The Rise And Fall Of Gerard Butler: The Curse Of Being Generically Good Looking
After walking out of Chasing Mavericks this week, it’s hard to believe Gerard Butler ever received critical acclaim. That anyone ever watched him on screen and thought he would be the next big thing. Between the script being on a third-grade reading level and the acting being on par with the cast of Real Housewives of New Jersey, I couldn’t believe this movie got produced.
At first I wondered how Gerard Butler got stuck in this movie. After all he’s Gerard Butler, that good-looking actor who’s going to make it any day now. Then I realized we’ve been saying that for years, since we first saw him in 300 back in 2007. We’re now 6 years into any day now and he has yet to do a good film.
PS, I Love You, The Ugly Truth, The Bounty Hunter. It’s like he’s working solely because he one day wants to turn on TBS and know that at least one of his movies will be airing. Which I suppose isn’t the worst goal. It must be a reassuring feeling that you can spend any hungover Sunday sitting on your couch and watching yourself.
But it might not be his fault. I think we may have jumped the gun a little bit acting like he would be the next big male star simply because he had a nice face and a foreign accent. In fact he’s not the first male actor to get trapped in the curse of being generically good looking.
It happens to men in Hollywood all the time. They emerge on the scene as a good-looking guy starring opposite a pretty lady in a rom-com and suddenly everyone’s pegging them as America’s new love. But then they get trapped in an endless cycle of starring opposite Jennifer Aniston and before they know it, they missed the rising star boat and get stuck in mediocre films until the end of time.
Then it’s less about acting for the awards, and more about acting for the paycheck. Does Gerard Butler truly believe Chasing Mavericks was a good movie? I pray not. The script’s so juvenile that I can’t imagine he said these “I love you like you’re my own son” lines and believed what he was saying. But at this point, why not do an easy movie that requires little effort. He didn’t even have to shave for the role!
And if we say Gerard Butler’s off the neverending rising star path to good movies, then who’s up next. How about Ryan Reynolds, another handsome leading man who keeps landing mediocre roles. Or maybe Chris Pine? The newest good looking guy who exudes genericness in his movies. Not to say I didn’t enjoy Definitely, Maybe and People Like Us but those movies didn’t rocket either man into the awards show circuit. Like stock photo models, they’re fun to look at, but extremely interchangeable.
So how can a generic looking guy go from rom-coms to the Oscars? Plastic surgery. They all need something more. Whether it’s Bradley Cooper’s eyes or Ryan Gosling’s aura, they need something to help them stand out. Something that doesn’t make people say, “hey, who’s that guy and what’s he from.”
Then, after a complete physical makeover, they could have a shot at breaking the curse of being generically good looking.