Screen Gems via Everett Collection
Justin Timberlake has become one of the most accomplished musical artists of his time. Since his boy band days leading *NSYNC through a string of solo hits, JT has shown that he can rock the iTunes chart with the best of them. The one-time Disney Mousketeer has also been acting for just as long as he has been singing, but without the same level of success. Sure, he's drawn raves for his work on Saturday Night Live and goofing around with his buddy Jimmy Fallon, but his movie career has been middling at best. But that's too bad, because Timberlake has shown flashes that he can be that rare talent that can conquer any medium that he takes on, making him the closest thing to an heir apparent to the Rat Pack days of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. as we have.
At his best in movies, Timberlake uses his natural charm to do most of the work. In last the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, his turn as a completely earnest folk singer in early-'60s Greenwich Village was small, but gave the movie exactly what it needed: a counter to Oscar Isaac's self-destructive title character. The look on Timberlake's face when Isaac derisively asks who wrote the novelty song "Please Mr. Kennedy" that they're recording (Timberlake's character did), was played as well as it possibly could've been.
In a larger role, Timberlake was impressive in Clint Eastwood's Trouble with the Curve. The film itself may have plodded along, but JT shined as the former big league baseball prospect trying to find a new role in the game as a scout. He was warm and natural — and cocky in the way that both athletes and artists can be — in playing off of Eastwood and Amy Adams. As with Inside Llewyn Davis, he played the character as a variation of himself and didn't try too hard. When his character actually wins over Adams' prickly lawyer, it feels like a satisfying conclusion. Timberlake did equally well with small parts in The Social Network and Black Snake Moan.
Where Timberlake has not done as well is when he seems to be trying to "act." In Runner, Runner, besides just the fact that the movie wasn't particularly well made, JT seemed to be trying to dial up Shia LaBeouf-style facial intensity as a poker player forced by the feds to help with a sting operation. (Timberlake was hardly the lone flaw of Runner, Ben Affleck as a Russian mob boss was high up on the unintentional humor scale.) He ran into the same situation with the sci-fi thriller In Time.
Oddly, Timberlake has also had trouble in comedies. Thanks to his work with Fallon and the SNL crew, we know that Timberlake can be funny, but largely, he hasn't made that translate on the big screen yet. Of course, the biggest issue with that could just be his choice of projects. Between Friends with Benefits, Bad Teacher, and The Love Guru there wasn't enough material combined for a halfway decent short film.
There's nothing wrong with an actor playing to his or her strengths. Plenty of actors find success playing a continuous variation of similar roles. Timberlake is likable, charming and funny. If he chooses roles wisely — taking on characters that he can relate with on some level and letting his natural gifts work to his advantage — there's no reason that he can't be a bankable movie star. There are roles out there that are right for JT and we'd like to see them take on more of them.
There are certain kisses, oftentimes finding home at the end of a movie, that make you feel all warm and gooey inside… until a couple of hours later, when you're looking back at what you saw, and a little voice in your head says, "Wait a minute…"
We're taking a look at the most memorable kisses in film from the '80s on, including the Best Kisses and the Worst Kisses. These, however, are the kisses that make us ask the question: romantic or creepy?
Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, Ghost
Poor Molly. She's lost her soul mate Sam and has a medium (Whoopi Goldberg) bringing her messages from him from beyond the grave. She's even gotten to share a kiss with Sam as he inhabits Whoopi's body. Then, his spirit finally at ease after righting the wrong that led to his death, a ghostly Sam appears and tenderly kisses her before going towards the light. Did you cry? Ditto.
Only… He's a freakin' ghost! There is a ghost right there, right in the room with you… transparent and bathed in some weird glowing light! Give Molly credit, because no matter whom it's the spirit of, when a ghost shows up most people run the other way.
Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln, Love Actually
Lincoln's Mark arrives at the home of his best friend (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his new bride, Knightley, who answers the door. Mark has her pretend that he's actually a Christmas caroler, quietly holding up cue cards to profess his love for her. Having gotten it out in the open, Mark takes his cards and walks away, down an empty London street. His unrequited love chases him down and gives him a sweet kiss before returning to her happy home, showing him that love is never wasted.
Only… For starters, she's married. To his best friend! Even if your best friend's wife is the insanely beautiful Knightley, you don't profess your love to her. And, if you're her, you don't go around kissing your husband's friends. Even in Britain we're pretty sure that's a rule.
Melanie Lynskey and Christopher Abbott, Hello I Must Be Going
Lynskey's Amy is going through a rough patch. She's getting divorced and is forced to move back in with her parents. Lucky for her, one of her father's business associates has a gorgeous young son, who, at a dinner party, follows her from the room and plants a passionate kiss on her. The love affair that follows awakens her soul and helps her rediscover life.
Only…Okay, so Abbott's Jeremy is legal, but just barely (he's 19). On the one hand, it's true that we've seen male characters on the older end of many a cinematic May-December romance, but we usually like the girl to be out of her teens once the story starts! Otherwise we get a little creeped out. It's no different just because it's Lynskey doing the canoodling.
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, Dirty Dancing
Swayze makes his second appearance on the list when his Johnny pours out his heart to Grey's Baby as she's trying to learn how to dance to help him and his partner out of a jam. He's misunderstood and she doesn't know what it's like to have married women that expect him to service them. The kiss itself is brief, but it comes as part of a larger dancing mating ritual that's as sexy as all get out.
Only… Wait, how old is Johnny? More importantly, how old is Baby? Even if it's legal, he's kind of taking some liberties with a guest at the resort he's working at… which is a touch skeevy. Plus, no matter how dreamy Swayze is, he kind of admitted to being a little bit of a gigolo.
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair, Cruel Intentions
Gellar's privileged and bored Kathryn is lounging in the park with fellow young socialite, Cecile (Blair). The naïve Cecile confides that she's worried about kissing a boy, since she's never even been "to first base." Gellar, charged with helping to guide the younger girl, offers to give her a lesson on the art of the kiss. She shows her the proper way to touch lips before upping the ante and demonstrating how the tongue comes into play. As she pulls away from Cecile's first French kiss, Kathryn states simply, "That's first base." Teen boys everywhere wore out their family's first DVD player skipping back to the scene.
Only…Kathryn is every bit as bad as the French aristocrat from Dangerous Liaisons on which she's based. She's coldly manipulative and is really just using Cecile to get revenge on her ex-boyfriend and repeatedly tries to get her step-brother (Ryan Phillippe) to seduce her. Hot or not, there's got to be a better way for a girl to learn how to kiss.
Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis, Witness
Ford's hard-boiled detective is forced into hiding in a Pennsylvania Amish community as he tries to protect McGillis' young son (Lukas Haas) who has witnessed a murder. As Ford recovers from a gunshot wound, he gradually falls for McGillis' fair maid… whom he catches taking one of the sexiest sponge baths in any movie. Fully clothed, they share a moment dancing to Sam Cooke. Finally, they share an embrace that cuts across cultural differences.
Only…We're not saying that back in 1985 plenty of women wouldn't have risked being shunned by their entire community to swap spit with Ford, but this woman is casting aside everything she and her family have always believed in for some cop from Philly. Goodbye, old friends...
Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, 13 Going on 30
13-year-old Jenna (played by Christa Allen) goes into a closet during her birthday party and emerges as a 30-year-old working at a fashion magazine (Garner). She realizes quickly that she's not the person that she thought she would be. Worse yet, she alienated her best friend Matt (Ruffalo) somewhere along the way. Just as he's about to marry someone else, Jenna is back to being 13 and launches herself at young Matt (played by Sean Marquette). The two rush up a set of stairs and emerge at their own wedding as Ruffalo takes a selfie of him kissing Garner, his blushing bride. It's so sweet dentists recommend brushing your teeth after viewing.
Only…Okay, so body-switching, time traveling movies always have some logistical problems. In this case, if 13-year-old Jenna made her feelings known to Matt, when exactly is this wedding taking place? Because it looks an awful lot like the one that 30-year-old Matt was about to have with his now non-existent fiancée. That's an awful lot of dating — or procrastinating — for a couple that's made for each other.
Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert, The Girl Next Door
Hirsch's Matthew spies his new neighbor getting changed and as luck would have it, it's Cuthbert, at the height of her teen dream-ness after wowing TV audiences as Jack Bauer's daughter on 24. She tells on him to his parents and, of course, they suggest that as punishment he spend more time with the new hottie. He takes her to a party where every jock in the place tries to get his swerve on with her. Fed up, Matthew walks up to her and kisses her. Far from being offended, she returns the embrace.
Only…Let's start with the fact that Matthew doesn't know that Cuthbert's character is a former porn actress until after he's already in love with her. Even if she really has a heart of gold, honesty is still the best policy.
Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, Ted
Wahlberg's John and Kunis' Lori have been dating for four years, only John isn't that much of a grown-up and pals around with one of his childhood toys, a talking stuffed animal named Ted, who has a thing for just about any vice that you can think of. John is given an ultimatum by Lori: me or the bear. As often happens, things work themselves out. John and Lori seal their "new" relationship with a kiss as Ted watches from the sofa.
Only…His roommate is a talking teddy bear, for goodness sake! That doesn't raise enough red flags for you to walk away from the relationship? We get that Marky Mark has a crazy good body, but come on. Don't come crying to us the first time that Ted shows up at a dinner party with a hooker.
Paul Rudd & Alicia Silverstone, Clueless
Silverstone's Cher is so busy trying to fix everyone else's life that she doesn't even see what's in front of her in this modern retelling of Jane Austen's Emma. Rudd's Josh, the son of one of her father's ex-wives, is an earnest college student who still lives with them part-time as he helps out at his step-dad's law office. Cher finally realizes that it's been Josh all along that has been there for her. The two share a tender kiss before officially becoming boyfriend-girlfriend.
Only… He's her step-brother! Sure, the marriage is over, but he certainly seems to think he's part of the family. Even in Beverly Hills, making out with your step sibling is frowned upon. As with some of the other ones on this list, there's also the nagging problem that even though the age difference may not be that great, she's only 16 and he's well into his college years. As if.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
We've all seen it... two movies leads lean in for a kiss. It's a moment we'd been waiting for since the opening scene. And now that it's here, it's, well, horrible. Sometimes it's intentional, other times it's due to chemistry and occassionally there isn't a clear reason. No matter what the cause, the audience ends up cringing.
We're taking a look at the most memorable kisses in film from the '80s on, including the Best Kisses and the Most Perplexing Kisses. Here, however, are the kisses that made us long for a good old handshake.
Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Garner, Valentine's Day
Director Garry Marshall's schlocky romance had more than its share of awkward couplings, but Kutcher and Garner's characters — best friends that are just coming out of relationships that ended badly — were supposed to be the saving grace as they finally figure out that they should be together. The characters even admit the awkwardness of moving from friendship to something more. The problem is that the chemistry doesn't get any better even when they're supposed to have figured it out. Maybe being friends wasn't so bad after all.
Liv Tyler and Viggo Mortensen, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Maybe it's just that movie audiences aren't ready for Elven love. Tyler's Arwen and Mortensen's Aragorn played out a staid romance across three movies and the smooching didn't connect at any point. It didn't help that director Peter Jackson might have left in a little too much lip smacking on the soundtrack. When the two come together at the end, Mortensen looks more like he's going to headbutt Tyler rather than kiss her. And don't get us started on the creepy expression on Hugo Weaving's face as he watches.
Will Ferrell and Amy Adams, Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby
Yes, it's true that the kissing in a comedy isn't always supposed to make you think of romance — and it's also true that Ferrell's forced lip-lock with Sacha Baron Cohen was more laughable than anything else — but what earns Ferrell and Adams' passionate undertaking a spot on the list is Ricky Bobby's running commentary as it's happening. We're not sure which is worse: Ferrell comparing Adams to Tawny Kitaen in a White Snake video or her doing some of Kitaen's crawling-on-a-car-hood moves. With a bar full of people watching, it quickly becomes the PDA from hell.
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, The Empire Strikes Back
There's an old saying that earning a tie in a competition is like "kissing your sister." Thankfully, most people don't have enough experience in that area to challenge the axiom. But Hamill's Luke Skywalker knows way too much about sister kissing. Before we find out in Return of the Jedi that Luke and Leia are siblings, the princess lays a major smooch on Luke to make Harrison Ford's Han Solo jealous. The characters can be excused for not knowing that they're related — they were seperated at birth — but what's Star Wars mastermind George Lucas' excuse?
Pee-wee Herman and Valeria Golino, Big Top Pee-wee
For starters, watching Paul Reubens' man-child Pee-wee kiss anyone isn't exactly something that audiences normally clamor for. In Big Top, Pee-wee subjects Italian beauty Golino to one of the longest kisses in film history at somewhere around two minutes. The same year that Pee-wee's movie was released, Golino also played Tom Cruise's girlfriend in Rain Man, where she kissed Dustin Hoffman's Raymond. Now there's an epic year of uncomfortable screen kisses.
Michael J. Fox and Lea Thompson, Back to the Future
There's nothing wrong with kissing your mother. In fact, we strongly encourage it... she gave you life and she deserves a nice chaste smooch to show your appreciation. That does not extend, however, to going back in time and taking your future mom "parking." While it's good that both characters recognized that there was something amiss with the kiss, it still doesn't stop it from giving us the willies every time that we watch Fox's Marty McFly get accosted by Thompson's overly amorous Lorraine.
Steve Martin and Claire Danes, Shopgirl
Martin's novel, on which the movie is based, was a sweet and whimsical look at a young woman trying to transition into being a fully functional adult in Los Angeles. The movie, though, is frequently off in any number of ways, and nowhere more so than when Martin and Danes play out the May-December romantic scenes. The duo are both fine actors, but they don't look any more comfortable doing the kissing than we are watching it.
Jim Carrey and Lauren Holly, Dumb and Dumber
Poor Lloyd. Carrey's dimwitted schmuck couldn't even fantasize right. Taking the expression about sticking your tongue down someone's throat way too literally, Carrey appears to actually cut off Holly's air supply during the spirited game of tonsil hockey. While the scene might have been all in Lloyd's head, unfortunately for Holly they really had to shoot it. And, to think, Carrey and Holly engaged in an off-screen romance... imagine having to do that scene with someone you didn't like.
Emma Waston and Rupert Grint, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2
Watson and Grint grew up together over the course of filming J.K. Rowlings' Harry Potter books. Since the books came out well before the movies were shot, the young actors playing Potter's pals Ron and Hermione had plenty of time to consider what was eventually coming. Fair warning didn't help any because Watson and Grint's discomfort at having to engage in a snogging session on camera comes across quite clearly. All that's missing is the two of them pulling away from each other and actually saying, "Ewww."
Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, The Tourist
Depp and Jolie have both done their fair share of onscreen smooching and have shown plenty of chemistry with other costars. The two pretty people are still attractive even in this bad movie, but they couldn't possibly have less onscreen chemistry. In fact, there are times during what is supposed to be sexy encounters in The Tourist where the duo seem to be acting in different films altogether, and seem to have forgotten entirely that they are supposed to be attracted to one another. When Depp comes up behind the lingerie-clad Jolie, grabs her hair and lays a wet one on her, you half expect her to beat the crap out of him.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Kissing is as much a part of movies as car chases and sarcastic best friends. All kinds of kisses have been captured on film, but there are some more than others that make us swoon as lovers lips join together.
We're taking a look at the most memorable kisses in film from the '80s on, including the Worst Kisses and the Most Perplexing Kisses. Here, however, are the kisses that made our hearts flutter.
Anna and Kristoff, Frozen
"I could kiss you," Kristoff says as he gleefully picks Anna up in the air. We watched the animated pair bond over an adventure to save her sister, Elsa, from the wrath of hostile villagers. The comment leads to a peck on the check that morphs into an embrace. Disney princesses always get their big kiss, but few are as well earned as Anna's.
Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman, While You Were Sleeping
You would expect a couple to have kissed — really kissed, not an under-the-mistletoe peck — prior to getting engaged, but such was not the case for Bullock's Lucy and her true love, Pullman's Jack. Falling in love while she pretended to be the fiancée of his in-a-coma brother, the pair skipped right to the ring after Jack (and his family) realized they couldn't live without Lucy. Sealing a marriage proposal with a kiss has never been sweeter.
Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, The Adjustment Bureau
The movie, about a shadow agency that controls everyone's lives, is a bit of a mess. What can't be denied, however, is the crazy chemistry that exists between Damon's politician and Blunt's mystery woman. Blunt follows Damon into the men's room at the Waldorf Astoria and strikes up a conversation about crashing a wedding. How does that lead to a passionate kiss? Well, what else were they going to do in the bathroom?
Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington, Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino is not known for romance, but in his Western epic, Foxx's Django is driven by only one thing: the desire to save his wife, played by Washington, from the clutches of a nefarious slaveowner. When Foxx finally tracks her down, trapped on a plantation owned by Leonardo DiCaprio's bad guy, we're treated to a slow, sweet, reverberating moment as Washington gradually realizes that her love has come for her. The kiss begins within a chilling silhouette until the camera turns to show the passion of lovers reunited.
Michael Cera and Kat Dennings, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Cera and Dennings' mixed-up teens actually kiss moments after meeting one another, as Dennings asks him to be her boyfriend for "five minutes" so that she can dupe a rival (who happens to be Cera's ex) into believing she isn't dateless. The real kiss, though, comes later on, as Dennings' Norah takes guitar aficionado Nick to see Electric Lady Studios. One thing leads to another and soon Dennings' impossibly full red lips are working overtime.
Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
Much has been made over the years about the love scenes shared between Ledger and Gyllenhaal, even leading to a hilarious Jonah Hill rant in Knocked Up about the lack of explicitness. The duo brought a palpable passion to the movie in full, but there is something special about the urgency of the scene wherein Ledger's Ennis sees Gyllenhaal's Jack Twist from his apartment window and rushes to embrace him. As Ennis pushes Jack into a stairwell, the two attack each other like a pair of hungry wolves, throwing caution to the wind. Nearly 10 years later, the scene has lost none of its original impact.
John Cusack and Ione Skye, Say Anything...
Few teen romances have been as influential as Cameron Crowe's story of a high-achiever falling for the earnest slacker that dares to ask her out. As you would expect, there are multiple kisses throughout as the duo fall head over heels, including a particularly sweet embrace in the rain. It's when Skye's Diane Court realizes that she needs Cusack's Lloyd Dobler that takes the cake, though. The fact that she kind of distracted him during a sparring session, causing him to get his nose bashed in by Don "The Dragon" Wilson moments before only adds to the tenderness.
Leondardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, Titanic
Back in 1997, seemingly every woman on the planet wanted to trade places with Winslet's Rose. The romance aboard the doomed ship left movie audiences teary-eyed long after the credits rolled. In the iconic scene, DiCaprio's Jack takes Rose to the railing of the ship and extends her arms outward, making her feel as though she's... well, why not let her famous line tell the story. "I'm flying, Jack!" Rose exclaims, before Winslet turns backwards to let her lips meet DiCaprio's. No matter what happened after, thanks to Celine Dion, we're always assured that their hearts will go on.
Cary Ewles and Robin Wright, The Princess Bride
"Since the invention of the kiss," Peter Falk's narrarator intones in Rob Reiner's much-loved fantasy, "There have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind." Such is the power of the happy ending smooch that Ewles' Westley lays on Wright's Buttercup. For a guy that was "nearly dead" not long before, and a woman almost forced to marry a prince — not to mention that trip through the fire swamp — that seems like a fitting reward.
Molly Ringwald and Michael Schoeffling, Sixteen Candles
Ringwald's Sam had an epically bad birthday. Her family, preoccupied by her sister's impending wedding, forgets that it's even happening and the geeky Farmer Ted (Anthony Michael Hall) has parlayed a pair of her panties into a money-making venture. Worse, she's hopelessly in love with Schoeffling's senior dreamboat, Jake Ryan. As she exits her sister's nuptials and the crowd parts, there is Jake leaning against his sportscar waiting for her. As teen fantasies go, it's a hard one to top. Sam finally gets a birthday cake with the namesake candles and a sweet kiss from Jake to boot. It may have been a bit of a fire hazard, but it sure was romantic.
There are a lot of beautiful women in the world and there are plenty that are sexy as well. There is, however, only one Rihanna.
The pop singer has been called the "Sexiest Woman Alive" multiple times, most officially when Esquire bestowed that title upon her in 2011. But, why is she so desirable? What is it about her that screams "sexy"? Why does most of the world seemingly want her?
We think that we have some idea… and we're willing to share.
She Doesn't Care What We Think
Rihanna is as comfortable in her own skin as anyone. Just take a look at her Instagram posts and it's easy to see that she's not worried about how people see her. The fact that she can look good whether she's trying to or not is part of her allure. Of course, it hasn't always been that way. On the heels of filming a part in Battleship in 2012, she told Women's Fitness magazine, "You always find something wrong, you always find something you’re uncomfortable with, and one thing turns into another and you get embarrassed and self-conscious about it. After a while, it was like, 'What’s the worst that can happen?' and I just started being a little more daring with it. It was just knowing my body is the way it is no matter what that helped me, knowing that it is what it is under clothes or outside of clothes." She seems to prefer the outside the clothes option, but there's nothing wrong with that.
She Doesn't Shy Away from Her Sexuality
The woman that sings "S&M" and "Pour It Up" has a stage show that matches her songs lyrics. Rihanna makes Miley Cyrus look like she's back playing Hannah Montana, and neither Madonna nor Lady Gaga has anything on her when it comes to being provocative. During one tour, she would select a male audience member to simulate sex with on stage. More than that, she is open and honest about it in real life as well. When reporters ask her about her sexually charged image, she has no problem answering. "I like to take charge, but I love to be submissive. Being submissive in the bedroom is really fun. You get to be a little lady, to have somebody be macho and in charge of your s**t. That's sexy to me," she told Rolling Stone. "I like to be spanked. Being tied up is fun. I like to keep it spontaneous. Sometimes whips and chains can be overly planned — you gotta stop, get the whip from the drawer downstairs . . . I'd rather have him use his hands."
She Has Her Share of Celebrity Crushees
When the website Violet Grey asked Mad Men's January Jones who she would most like to go to bed with her answer was Rihanna. After Shakira shot the video for their duet "Can't Remember to Forget You," she gushed to Glamour, "Working with her was utopia. She's the sexiest woman on the planet." None of that is a surprise to her BFF Katy Perry. "It's disgusting how gorgeous she is," Perry told Rolling Stone. "Anytime I introduce my friends to her, male or female, the ride back always consists of, 'What, does she drink the blood of virgins?'" (Of course, Perry also told Elle Canada that her friend smokes a lot of pot and doesn't sleep... making her looks even more impressive.)
She Rocks a Bikini Like Nobody Else
Swimsuit models don't spend as much time in a bikini as Rihanna does. When the singer was her native Barbados' Ambassador for Youth and Culture, her role seemed to be more or less to show up all over the island showing off her lithe body in an assortment of string bikinis. She doesn't always wear the entire suit, but who are we to complain? She's been photographed so often in the string swimwear that a Google Images search for her wearing one returns results that keep going and going... and going.
She's Not a Victim
There is no getting away from the ugly incident that happened with former boyfriend Chris Brown. The photos of the singer with her faced bruised after Brown's attack are an indelible image. Rihanna does not allow that to define her, though. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, she stated that she has forgiven Brown and still considers him a friend. Whether that's a wise choice or not is debatable, but showing that you won't be kept down by a past abusive relationship evokes a strength that is extremely appealing.
She'll Change Her Looks if She Feels Like It
The singer's skin glows and her green eyes sparkle, so there are some natural elements to her beauty that are God-given. Beyond that, though, Rihanna does what she wants. Her hair color changes periodically as does it's length and style. When she's not naked or in a bikini, then she looks equally stunning in a simple wrap dress as she does in a formal gown. Heck, she can grab attention just by wearing jean shorts and a tank top. If there's a look that she can't pull off, we haven't seen it yet.
She's Not Fake
Besides being forthcoming in interviews, sharing her life (not to mention her dates with Drake) on Instagram, and not trying to put gag orders on her friends, Rihanna tends to stay true to herself in every way. Even when she endorses a product, it's something that you get the impression that she actually likes. Case in point, her clothing collections with River Island felt like the kinds of things that the singer would choose for herself. Being able to keep things real, even when you're an international singing star, is sexy in a way that has nothing to do with looks.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection/Marvel
Chris Evans has established himself as a hunky Marvel hero. His Captain America has had two standalone movies and was a major player in The Avengers. He puts the "good" in "good guy," and with his chiseled looks does it with aplomb.
Chris Pratt, on the other hand, is new to the comic book movie game. The comedian has always had his share of admirers, but that number jumped when he started putting out workout selfies of his buff body. Suddenly, his wife, actress Anna Faris, seemed lucky in a whole bunch of ways.
With Evans starring in the upcoming Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Pratt headlining this summer's Guardians of the Galaxy, it seemed like a good time to ask: who's the hotter hero?
Evans had a career before Captain America, even starring as a different superhero in the two Fantastic Four films. It was his turn as the "super soldier" though that made him into a star. The actor's well defined chest and arms were featured so much in the first Captain America movie that they could've had their own screen credit. In The Avengers, he was the moral center trying to keep Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man in check and matching biceps with Chris Hemsworth's Thor. Evans has also tried his hand at romantic comedy, starring opposite Faris in What's Your Number? and Avengers costar Scarlett Johansson in The Nanny Diaries.
In The Winter Soldier, Cap is more disillusioned than ever and has to rely on Johansson's Black Widow and Anthony Mackie's The Falcon to set things right. Evans has been non-committal on his future as an actor, recently telling Variety that he plans to retire from acting so that he can concentrate on directing. Audiences have to hope that he changes his mind… or at the very least, is planning to do a lot of shirtless cameos in the movies he directs.
It wasn't so long ago that we might have laughed at the idea of the Parks and Recreation star playing a superhero. But then came his performance as a baseball player in Moneyball, a small but meaty role as a Navy SEAL in Zero Dark Thirty, and countless shots of his rockhard body. Now, he's already voiced the hero in the animated smash The Lego Movie and is stepping into the ever-expanding Marvel universe. In Guardians, Pratt plays galactic outlaw Peter Quinn, who refers to himself as Star-Lord. In the comic books, Quinn had a more heroic backstory, but based on the trailers, Pratt's Star-Lord is more along the lines of Nathan Fillion's wiseass captain in Firefly. What the trailer also shows is a quick shot of Pratt's now famous washboard abs. It might be hard to look sexy when part of your crew includes a thieving space raccoon and his tree-like bodyguard, but having Zoe Saldana around as a green-skinned alien assassin might help Pratt pull it off.
So, tell us, who is the hotter hero… Captain America's Evans or Guardians of the Galaxy's Pratt?
Matthew McConaughey is suddenly a role model. While the McConaissance exploded into full view at the Academy Awards with the actor taking home the Best Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club (and providing a gift to late night comedians everywhere with his rambling speech), the truth is that was a clear build-up to that moment.
Starting with 2011's The Lincoln Lawyer, McConaughey crafted an impressive run of characters, going from the psycho cop of Killer Joe to the fugitive in Mud and then onto the cocksure trader in The Wolf of Wall Street. Buyers Club’s AIDS-stricken Ron Woodruff was just the icing on the proverbial cake.
Just before that run, however, McConaughey had fallen into a rut of starring in lightweight fare like Failure to Launch and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, after showing promise early in his career in films like Lone Star and Armistad. The Texas-born actor never went away for very long, yet he managed to reinvent his image by choosing roles that offered a challenge… while still mixing in projects like Magic Mike to pay the bills. Loopy as he may be, there's a method to the madness.
That's a lesson that some of McConaughey's contemporaries should take to heart, even ones that are cashing nice paychecks for their work. Here's a look at some of his peers (in pairs) that could do with a little bit of that McConaissance magic.
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn
The Internship and Wedding Crashers costars both have a tendency to cash a check for any role that's thrown their way. There's nothing wrong with that — Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep aren't always choosy either — but there comes a time when an actor needs to commit to doing some strong work the way that McConaughey did. Wilson, thanks to his association with Wes Anderson, always has the opportunity to put a run together. It's even possible that he's already started after earning an Oscar nomination for Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. Just like with his work with Anderson, however, the performance was credited more to Allen than Wilson. He needs to step away from the persona that audiences have come to expect from him and find a small movie to dazzle in.
Vaughn came through the indie ranks early on same as Wilson, so we know that he's capable. With his slightly dark manic streak, he could shine in supporting roles as McConaughey did in The Wolf of Wall Street. It also might not be a bad idea to get his buddy Jon Favreau to direct him in something hand-picked to let him flex some different acting muscles.
Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell
Much like Sandler and Ferrell's sophomoric comedies, McConaughey's various lukewarm romantic comedies weren't exactly high art, and both funnymen have shown something more than their usual silly humor on occasion: for Sandler, and Punch Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, and Ferrell, Stranger Than Fiction, and Melinda and Melinda. Though the SNL keep primarily to broad comedy, both are smart and capable. Even though there are millions to be made by sticking to what audiences want, there are legacies to be had if they can find time to jump on roles that let them be funny in a more natural way, like McConaughey's dying schemer in Dallas Buyers Club. Being at turns oblivious and self-loathing is what comedians do on a regular basis for laughs. Letting the audience see the actual pathos that it comes from isn't the most comfortable thing in the world, but start doing it consistently for a while and they start giving you awards.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
You might argue that Damon gets plenty of kudos for his acting and Affleck has turned into a respected director and producer with an Oscar to show for it. They don't need a career renaissance. In some respect, that's true. The Good Will Hunting wunderkinds have become Hollywood elite. That said, Affleck's track record as an actor still has as many misses as hits on it (Gigli, anyone?) and Damon falls back on familiar ground more often than not. How often do you watch either of their performances and think, "Man, he's really showing me something new!"? The beauty of what McConaughey has done is that in challenging himself, he challenged our expectations for him. Damon and Affleck could both use some of that. Taking the role of Liberace's lover, opposite Michael Douglas, in HBO's Behind the Candelabra was a nice departure for Damon, but he needs to put himself to the test on a bigger stage and with more at stake. Just as McConaughey found another type of character from his native Texas to play, it might be time for Damon to find a character from Boston that can't be described as "street tough."
As for McConaughey's Dazed and Confused costar, Affleck really just needs to put himself in the hands of directors other than himself that are interested in making him work, the way that McConaughey did with William Friedkin and Martin Scorsese. He doesn't have to lose 47 lbs. for a part like McConaughey, but he needs to lose the self-awareness and fully immerse himself in a character. How great would it be to see Affleck go "all in" on a character like McConaughey did in Friedkin's Killer Joe? He is proven he's a good director… it would be nice to see him live up to the same standard as an actor.
We all know, thanks to that acceptance speech, that McConaughey looks up to his future self. His peers would do well to use the Oscar-winner's past to come up with a whole new future of their own.
FilmDistrict via Everett Collection
Aubrey Plaza is a bit of a conundrum. The Parks and Recreation player might be one of the more talented comedic actresses working. She doesn't trade on her looks, but has instead built a niche for herself playing characters that are snarky, or odd, or both. That talent, though, hasn't translated into larger-scale mainstream success yet. Thankfully for Plaza and her devoted fans, her riddle is still being solved.
While continuing to do strong work on Parks and Rec — where her disaffected April has proven to be more than just a one-note character and her chemistry with costars Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman, and Amy Poehler helped propel then ensemble comedy — Plaza has been steadily working towards transitioning to a career in movies.Can Plaza become a star on a level that matches her talent? The bigger question might be whether the Delaware native (and how often do you get to say that?) even wants to be.
Plaza seems to cultivate her oddball persona the way that Miley Cyrus does controversy… relentlessly and in full view. Her publicity stunt for her movie The To Do List involved pulling a Kanye West move by interrupting Will Ferrell's acceptance speech during the MTV Movie Awards and trying to wrestle his award away from him. She pulled a lower scale prank by seemingly breaking the news to Parks and Rec costar Jim O'Heir that he had been fired from the show as he was being interviewed during a promotional event. She unapologetically marches to her own drumbeat, finding humor in things like Ring Pop addiction for a recent Funny or Die video.
Plaza's first starring role in the aforementioned The To Do List last summer had her cast as a newly graduated high school valedictorian who decides that part of getting ready for college is undergoing a sexual awakening. Her list suddenly includes words like "masturbate" and "orgasm." While the premise was cute, having Plaza play a character that out of touch with things going on all around her felt disingenuous. One thing that Plaza's big eyes normally convey is the impression that she knows something the rest of us don't.
The actress is trying again with a group of films being released this year. While she has supporting roles in the Chris Evans romantic comedy A Many Splintered Thing and the Johnny Depp drama Mortdecai, it's a different film that presents the best chance for Plaza to make a breakthrough with film audiences. About Alex something of a The Big Chill for the Facebook generation. Plaza plays one of seven college friends that reunite after one of them attempts suicide. Playing a disillusioned college graduate is right in Plaza's wheelhouse. Even if the movie doesn't do much at the box office, it has a chance to set a character type that — like her Parks and Rec work — she can connect with in a way that the audience feels comfortable going along with.
It's hard to imagine Plaza ever being anything less than interesting, but it would be fun to see what she could do if she were suddenly to start being offered some of the same type of parts that are going to her friend (and costar in the Sundance zombie comedy Life After Beth ) Anna Kendrick. Whether she wants it or not, she should get her shot at cracking the A-list.
Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube
Jimmy Fallon might be revered as the late night kingpin after taking over The Tonight Show and boosting its ratings, but competitor Jimmy Kimmel is up for the challenge. His Jimmy Kimmel Live! has been on a roll since last fall, hitting the marks not just with late night ratings but on social media.
First, there was the viral video "Epic Twerking Fail," showing a girl accidentally setting her leg on fire while dancing… a story that appeared on several newscasts before it was revealed to be just a Kimmel prank using a stunt woman. Then, the host suckered an international audience when he got Olympic luger Kate Hansen to post a video of a wolf walking down a hotel hallway in Sochi, Russia. The "hotel," of course, was later revealed to be Kimmel's offices.
As funny as the pranks have been, Kimmel and his staff have gone into overdrive with their parody shorts, topping anything that Saturday Night Live has done since Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island cohorts were at the top of their game. Here's a sampling of the spoofs that have made Kimmel's late night show and YouTube channel such a hotbed of comedy.
True Detective 2
We all know that Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson aren't returning for another season of HBO's True Detective, but who knew that Kimmel and buddy Seth Rogen were in line to take their places? The duo's slap-fight turned… well, we're still not sure what it turned into but it was very uncomfortable… would be disturbing even for the most hardened premium cable aficionados.
In a multi-part series, Kimmel's loyal lackey Guillermo stars as the president in the Spanish-language telenovela version of Scandal. Women fight over him, men want to kill him, and he even gets to share a bed with the real Olivia Pope, Kerry Washington. Por qué? We don't know, but it's awfully funny.
Kimmel has been doing a post-Oscars show for a while now and had viral hits with Movie: The Movie and Movie: The Movie 2, where A-List celebrities mocked the trappings of Hollywood films. This year, however, Kimmel and his team outdid themselves, choosing to show what viral YouTube sensations would be like if they got the big screen treatment. There's one that features Queen Latifah as "Ain't nobody got time for that"-spouting Sweet Brown (and features the real Brown interrupting Kimmel's archenemy, Matt Damon). In Bitman, though, Chris Hemsworth agonizes over the search for his disgraced brother to their mother, Meryl Streep. What has the brother — played by his real-life sibling Liam Hemsworth — done that has wronged him? He bit him, of course. And, now the brother that Charlie bit wants revenge for his finger. It did really hurt, after all.
How do you get Kevin Spacey to dress up as a piano playing 19th century cat, Christoph Waltz to play his nemesis, the "hamster on a piano eating popcorn," and Ben Kingsley, Gary Oldman, and Mandy Patinkin to be the courtiers they are both trying to impress? No, seriously, we want to know how you manage to get so many great actors to play along with such a goofy premise. The result is hysterical but good luck getting the "Cat Playing Piano" music out of your head afterwards.
David After the Dentist Double Rainbow Oh My God! in 3D
It's a little creepy seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt portraying a grown version of poor little painkiller affected David from the viral video… until Catherine Zeta-Jones arrives as a sexy tooth fairy singing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Amping up the weirdness, Samuel L. Jackson portrays the scariest dentist since Little Shop of Horrors and Rogen pops up as the overly effusive "Double Rainbow" guy. We're not sure that Kermit the Frog would approve of Jackson's new lyric for "Rainbow Connection," but we actually could envision Baz Luhrmann directing something like this.
NBC Universal Media
Now that Seth Meyers has exited from Saturday Night Live, the search has begun in earnest to see who is "next." After all, the show has proven to be the launching pad for some of the biggest names in Hollywood both in movies and television.
Over the last few years, longtime cast members like Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen, Will Forte, Jason Sudeikis, and Bill Hader preceded Meyers out the door, leaving a void that the show is still trying to fill. One thing we've learned over the year, however, is not to underestimate producer Lorne Michaels' eye for talent. So, who is SNL's next big star?
Mr. Colbie Smulders has been on the show since 2010 but was behind a crowded group of male performers that could do many of the same things until the last two seasons. Tall and good looking, Killam's impressions are normally of various pretentious male celebrities, from Brad Pitt to Robin Thicke to, most recently, Matthew McConaughey. A veteran of The Groundlings, Killam seems also to have hit upon a strong recurring character with 1860s critic Jebediah Atkinson, who originally appeared on Weekend Update to explain why he panned the Gettysburg Address and has since popped up to offer his scathing opinions of holiday specials and the Oscar nominees for Best Picture. It's taken a little while, but Killam is finally starting to stick out in the audience's minds.
McKinnon took the torch from Wiig as the female cast member that doesn’t mind going gonzo. Her impressions of Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres bristle with a manic energy that hints at her barely contained glee at what she's doing. She's also has become the go-to for Weekend Update guests, whether as a Russian peasant trying to make money off of the Sochi Olympics or as a Connecticut soccer mom that doesn’t think Grand Theft Auto is violent enough. She's been heralded for being the show's first lesbian cast member (she was on The Big Gay Sketch Show prior to SNL), but her sexual orientation is completely secondary to her talent. In a short amount of time, she's made a strong impression on viewers and critics alike with her fearlessness.
Strong has a little bit of Amy Poehler in her, which is never a bad thing. She may look nothing like the former SNL standout, but she matches her in diversity. A Chicago native and Second City veteran, she is equally adept at delivering timely quips behind the Weekend Update desk as she is playing self-absorbed teen Kyra, host of Girlfriends Talk Show. Like McKinnon, she started with the show in 2012 and has quickly made a name for herself. It's not too far-fetched to think that after her run on the show that Strong will end up doing a sitcom, just like... well, you know.
Pharoah is criminally overlooked when it comes to the current SNL cast. Like Killam, he's been with the show since 2010, but he's still only 26 years old. Besides doing President Barack Obama, Pharoah basically ends up playing any black male celebrity that longtime cast member Kenan Thompson can't. He also normally gets called upon to rap or sing (his take on Ylvis' "What Does the Fox Say?" with Kerry Washington was one of this season's highlights) any time that the writers can fit it in. Pharoah was outspoken on the need for the show to add an female African-American cast member, so he's not just happy to be on the show. He might end up being one of those performers whose career really takes off after he leaves SNL and everyone forgets that he cut his teeth there.
Aidy Bryant is more polarizing, and Bobby Moynihan and Thompson have been around longer, but what Bayer has is consistency. She's taken over where Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer as the female cast member called upon to fill the suburban housewives and soccer moms. She's not a one-trick pony, though. Her Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy is one of the show's only standing recurring characters and her Miley Cyrus impression was funny enough to earn her a shot at doing it alongside the real thing when she hosted. Bayer is a dark horse candidate to become the show's next big star, but she's talented enough that all it would take is one buzz-worthy role outside of the show to change people's perception of her.