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.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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On the surface, framing the tumultuous civil rights era around the personal drama of a black butler working inside the White House might seem hokey. Folding history lessons in an entertaining package has always proven a difficult balancing act. But Lee Daniels' The Butler stands as a testament to reserved directing, a focused script and strong character-acting for the sake of the larger picture outside the movie house.
The heart and soul of the piece resides firmly in the capable hands of Forest Whitaker who, as titular character Cecil Gaines, balances pathos, pride, and strength with a human dash of regret. The other characters all seem to pass through his life but leave bold marks on him and the film's drama. Oprah Winfrey as Ms. Gloria Gaines, Terrence Howard as the sleazy philandering neighbor who takes advantage of the lonely Gloria, and Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lenny Kravitz as fellow White House help stand out the strongest for their raw abilities to inhabit their roles.
Though you would expect such actors to hold their own, the real delight of the Butler comes from the fact that there are no shortcomings in the film's supporting roles. The dynamic between the brothers of Cecil and Gloria offers a delightful comic relief, which is peppered amongst the drama just enough to keep the struggles of those times bearable. Elijah Kelley delights as the younger, naïve, parent-pleasing Charlie, and David Oyelowo embodies ultra-righteousness as Louis, jumping at every opportunity of civil disobedience to fight for his people's human rights (from protesting Jim Crow laws in the South to joining the Black Panther party). Meanwhile, the presidents — despite being played by high profile actors like Robin Williams (Eisenhower), John Cusack (Nixon), Liev Schreiber (LBJ), Alan Rickman (Reagan), and an unforgettable Jane Fonda as Nancy — never hang around the drama long enough to distract from its main concern of a black man struggling with apathy as the times change around him.
No character ever overshadows Cecil, who encapsulates an array of issues, from escaping an oppressive life on a cotton farm as a child to arriving at a revelation stemming from a simple gesture by taking a seat at a fancy dinner in his twilight years. It's this quiet struggle of a man trying to get by in a rough and tumble world that remains the film's main concern. The 52-year-old Whitaker does a noble job as he ages from a young man to a 90-year-old.
Compared to Daniels' powerful breakout Precious (2009) and the horrible, dull mess of the Paperboy (2012), the film features a reserved sensibility thanks to the director's decision to turn down the histrionics for a change. Throughout his short filmmaking career, Daniels has always shown a keen control over camera placement to keep a film visually dynamic, despite some dramatic failings. The Butler is no exception, as Daniels' artistry appears in the film's first frame. He still, however, leans on slow motion during a few scenes for overkill emphasis. He doesn't need that. His greatest accomplishment in The Butler lies in how he keeps the other characters in check against the quiet but important struggles of Cecil. Despite the film's many stars, no one is distracted as Daniels reveals a strong sense of mise-en-scène when burying the cast's celebrity. Daniels also continues to do raw well with make-up and wardrobe dialed down to keep it real and earthy.
The script deserves singling out as the glue that makes The Butler work as neatly as it does. Written by Danny Strong, the scribe behind another brisk political drama, the acclaimed McCain-Palin exposé Game Change on HBO, it makes for an engaging, well-paced affair despite running over two hours long. Strong based his script on a Washington Post article about a black man who served as a butler to eight presidents between the '50s and '80s. In order to emphasize the history and the tension of the civil rights movement on this family who happened to have close ties to the White House, Strong took liberties with the story. He created composite characters based on other memoirs with intimate access to the White House. It's a matter of convenience to place some of these characters at three or four too many important historical moments that may seem contrived to some. However, I'd forgive the film for teetering close to Forrest Gump cartoonery for the sake of its emphasis on moments in history that can too easily be forgotten as generations pass.
After the Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, The Butler serves as an important role in reminding us that equality and malaise between ethnic groups and classes still festers in this era, even after the election of the first black president. We need a movie that looks back at history and offers a reminder about the long way America has come and the long way it still has to go. That The Butler can do it while remaining entertaining is a bonus many will appreciate.
Follow Hans Morgenstern on Twitter @indieethos| Follow hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
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Kelly Clarkson has been dealt a massive blow in her fight to keep a ring once owned by Jane Austen after museum bosses in Britain were handed a $150,000 (£100,000) donation to help buy back the treasure. The pop star purchased the turquoise piece last year (13) for around $188,175 (£152,450), but the U.K.'s Culture Minister Ed Vaizey opposed her bid to take it out of the country.
He placed an export ban on the piece and ruled the sale will be voided if another buyer can match Clarkson's offer before 30 September (13).
Curators at the Jane Austen's House Museum in Hampshire, England launched a campaign to raise the money, and now they have been given a massive boost by a mystery donor who handed over $150,000 (£100,000), pushing them much closer to their target.
A post on the museum's website reads, "Total after the weekend stands at £103,200 after an ASTONISHING private donation of £100,000. Only another £49,000 to go!"
Clarkson has been spotted wearing a replica of the treasured artifact while she waits to hear whether she will be allowed to take the original to America.
The ring is one of only three pieces of jewellery in existence known to have been owned by the famous writer.
Hit TV show Glee is set to be adapted for the theatre as a new stage musical. The popular musical comedy series, which stars Lea Michele, Jane Lynch and the late Cory Monteith, has already proved its success on the stage with the cast embarking on a special Glee Live! In Concert! arena tour in 2010 and 2011, but now show producers are working on turning it into a real musical theatre spectacular.
Fox network executive Gary Newman let the news slip last week (ends09Aug13) during 21st Century Fox's Investor Day event, where he told the audience, "We launched a live stage business with a sold-out arena concert tour in 2011, and now a live stage musical is in the works. And two more seasons of the show were ordered by Fox."
The fifth season of the show is due to return to U.S. TV in September (13).
Pop star Kelly Clarkson is facing a fight to keep her Jane Austen engagement ring after bosses of a museum in Britain launched a campaign to buy back the treasured artifact. The Since U Been Gone hitmaker purchased the gem, one of the few surviving pieces of jewellery known to have belonged to the author, for around $188,175 (£152,450) last year (12).
However, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has placed a temporary export ban on the ring in a bid to keep it in the U.K. and he has encouraged other potential buyers to match Clarkson's offer before 30 September (13).
Now curators of the Jane Austen's House Museum in Hampshire, England have launched a campaign to raise enough money to buy the ring back.
A message posted on the museum's Facebook.com page reads, "Jane Austen's House Museum is pleased to announce the launch of its fundraising campaign 'To Bring the Ring Home'. If you would like to make a donation towards our 'Give Us a Ring' campaign to purchase the turquoise ring that belonged to Jane Austen please call the museum... or email... Fingers crossed we will be able to have the ring on display in the museum by early next year!"
The museum already displays two other pieces of jewellery owned by the writer - a turquoise bracelet and a topaz cross, and bosses reveal they have failed in efforts to contact Clarkson to ask her whether she would be willing to donate the ring to the institution.
Clarkson has been seen wearing a replica of the ring on her wedding finger while she waits to find out whether she will be allowed to bring the original to America. Her fiance, music executive Brandon Blackstock, proposed last December (12) and they are expected to wed later this year (13).
Jane Seymour has helped her sister make her acting debut after inadvertantly landing her sibling a role in new romantic comedy Austenland. The British star reveals director Jerusha Hess caught sight of a photo of her younger sister before shooting began and thought she would be perfect to portray Seymour's head maid.
The 62 year old tells WENN, "(Hess) said, 'Oh, how wonderful it would be if your sister plays the head of the ugly maids!'"
But Seymour had no idea how comical her relative's part would be until she sat down to watch the finished product.
She says, "My sister, of course, is in the movie all the time, so there's this maid behind me. She's overacting right behind me the whole time, and I had no idea until I saw the movie what Jerusha was having her do."
Actress Jane Seymour sympathised with her Austenland director Jerusha Hess while shooting the new romantic comedy after she had to fire her own children from the movie. The Napoleon Dynamite writer-turned-filmmaker cast her two young kids, Eliott and Greta, in a cottage scene, but they were unable to deliver the comedic performance their mother had envisioned.
Seymour was caught in the middle of the awkward shoot but she knew exactly what Hess was going through.
She tells WENN, "Jerusha was torn between being a mother and being a director and decided to (axe) her kids from the movie. And I looked at her (during filming), and I said, 'Jerusha, I know exactly how this is. I've had my children in my movies before, and it is very taxing.'"
Kristen Stewart missed out on a role in Twilight author Stephenie Meyer's new film Austenland over fears audiences could only imagine the actress as her character from vampire franchise. Meyer worked as a producer on the big screen adaptation of Shannon Hale's novel, about a woman obsessed with a TV retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, but she avoided the temptation to recast Twilight actress Stewart.
The author tells WENN, "It's tempting sometimes when you know what people can do... Sure, I would love to work with Kristen Stewart. She's super talented, but if she plays a character, people are going to see (Twilight character) Bella."
Cory Monteith's Glee family has been "leaning on each other" as the cast and crew of the hit TV show return to work following his tragic death, according to actor Harry Shum, Jr.. The Canadian star died from a lethal mix of alcohol and heroin last month (Jul13) and Shum, Jr., who plays Mike Chang on the hit series, admits his loss continues to weigh heavily on his TV colleagues since resuming production on the show on 1 August (13).
He tells People.com, "We've all been leaning on each other. It's been a rough patch and a rough time. I don't know when that will ever end, that rough patch of losing a friend like that. It's so unexpected, but we're all leaning on each other."
Shum, Jr. adds of Monteith's onscreen and offscreen girlfriend Lea Michele: "Of course she's heartbroken, everyone is. But I think it's great that everyone is back at work and at least following through, and hopefully we can at least just get through this rough patch."
And Jane Lynch, who plays Coach Sue Sylvester, reveals she is tinged with sadness every time she passes Monteith's trailer on set.
She tells UsMagazine.com, "Everybody's doing differently. You know, it's tough. Everybody had a relationship with him and we all express our grief in different ways so I'll only speak for myself. I love him and I honour (him), and every day I go to work, I walk by his trailer and I go, 'He should be in there.'"
Glee creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are planning to address Monteith's death in the third episode of the upcoming season, which will serve as a tribute to the actor and his beloved character, Finn Hudson.
The new season is due to premiere in the U.S. in September (13).
Comedienne Joy Behar celebrated her final episode as a panellist on U.S. talk show The View on Friday (09Aug13) with guest appearances from funnywoman Joan Rivers, actor Mario Cantone and veteran crooner Tony Bennett. The presenter was also treated to video tributes from Jane Lynch, Steve Martin, Carol Burnett and Debbie Reynolds as she signed off after 16 seasons on air. Model/actress Jenny Mccarthy will replace Behar when the 17th season of the show begins in September (13).