a complete P.O.S.

This week, I’m taking a staycation in Melbourne and what a jolly good feeling it is to not be at work! I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my favourite indoorsy activities, thanks to Melbourne’s reliably shithouse spring weather. This has facilitated lots of lovely catch-ups with friends, reading fiction, drinking coffee, pottering around at home, and going to the pictures.

A while ago, a friend had the genius idea that we design and execute a custom-made movie marathon along the following itinerary: coffee/movie 1/dinner/movie 2. WINNER. The last time I went to a movie marathon, it involved a secret vodka supply (I think) and either Mum or Dad having to pick us up at 5.30am. This one was much more civilised.

Our first film was Pina in 3D (or, if you are my childish/hard of hearing friend Dan, Penis in 3D, although I am quick to assure you it isn’t that type of film) which was truly extraordinary, as was my interval Grill’d burger. However, I feel the need to tell you, dear readers, that Drive is a completely terrible film that could kindly be described as an unintentionally hilarious, steaming, festering, fly-ridden turd. So I’ve decided to take a letter.

Dear Ryan Gosling,

Forgive me for calling you Ryan, but your character in the recent film Drive apparently possesses no Christian name (as if it wasn’t already obvious enough that your parents didn’t love you), so it’s all I’ve got to work with.

I should have known something was wrong when I noticed that the film’s opening titles were typeset in fuschia-pink Mistral. Um, VOMIT. This is a style of typography appropriate for hens’ parties at over-28s venues, replete with penis straws and strippers who look like Antonio Banderas. It is not a good look for any film that I might like to see. Erroneous choice.

My second gripe with you, Gosling, is that you are always chewing on a toothpick (like my dad) and wearing a really fucking stupid silver jacket with a scorpion on it. Um, you spend a fair bit of time in this film trying to be inconspicuous. Perhaps wearing a ludicrously unique reflective garment isn’t actually helping you achieve this aim.

Additional, Gosling, I am sick of everyone swooning all over you when all you can really offer is playing the strong silent type. WE GET IT, OK, YOU’RE PRETERNATURALLY GOOD-LOOKING. Would it kill you to actually say anything ever? You know, perhaps have an opinion? I think I preferred you in Lars and the Real Girl, where you at least had a reason for not saying anything (i.e. you suffered from a cognitive disability and more than one social anxiety disorder).

The strong silent type is fine and everything but I reckon you’d get bored to death having one round the house, cooking its meals, washing its clothes and continually buying combs so it can do its signature side-part.

It is clear that Carey Mulligan was cast because Michelle Williams (one of my p-faves) was unavailable to step into her role as The Thinking Man’s Blonde Indie Pin-up. Ryan, please pass on to Carey that Michelle Williams has a few more feathers in her thespian cap, i.e. she is capable of actions other than tucking her hair behind her ears and looking slightly perplexed, which appears to be the deep end of Mulligan’s range.

Ryan, you have been in a number of films which I liked a lot. Actually, not that many. I thought Blue Valentine was totz overrated and I haven’t seen Half-Nelson (yet). And still, I am surprised at you. You know how when you see The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, you think “How can a Wes Anderson film starring Bill Murray, soundtracked entirely by Bowie and featuring metallic wetsuits, be such an underwhelming dud?” That’s how I feel about Drive, Ryan. It had you and your side-part, an attractive blonde, a heap of wicked car chases (I did like the one you did in reverse) and heaps of awesome gratuitous violence, and still it was dull, dull, dull.

I expected better of you, Ryan. And you might want to try combing your hair in a different direction.

Wishing you the very best for future endeavours,

Chops

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