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The Pros and Cons of Ryan Gosling

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Jul 28, 2011 | 6:08am EDT

Ryan Gosling suit crazy stupid loveBecause Ryan Gosling seems to be the only actor that existed a year ago, it means he’s staring in all these new movies. Therefore, he’s everywhere – in the trailers that appear on the sides of the websites we frequent, in the posters that adorn all forms of public transportation, in the clips that interrupt our shows on television, and he’s even on television to give interviews about his new movies during the morning, noon and night. For the majority of America, Gosling’s abundance is, apparently, not really a problem. Most people welcome him into their lives because they appreciate his handsome stature, thespian skills, and personality, I guess. But I’m not really into it. I’m sorry! The flag that shoots out through the hole of my toy pistol doesn’t have a picture of Ryan Gosling on it! And it’s not because I don’t have a toy gun! It’s actually because I don’t care for Ryan Gosling.

Let me be clear (Obama TM) before we move further: I don’t hate Ryan Gosling. I really don’t. I think he’s a fine individual who seems cool and quirky and exactly like the type of person you’d want to have on your side if you got locked in a supermarket somewhere in Staten Island. I’m sure he’s a load of fun, really. But I do have some problems with him. I voiced some of them to my co-worker Kelsea Stahler (who just dropped off a sketch of Gosling’s face to a tattoo artist this very morning and is just itching to get out of the office so she can get the image sewn into her forearm!), and we decided to engage in a little debate. What you’re about to see is Kelsea and I arguing our opinions over Ryan Gosling in five areas: his dog, his fashion, his looks, his sense of humor, and his indie credibility. I will present my arguments about why I don’t like Ryan Gosling first, and then Kelsea will respond by telling you I’m stupid and blind and I should start holding my breath so Ryan Gosling has more oxygen and so his cells can continue to multiply at their leisure. You’re welcome to read Kelsea’s responses to my problems with Ryan Gosling, and while they may be convincing, keep in mind that neither of us is wrong, and that Kelsea is the one who’ll jump over your brick wall and steal a blade of grass from your lawn and put it in a scrapbook if you become famous someday.

Alright, let’s begin.

Exhibit A: I don’t care for Ryan Gosling using his dog to get us to like him.

HL: I love dogs. In my lifetime, I’ve had four, and three of them we adopted. I love them! They’re great. My issue isn’t that Ryan Gosling has a dog named George, per say, because George seems very nice and it’s cool that he likes to have apples for his treats and that he must wear a sock on one of his hind legs to prevent him from biting at it too much. What I don’t like is that Ryan Gosling is using George to win our affections and George doesn’t know it. For instance, on July 20, Ryan Gosling brought George onstage while Jimmy Fallon was interviewing him for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Ryan Gosling sweetly fed George an apple and explained George’s sock situation and the whole crowd was obsessed and went “ahh” and “aww” because it was so cute and amazing that Ryan Gosling didn’t even want to be away from George for five minutes. But George just sat there next to Ryan Gosling, waiting for more apple pieces, with no clue that his owner and protector, Ryan Gosling was using him as a prop to get laughs from the audience and/or save his conversation with Jimmy Fallon, should it encounter some weird hiccup! George didn’t know any of that! George even tried to leave the set once, but then Ryan Gosling forced him to come back and sit under the hot lights with him! The whole thing was just gross because Ryan Gosling was acting selfish and George is an aristocrat and deserves better.

KS: Alright, alright. I get what you’re saying, but mind you this is one time that he brought his dog on a late night talk show, and it was one that invites this sort of thing. Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night is more like a neighborhood dive bar for celebs than a big, glitzy production where the infinitely adorable George would feel uncomfortable. For all we know, George was headed toward the craft services table when he dashed from the interview, because it included a pile of bacon with his name on it as a thank-you for being such an adorable sweetheart. Besides, Gosling’s had the scruffball for 11 years and he’s got a reputation from bringing him everywhere with him…for years now. He even carries his rather large pup up escalators because the poor guy gets skittish. This isn’t a publicity thing; it’s an adorable, heart-wrenchingly cute co-dependency thing.

Exhibit B: Ryan Gosling’s fashion is okay, I guess.

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams Daughter

HL: Ryan Gosling’s personal attire doesn’t really rank very high on my reasons for why Ryan Gosling bothers me. Like, the actual clothes he chooses to wear don’t affect me. They look good on him and they suit him and his personality (which also manages to be not at all a personality at the same time). But what bothers me about Ryan Gosling is that he doesn’t look bad in anything. In fact, it seems like he generally wears things that everybody else would look terrible in and still looks nice. And so like, Ryan Gosling is rubbing it in our faces that he looks good in everything by wearing things that nobody else can wear. It’s just unnecessary, because everybody already loves him, so why does he feel the need to continue proving that he’s worthy of being loved? That right there is obnoxious.

KS: I agree with most of that. He does look great in everything and so, sure it could seem like he’s rubbing our faces in his devastatingly good looks, charm, and luck, but it’s certainly not a matter of trying to be loved. He’s got plenty of that. Case and point: this photo (above), wherein Gosling is wearing a VELVET suit and having an adorable little moment with his Blue Valentine co-star, Faith Wladyka. If this doesn’t melt your heart, I can’t help you.

Exhibit C: Is Ryan Gosling really handsome?

Ryan Gosling shirtless crazy stupid love

HL: In the trailer for his new movie, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Ryan Gosling flashes his abs and Emma Stone remarks that they are gorgeous. And I’m not going to sit here and pretend that abs are a disgusting thing for a male person to own. And I’m also not going to pretend that Ryan Gosling is unattractive. So sure, Ryan Gosling happens to be a fortunate-looking human. But I’ve taken the stance of why I do not like Ryan Gosling, and so it would not benefit me to overtly-acknowledge that Ryan Gosling does in fact have a nice candy-covered shell. And so I feel it is smarter for me to withdraw from discussing this aspect of Ryan Gosling any further. I hereby bow my sword and award this category to Kelsea by default.

KS: Damn right. But just because I can, I'll use the above photo as my argument. Oh yeah.

Exhibit D: What’s with Ryan Gosling’s sense of humor?

HL: Before Kelsea and I decided we were going to have a debate about Ryan Gosling, I hadn’t spent any time thinking about Ryan Gosling’s sense of humor. But after Kelsea said one of the reasons she liked him was because she thought he was funny, I was kind of backed into a corner and so here I am being forced to address it. But then I realized that the reason why I hadn’t spent any time thinking about Ryan Gosling’s sense of humor is because HE DOESN’T HAVE ONE. But he tries to make up for it by sitting across from a talk show host and telling the story of how he encountered an Oreo that didn’t have any cream in it, or how he saw a three-legged tree frog, or how he made a cast for his finger using guitar strings and everyone goes nuts because it’s Ryan Gosling and he’s supposed to have his shit together! And yet crazy things still happen to him! But the only reason the stories Ryan Gosling tells are perceived as humorous is because it’s the job of whoever’s listening to laugh! And so I refuse to reconsider my standing on Ryan Gosling’s “sense of humor” until he captures video of George farting in the bathtub (with a plastic bag over his sock to prevent it from getting wet) and puts it on YouTube. Those are my terms.

KS: I will point out that your terms are a bit conflicting with your complaints about parading George around for the world to see, but I’ll leave it at that because I’d totally watch YouTube videos of George doing puppy things. As for your grievances against Gosling’s sense of humor, I will say that perhaps what I should have called it is “general amiability.” He’s no comedian, but he’s got a gentle, yet matter-of-fact amiable nature about him. He tells embarrassing stories and sure they’re likely made more hilarious by his sheer babeliness, but do the rest of us really care whether that’s comedic wit or attractiveness-induced mild giggles? Not really, no.

Exhibit E: Ryan Gosling’s degree of “indie cred” is something I don’t like, either.

Ryan Gosling Blue Valentine

HL: I know that if I managed to encounter a solid definition of what Indie Cred was, I could cite it as a reason for why I don’t Ryan Gosling. But since I don’t have one and since I cannot translate it into a reason for why I dislike Ryan Gosling, I’ll do this instead: I’ll tell you, really plainly, why I don’t like Ryan Gosling. Here goes. I don’t like Ryan Gosling because of his schtick. His, suave velvet shoes, his habit of wearing t-shirts that look old but are in fact brand new, his decision to groom his dog to have a Mohawk, the bashfulness act – it all drives me nuts. He’s too passive, I think. Sometimes it’s like he doesn’t know what to do with himself. But I don’t believe that’s who Ryan Gosling truly is – instead, I believe that’s the caricature he’s taken it upon himself to play. Everything about Ryan Gosling just looks inauthentic to me. It seems rehearsed and contrived and weird. He just doesn’t act like a real person. Real people are (most of the time) too lazy to be cool and they occasionally overreact to impulses. They get mad about spilling wine on the sofa, and drunk dial their ex-boyfriends and wear unflattering clothes to the gym and get pissed when someone is using their treadmill. They get mad and emote their feelings! Ryan Gosling doesn’t do that. It’s like he’s constantly on the verge of flat-lining. It’s like he’s too cool to even be alive. And that’s why I don’t like him.

KS: Let me first address the Indie Cred thing, and in this process I may turn a whole legion of girls against me. I did not like The Notebook (also known as the reason most girls fell in love with Gosling in the first place). As such, it’s refreshing to me to see Gosling shy away from anymore melodramatic Nicholas Sparks-inspired movies, boy band approved attire, and generic heartthrob behavior and try some different, intelligent indie flicks on for size. As for the second half of your argument, yes, he has a schtick. But what young male celebrity doesn’t? (Be honest.) Despite joking about trespassing and nabbing pieces of plants from my favorite celebrities’ homes, in real life I realize that I’ll likely never have a real conversation or giggle over a strawberry milkshake with two straws with Ryan Gosling. That’s why, genuine or not, I can enjoy said velvet-suit-wearing, hipster-awe-inspiring, sailor-stripe-wearing indie schtick that Ryan Gosling employs because from afar, it’s just sexy. Sure, if I got to know the real Ryan Gosling, he’d probably be a whole other person, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll enjoy the Hollywood crush because he’s a babe and it’s fun. And in closing: THIS. I rest my case.

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