Monday, 5 July 2010

Failure to Launch, Season One: Episode 1

Weeks ago when I wrote my final post on Forgotten Characters (for the time being) I promised you a new feature. Well, I’m still working on that, but I’ve still decided on another feature (I know, lofty ideals and all). By now you probably know I have my weird idiosyncrasies when it comes to irrational loathing of some actors, but sometimes it’s more than just irrational – they’ve just done nothing to make them worthwhile. So, every now and then I’ll focus on one of them. And it’s too easy to pass up on one of the most obvious choices when the feature’s title is begging me to mention him. And who am I to ignore the obvious?
One career that has failed to launch, with me at least? Matthew Matthew McConaughey
Prosecution, Exhibit A: The Wedding Planner
Against my better judgement I’m rather fond of Jennifer Lopez, the actress. She’s not amazingly talented, but she is personable. It’s weird, she’s doing her best to play a romantic comedy lead in The Wedding Planner and everything’s working with her except her co-lead, Mr. Matthew McConaughey. I’ll be honest, the one thing I particularly treasure in The Wedding Planner is Justin Chambers. He’s donning a faux Italian accent and he’s playing someone completely different to his congenial bastard on Grey’s Anatomy. It’s like the riddle of the sphinx with these romantic comedies, why does the leading lady always go for the prick of a man? I don’t know if Matthew McConaughey’s trying but he’s doing such a good job of making me despise him that The Wedding Planner just leaves a horrid taste in my mouth – not one for repeat viewing.
Prosecution, Exhibit B: How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days
This is actually a key bit of evidence used in people’s hatred of Kate Hudson. Poor Kate, she’s much better than she’s given credit for but even she can’t make this sinking ship work. Once again, a leading lady who’s trying and Matthew McConaughey just seems to be going through the motion. Surprise, surprise – he’s (once again) playing a grating character. I don’t know if that points to his range or not (or lack thereof). The film is an utter plod, but it would have been nice if he could have at least tied. Ugh.
Prosecution, Exhibit C: Failure to Launch
Sarah Jessica Parker, despite what everyone thinks, is a talented woman. She can play more than Carrie Bradshaw (who is more than just the self-absorbed narcissist she’s referred to as). She’s trying to be a normal romantic comedy lead here, I’m not sure if Matthew McConaughey is playing his character so well or so badly but once again I feel nothing but intense loathing for him. Sure, he goes around shirtless as is his wont, but that’s not impressing me and every time he gives that sickening grin I want to hurl. Add that to the fact that he’s starring with the other loathsome thirtysomething year old (Bradley Cooper) means that the title of the film is just a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Defence, Exhibit A: A Time to Kill

It’s just a little ironic that after giving a fairly nuanced performance in this Grisham thriller that Matthew McConaughey decided to continue his career as an unappealing romantic comedy lead. A Time to Kill isn’t a film for the ages (it’s not Grisham’s best novel or best novel adaptation) but it works. Sandra Bullock, Matthew Matthew McConaughey and Ashley Judd put in good performances and Samuel Jackson is particularly moving here (should have been Oscar nominated, I say). Matthew McConaughey works as the conflicted lawyer and his final speech in the courtroom solidifies his top billing status. Pity, he never took it to this level again.
Verdict: I say he’s failed, irrefutably. But what you do think? Which side are you on? Has Matthew McConaughey proved his talents or do you, like me, think his career has failed to launch? What are your thoughts on the new feature?


Ryan T. said...

First of all, I love the new feature.

Second, your first entry is inspired because I DO NOT get the appeal of that man. The word odious comes to mind. I agree with your assessment of the films you mentioned. Have you seen Ghost of Girlfriends Past? It was EASILY the worst movie I saw last year.

There may have been 1-2 movies McConaughey have done that are actually worth anyone's time, but if those movies do exist, I bet they were released more than 10 years ago.

Random sidenote: Not a fan of Bradley Cooper? I admit I have a soft spot for him due to Wet Hot American Summer, ALIAS, and because he's pretty.

Jess said...

I think Exhibit B should have been a two-parter given that Hudson and McCongaughey starred together in two dismal attempts - Fool's Gold falls into the so bad it's almost good category. I too love the new feature.

anahita said...

yep - ridiculously dull, not at all entertaining, really not that talented, and not very good looking either (tbh that can sometimes be a redeeming factor, shallow as it sounds. orlando bloom, anyone?).

oh btw, you said I should drop you an email at some point about something you wanted to discuss (all very vague - your fault :P). I'm a naturally very lazy AND forgetful person so will probably keep forgetting, but email me to let me know what it was - I'm very curious!! xx

CS said...

Fools Gold was the final nail in the "McConaug-hey-hey" coffin for me. He can no longer ride the "Dazed and Confused" and "A Time To Kill" cred anymore. Plus he needs to start doing rolls that require him to put on a shirt! There is only so much "McConaug-hey-hey" abs the world can take.

Love the new feature by the way.

Jose said...

I think like Bradley Cooper now, his appeal is evident only when he has his shirt off.

Castor said...

Love this new feature (until you commit the crime of featuring one of my favorite actors in this post maybe? lol)

This feature actually ties in quite well with our HSX league where I wanted to have post about stars and whether they were buy/sell/hold. Matthew McConaughey is definitely a SELL and I agree that his career hasn't gone anywhere spectacular. Hey, he still getting paid fairly well for what he does but I don't think he will ever take it to the next level and break it into the A or even B-list stars.

Simon said...

A Time to Kill was a decent fluke. Or maybe he's just not trying, knowing he can get by on the media's inexplicible adoration of him. Ah, well.

Heather said...

I've seen all these crappy RomComs he's done because I find him somehow irresistible,charming, and I WANT him to be more. Plus the man is insanely handsome.

I loved him in Dazed and Confused, thought he was brilliant in Reign Of Fire,thought he was hilarious in Tropic Thunder, and he somehow made Fools Gold watchable for me.

You look at the rest of his filmography and scratch your head. After Boys On The Side, though a small role, he could have been marketable as anything good. Instead.....a career of rubbish.

Dejecting. Quite.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

everyone goodness. it seems mcconaughey hatred brings us all together.

ryan cooper was on alias! i knew i knew from somewhere (but refused to go to his imdb page). luckily i skipped ghosts of girlfriend's past. luckily.

jess ha. skipped that one too. YAY.

ana yes, being good looking can help but bloom is talented. isn't he...anyone...?

cs now i'm actually wanting to see what fool's gold is...

jose but there is only so much softcore porn you can take...

castor if/when i do pick someone you love defend them to the end!

why is mcconaughey getting paid? that is the question?

simon a fluke, and so early in his career. wasted.

heather he could been more...not a "contendah" but more. i'm thinking, perhaps, like an eric bana or maybe even like mortensen done well with the right role (remember how you hated him?)

Ryan T. said...

Orlando Bloom is talented. He just needs to pick roles/movies now that doesn't totally focus on his looks.

In any case, I bet in less than five years, he'll surprise us with a knockout performance.