College Humor recently posted a list of eight fictional girls from movies and TV who we're really supposed to like but, at heart, actually suck. Girls like Mary Elizabeth Winstead's Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World or Andie MacDowell's Rita in Groundhog Day. Or Jennifer Love Hewitt in Can't Hardly Wait or Tiffani Thiessen in Saved by the Bell. And don't even get them started on the creepy awfulness of Robin Wright's sexually predatory Jenny in Forrest Gump.
We here at Hollywood.com have decided to respond in kind, but with a little gender equality. What about Movie & TV guys who really suck? They are a-plenty. Take note of the following eight guys who we're supposed to think are charming or likable but are really just schmucks. Starting with...
1. Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Okay, the only reason anyone likes this character is because his abs "look like they're photoshopped" and because we're all just encouraged to think that Ryan Gosling can do no wrong. As any character. But his Jacob Palmer in the 2011 rom-com is a sociopath. He's taken his broken heart over a bad relationship and has decided to star in his own revenge film in which he derives emotional satisfaction from breaking the hearts of all of womankind. He is to women what Dirty Harry is to punks, and we're not buying it. Of course, he's also a phony because he can't even commit to his sociopathy. All he needs is the love of Emma Stone to heal his psychic wounds. See also: a similar sociopathy on display as the nameless driver in Drive, with some additional paternalistic overtones.
2. Matthew Morrison's Mr. Schuester on Glee
Try hanging out with some people your own age for once, perv.
3. Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man
I know, I know, Sam Raimi really wanted to play up Spider-Man's essential "everyman appeal," but Tobey Maguire comes across more like a lovesick puppydog than a daring webslinger. However, all that aw-shucks pining for Mary Jane masks his true contempt for her when he punches her in the face after sporting Emo bangs.
4. Shia LaBeouf in Transformers 1, 2, & 3
I choose to believe that the whole cars-turning-into-robots thing is just an elaborate fantasy in his mind — which explains why he's always dating porn-chic women in cut-off jeans and bosom-flaunting tank tops — and that he's rocking himself back and forth in a straight-jacket somewhere.
5. Alex Pettyfer in Magic Mike
Sure, wannabe stripper Adam's shirtless presence may result in female strip club patrons having wallets as empty as his head. But isn't charisma more than skin deep? Even if so much of the movie is about Adam's rise and fall, there's a reason Channing Tatum's Magic Mike is the title character.
6. Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal
Really, dude? You not only leave behind a home of palatial splendor in Alaska — and a Granny in Betty White — to earn pennies as the assistant of an icy editrix who barely knows your name, you want to marry her to secure her U.S. residency? Out of some vague notion that it might lead to you getting a promotion? Right. And I bet you can see Russia from your house too, huh?
7. Michael Cera in Juno
Admittedly, this is a tricky one because the backlash against Cera post-Juno has been so extreme that we almost forget there actually was a time we did like him. But fans of the Diablo Cody flick still love Cera's Paulie Bleeker...even though he's a pathetic tool who insists upon wearing head- and wristbands like he's a refugee from a 1985 episode of Miami Vice. He should not be fathering anything. Ever.
8. Orlando Bloom in The Pirates of the Caribbean, Elizabethtown, s**t, Everything.
He is the male Andie MacDowell.
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Based on Ian McEwan’s equally stirring novel we begin the story in 1935 on the cusp of WWII. Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) a 13-year-old fledgling writer lives with her wealthy family in their enormous English country mansion and on one hot summer day she irrevocably changes the course of three lives including her own. It seems the housekeeper’s son Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) carries a torch for Briony’s older sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley). And on this warm day it becomes clear she feels the same way; their love ignites. Little Briony who harbors her own secret crush on Robbie witnesses the beginnings of this love affair and not understanding its meaning feels compelled to interfere going so far as accusing Robbie of a crime he did not commit. He is arrested and whisked away eventually forced into the British army but thankfully the two lovers have a moment before he goes to war to reconnect. Cecilia promises to wait for him urging him to “come back” to her once the madness he is about to become immersed in is over. Meanwhile Briony (played in adult years by Romola Garai and Vanessa Redgrave) has grown up regretting every single moment of that fateful day and in desperately trying to seek forgiveness finally finds a path to understanding the power of enduring love. The performances in Atonement are nothing less than captivating beginning with the young Irish rose Saoirse Ronan (who is also set to play the lead in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones). Since it is primarily Briony’s story Ronan must make the first most indelible impression and set the tone for the rest of the movie--and she succeeds on every level. From the moment you see Ronan’s pale face clear-blue eyes and steadfast gait you immediately recognize Briony’s need and determination to make everything in her life just so. Indeed Briony is a strongly focused child and Ronan so embodies the character an Oscar nomination is almost a certainty. As the 18-year-old Briony Garai (Dirty Dancing 2) does the best she can following such a tough act as Ronan but can never quite match the same intensity. On the other hand Redgrave who comes in at the very end as the much older Briony nails it right away adding her own nuances to a character who has lived a full life. Of course Knightley and McAvoy are no slouches either vividly capturing the passion bubbling up between Cecilia and Robbie then turning around and showing the heartache as their love is ripped apart. McAvoy is particularly effecting as his Robbie must also witness some truly horrific wartime scenes. Actually Oscar nods should come fast and furious for everyone in Atonement. With Pride & Prejudice and now Atonement director Joe Wright may have just established himself as the new James Ivory (of Merchant/Ivory fame). Wright is a real visionary for the romantic period piece expertly delivering truly spectacular vistas. From set design to costumes to cinematography the look of Atonement is at once verdant welcoming and then startlingly grim. The first half of Atonement at the Tallis’ country home is certainly the film’s most defining peppered by an effective musical score which uses the sound of a typewriter like a metronome. Through a soft lens Wright displays the general idleness of summer day at a country home like a sunny floral motif that belies an undercurrent of sweating bodies wilting flowers stagnant pools--and an imminent tragic event. Then once Wright moves with Robbie into WWII he actually paints an even more grim view of war then maybe seen before. The one continuous shot of the historical Dunkirk--a French beach on which thousands of British soldiers were forced by the Germans and then waited to be evacuated--is absolutely stunning and surreal. Atonement does drag ever-so-slightly in the middle especially as Briony trains to be a nurse in London but overall this is a film Academy voters eat up with a silver spoon. Expect to be hearing about it in the months to come.
Liv Tyler pregnant with first child
Actress Liv Tyler is expecting her first child with rocker husband Royston Langdon, frontman of the band Spacehog, The Associated Press reports. According to People magazine, Tyler, 26, who recently starred as the Elven princess Arwen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is due this winter. She and Langdon have been married since March 2003.
More baby news…
Supermodel Claudia Schiffer is expecting her second child with husband Matthew Vaughn, a British film producer, Reuters reports. Schiffer's spokeswoman said the model is four months pregnant. The couple, who live in Suffolk, England, have a son, Caspar, born in January of last year.
Affleck bluffs his way to jackpot
Cha-ching! Ben Affleck won $356,400 at a poker tournament, outlasting a field of 90 players to capture the Commerce Casino's California State Poker Championship, AP reports. At the final table, Affleck beat poker pro Stan Goldstein, who finished second, and knocked out Chuck Pacheco, president and co-founder of Castle Rock Entertainment, who finished third. Fellow actor Tobey Maguire went out on the first day of the three-day tournament that ended Sunday. The win in the $10,000 buy-in event earned Affleck the opportunity to take a $25,000 seat in the World Poker Tour Championship to be held next April in Las Vegas, AP reports.
Clinton's book looks to be hot seller
Hundreds of Bill Clinton's fans stood in line Tuesday at a Manhattan bookstore waiting for a chance to see the former president, who was scheduled to sign copies of his new memoir My Life, AP reports. The Rockefeller Center Barnes & Noble planned to give out more than 1,000 wristbands that would allow customers to purchase several copies, only one to be autographed by Clinton, before the book hits the stands Tuesday at midnight. "Bill Clinton is a rock star," Lynne Roberts, 37, told AP, who set up camp Monday night, nearly 15 hours before the signing was to begin. "He is our cultural icon and we miss him now more than ever, given everything that's going on in the world." With advance orders already topping 2 million, Clinton's book, which details his life from his Arkansas childhood through his presidency, appears guaranteed to justify his reported $10 million advance and outsell the memoirs of his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who received $8 million.
Anti-camcordering rewards program unveiled
Theater employees who report moviegoers illegally recording films to police will be rewarded up to $500 under the Anti-Camcording Rewards Program unveiled Monday by the Motion Picture Assn. of America (MPAA) and the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), Reuters reports. The program is being funded by the MPAA, which represents the major studios, in a bid to thwart movie piracy. According to the organization, films are typically camcordered during the first few days of their U.S. release, then distributed in digital form worldwide on file-sharing networks and other online outlets. The dollar amount awarded will be decoded by the MPAA and is based on several factors, including whether the suspect was apprehended and the timing of the piracy in relation to the movie's release.
Rating for Fahrenheit 9/11 expected today
The MPAA's Rating Appeals Board is expected to render its final verdict today on the rating for filmmaker Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which opens Wednesday in New York and nationwide Friday. The MPAA gave the film an R rating earlier this month "for violence, disturbing images and language," but Lions Gate president Tom Ortenberg is appealing the decision on the basis the documentary will contribute to the national political debate and should be available to the widest audience possible. The biggest sticking point in the ratings debate appears to be the use of the word "motherf***er" several times by an American soldier in Iraq, as well as some graphic footage of Iraqi civilian casualties. Distributor Lions Gate has said the R would cost the pic as much as 20 percent of its audience, but according to the latest tracking research by Nielsen NRG, people over age 25, especially men, are the most interested in seeing the film.
Court rejects Jenny Jones appeal
The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from the family of a guest murdered days after he admitted a secret crush on another man during the taping of The Jenny Jones Show, the AP reports. Scott Amedure's family initially won a $29.3 million award against distributor Warner Brothers and The Jenny Jones Show, but that decision was thrown out last year by a Michigan appeals court. The family then appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming the Michigan judges were biased and should have disqualified themselves from the case. In 1995, Amedure appeared on the show, which is taped in Chicago, and revealed his secret crush on guest Jonathan Schmitz. Schmitz killed Amedure three days after the taping and is now serving a 25- to 50-year prison sentence for second-degree murder.
HBO boards reality bandwagon with Family Bonds
HBO has ordered 10 episodes of the reality series Family Bonds, which follows the real-life adventures of one of the country's top bounty hunters, Tom Evangelista, who runs a bail bond/bounty office with his family in Queens, N.Y., Variety reports. The series' producer-director Steven Cantor describes the project as "the Sopranos without all the heaviness and murder." Each half-hour episode will follow Evangelista and his family as they track criminals while personal drama ensues as his son tries to join the business just as his daughter wants out. Family Bonds, the first series to come out of the pay cabler's documentary/family arm, will have little of the traditional documentary earmarks such as voiceovers, narration or talking heads. The show is slated to premiere this fall on HBO.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.