Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I believe there's such a thing as too much George Clooney

I don't know about anyone else but I am so sick and tired of hearing about George Clooney. Don't get me wrong, I don't really have anything against him: he has been in some good movies lately. I think very highly of Syriana and Michael Clayton, and he seems like a nice guy, but there have been a constant stream of articles coming at me for 3 years, all virtually saying the same thing: George Clooney is great, he's selfless, he does charity work, as if he's the only actor in Hollywood ever to be good-looking AND promote good causes.

Time Magazine recently had an entire cover story on Clooney with teases like "what are his secrets to success?" "how does he do it?" I already know the answers to these questions:

He does it because he doesn't take himself too seriously, he owns a lot of money and a condo in Italy, is friends with Brad Pitt, he has a famous show business aunt, he likes movies from the 1960s and feels passionate about how movies can carry political messages blah, blah, blah.

It's the same interview over and over again.

Here's the way Hollywood stars generally work: Sometimes, a star does something really great and breaks out (i.e. Jamie Foxx in Ray, Jonny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, Helen Mirren in The Queen, Jake Gyllenhall and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain) and they're the focus of a lot of attention for a while and then the buzz generally dies out while newspapers and magazines write about other people. A way to really break out is if you have two movies close to each other or within the same calender year: Seth Rogen had Knocked Up and Superbad pretty close to each other, Jamie Foxx had Ray and Collateral, Michael Caine had a "career resurrection" with Weatherman, Bewitched AND Batman Begins; Leo DiCaprio had Blood Diamond and Departed.

This enables a magazine writer to not just conclude that the breakout star had a good performance but that he's on a roll.

Back to business: George Clooney had a breakout period in 2005 when he released Syriana and Good Night and Good Luck: Two movies that were message pictures. The themes of Good Night and Good Luck which Clooney directed, wrote, and everything else was: 1) the Red Scare was bad 2) Edward Murrow was good and 3) All journalists suck today. Syriana's theme which Clooney didn't write was that oil was a big and complicated issue.

Anyway, this period where the press becomes infatuated with a star usually lasts for a short while (it culminates into orgasmic proportions around the end of the calender year when magazines and newspapers do entertainers of the year-themed issues), but the press has been infatuated with George Cooney since 2005 and it's become a love affair that has to stop.

I know that Clooney is a charming and nice guy, but this is not news after constantly telling us this for 3 years. Unless he's done something new, like develop superpowers, I do not want to hear it. And Clooney, you're not helping either. Stop hogging the spotlight, and dominating press interviews for films like Ocean's 13 and Michael Clayton when you're clearly not the best actor in the film.

But back to the press: If you still insist on covering George Clooney, how about talking about Darfur. That's this region of Sudan that your boy George is apparently doing something to help make peace or facilitate, or something like that. I don't really know because you never really tell me that: all you tell me is that George Clooney is such a dreamy and great guy because he helps with Darfur, yet I haven't learnt a single thing about what's going on in Darfur from any of these articles since George-mania has struck. Off the top of my head, didn't Jane Goodall do a lot of charity work in Africa for her foundation. Do articles about Jane Goodall talk about how great of a person she is or do they just cut right to the chase and talk about the charity work.

Other examples of Clooney overkill:

The Washington Post wrote an article after the Oscars that reported "George Clooney, who has recently replaced Jack Nicholson as the big man in Hollywood, was on hand at the Oscars....." I'm sorry, how is this objective reporting? By what standard has Clooney replaced Nicholson? Why does George Clooney even need to be mentioned in the article, if he didn't even win anything? George Clooney was nominated but seemed like a pretty poor sport throughout. He was probably the 4th or 5th most talented nominee in the field yet, he kept spouting off about he pissed off he was about how he was going to lose to Daniel Day-Lewis, as if Jonny Depp and the others wouldn't have also beaten him. George Clooney was also on a ridiculous special by Oprah at last year's Oscars, where 6 Oscars winners interview each other. Clooney had an interview with Julia Roberts. Don't Julia Roberts and George Clooney talk all the time since they've worked on films together? How is this a special occasion? This past week Time put Clooney on the top 100 most influential people AGAIN with a tribute that said the exact same things everyone else said before

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