Ryan Gosling can currently be found wowing audiences around the world with his performances in Drive and Crazy Stupid Love, but that doesn't mean I should like him...
I’m not sure entirely when it began but if I was to hazard a guess I’d say it was the first time I saw the hit rom-slush The Notebook. In my first year halls at uni, cocooned in duvets and used Kleenex I’d been locked away from civilisation for a good few days due to a super strong hybrid bout of hypochondria and man-flu. And wanking, hence the Kleenex. Truth to say I was on a very low rung and whilst on the brink of cabin fever I made a terrible error of judgement. I decided to watch The Notebook. A film that until that point I had never seen but knew all too much about as it was (probably still is) a bit of a cult amongst my female friends. Before this moment I had only ever pretended to have seen the film on the occasions where I’d shamelessly dragged it from within my pulling tool kit as part of my ‘sensitive-man’ repertoire. It was time though to now end the lies and find out what the fuss was about. I mean, how bad, sad, cringey and emasculating could it really be?
Turns out not very, for the initial 120 minutes of the film anyway. Generally all that happens is grim acting and a predictably sloshy script, offensive yes but also quite harmless. Then the end happens which anyone that’s existed in a public space with common sense will be able to predict or will at least have had it spoiled for them by someone else at an earlier date. It’s hardly breaking the boundaries of storytelling after all. But, despite knowing exactly what would happen, it broke me. Broke me down like a tower of cards and turned me into a quibbling mess. A gate of tears opened that has never truly closed. I sat there ill, wrapped in duvets and I cried thinking thoughts like, ‘they only had each other.’ In desperation I placed something fun and marginally happy into the DVD player – Little Miss Sunshine. I cried at that too. I cried at Little Miss fecking Sunshine. The Notebook had set into motion the cogs of emotion and made me cry again and this time it was because of how happy the characters were. I was crying out of fucking happiness. Like a mum at a wedding.Then before I knew it, consumed by this new ability to feel, I got quite into it. I started thinking and dragging up memories just to give me more soggy emotional fuel. My parents divorce, the time I didn’t get brought off the subs-bench when I was 8 in a five-a-side football tournament…it was all coming out in some weird Notebook inspired self therapy.
But that’s not the end of it, not only had it made me feel, it had ruined any future relationship that I might have. Because after you’ve seen Gosling in that film you realise he’s the perfect man that you will never be. Girls coo over him and blush at the mere thought of his performance and unrealistic portrayal of ultimate love. Love for a woman that’s essentially a bit of a dick. A fictional love that builds an inbuilt sense that it’s okay for women to be dicks, that somewhere there will always be some idiot willing to stumble around after them, wait 7 years and write a million letters until they’re finally up for getting together. Thus creating an unrealistic view on relationships in the minds of every emotionally unstable women who has ever watched the film and making the entire notion of true happiness a fucking impossibility for the average Jordan.
Then there’s the small matter of his beard. Ryan Gosling rocks a beard and throughout the course of the notebook proceeds to grow the best beard ever, a brilliant beard that you will never be able to grow. Despite priding yourself on the fact that you were the first boy in your year at school to get a Mac 3 and have been shaving since before your balls even dropped. It’s one of the few things that you have left and yet, this man is beating you to a stubbly pulp.
But at least you can comfort yourself on the fact that it’s not like he’s a credible actor or anything. But wait. No. He has to go and make Half Nelson and fucking Lars The Real Girl and be fucking brilliant. Suddenly he’s a darling of the critics and sitting in some magnificent overlooked actor corner like it’s his birthday every single day. Suddenly you have no real reason to hate him without just seeming jealous.
You can be saved you think then, when he decides to turn his hand to music and start a band. A practise that has quite literally never worked out for any decent or even mediocre actor – need I mention Keanu Reeves’ band? How about Billy Bob Thornton? I thought not. But then, once again like a moth to the flame of success he triumphs. Creating a whilst not necessarily mainstream successful album but none the less a great one. The kind of slightly odd ball yet highly listenable album you wish you could make but tragically can’t. The worst bit of all? It has spoken word poetry in it and a dead sounding children’s choir. It’s on the brink of pretentious twaddle and everything that should be shit, it’s even a prog rock album for Christs sake and yet it’s still fucking great. It sounds like a cocaine fueled ghost circus and everyone knows that they’re the best circuses around and I’ll be honest I’m fucking livid.
The only saving grace perhaps then is that he’s just a big show off and clearly a dick. And then. Bang. Just like the predictably wet ending of The Notebook you see the interviews and read the reports and the man is a complete and utter diamond geezer of a nice guy and the whole model is complete. Before long your girlfriend has left you, you’re lonely and alone, your band have broken up and you’re eating continental cheeses on a Saturday night.
I say this now and I say this loud. Fuck you Ryan Gosling. Fuck you and your perfect face and talented mind and please for the love of god, never wake up and decide that you want to be a writer because this is all I have you smug bastard.