Refusal to Suspend Disbelief

Cameron Diaz gets Jude Law and Kate Winslet gets… Jack Black? Seriously, Hollywood? I understand that he’s supposed to be impishly charming, and winning, and etcetera, but Kate Winslet is lit from the inside. It seems to me that for a woman to play opposite a guy as good looking as Kate Winslet, they’d tell her to lose a hundred and fifty pounds and consider plastic surgery. (See Jude Law and Cameron Diaz.)


Update: I had a conversation with Bryan about this, and it made me realize (as did many of you) that I’d be about 100 times more likely to have a real-life crush on Jack Black than Jude Law. My issue isn’t that Jack Black isn’t a cutie pie, just that I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie where the girl wins a stunning guy on the basis of her awesomeness. In the few examples I can think of, the guy overcoming a woman’s lack of conventional hotness is a central plot point. In movies, awesomeness only seems to really count if you’re a boy, and that makes me want to punch something.

71 thoughts on “Refusal to Suspend Disbelief

  1. I saw the movie on Saturday and I loved it. I thought it was really well cast and that a central part of Iris’ lesson was that she realized she’d fallen in love with this handsome guy who treated her like shit. How great that she opened her eyes to someone not as outwardly beautiful as she!

    How interesting is it that we aren’t arguing why Kate Winslet was cast opposite Jack Black? I find it’s often the women who say “he could do better” when a hot guy is holding hands with some Plain Jane and not the other way around. Maybe we recognize awesomeness more readily in guys because we are more critical of women? I thought Black did as well in his role as Winslet did. I think it’s great that Jack Black gets to be a leading man. He’s talented and he has obviously worked hard.

    I wish that my gender could have a similar success story, but who are we to choose? Thank goodness we have actors like Danny Devito, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jack Black. Maybe we are catching up with America Ferrera on Ugly Betty. Maybe not, since she’s actually much prettier than they let her be.

    Or maybe we are just a more attractive gender.


  2. “I believe the reason Kate Winslet gets paired with Jack Black is her character initially is in love with a beautiful man – Rufus Sewell. After he breaks her heart, she meets a man with a more conventional appearance but a lovely soul.”

    ditto. Face it Rufus Sewell is hotter than any of them. So of course if you’re dumped by him you’re still blinded from his looks and have to find someone based on their personality. Enter Jack Black.


  3. I have to add a “Nuh unh!” to Jennifer Grey being an ugly duckling. Touche. Totally beautiful! Not to mention I wanted to be her for most of my childhood…

    Moving on.

    This stereotype is also found throughout porn. How come it is always some really icky older guy screwing the hot chick? I agree that it gets frustrating for us normal, not totally hot, women to only see gorgeous, thin, physically perfect women get the nice, sweet, smart (and attractive) guys. Granted, it is all tv and media, but still… it takes its toll after awhile.


  4. Agreeing whole-heartedly with Heather (#55) on both her points. I’ve always thought of Patrick Swayze as the ugly duckling in the aforementioned pairing.

    No one has explained “gwar” to me yet.

    Damn. Now I can’t get “Time of my life” out of my head.


  5. Ladies and Gents, need I remind you of the amazing 1991 film “Dogfight”. In said film, the far from unattractive, yet certainly unconventional, Lily Taylor plays “dog” to River Phoneix’s cruel, soon to be sent to ‘Nam, Marine. The thing I love about this film is that it isn’t “Oh, how lovely, the awkward girl gets the handsome hunk”, but more like, “the kindhearted, poetic, and real woman levels the jerky guy for being cruel, and actually teaches him a lesson or two about humanity in the process.”

    1995’s “Circle of Friends”, starring another fave, Minnie Driver, also favors an unconventional, and at the time, fairly chunky, female lead, who captures the heart of Chris O’Donnell.

    Now, I’m not saying these are the standard in Hollywood. The fact is that they are the only ones I can come up with and are both over a decade old. And both stories make “the ugly duck gets the swan” the central theme. But Jack Black and his ilk usually are cast as the unlikely mate for the likes of Kate Winslet, too.

    Anywho, I am in agreement with those of you voicing frustrations, but thought I might at least encourage you to watch, or re-watch, these two gems, as an antidote to the genral filmmaking trend.


  6. Umm I would take Jack Black over Jude Law anyday! Jude used to have something, but ever since the affair with the nanny and the dullness of his last oh, 10 roles (in about 2 years) I don’t have any attraction any more.
    Jack has a cheekyness about him that I am totally getting now.


  7. One missing point: the movie is just awful. My GF and I went (her choice, though I usually like a good rom-com) and shy of the 1-hour mark we rolled our eyes at each other, stood up and left. We spent the next 10 minutes gleefully ripping Cameron Diaz for easily the worst acting performance of the New Century.


  8. Gwar… death metal crossed with foam rubber costumes. For all who were asking.

    As an ugly guy, and fan, Go Jack! I agree that the average female is never portrayed by Hollywood which is a crying shame. I’m not all that attracted to anything under a size 12. Minnie in “Circle of Friends”, rrowr!


  9. Sucked in by marketing, I actually saw this movie last night. It was poorly written and full of cliches (and not even warm-fuzzy cliches, just flat, lame cliches), but Kate Winslet and Jude Law carried it. Every time the camera rested on one of them, it was the slightly formulaic but still feel-good movie I was hoping to see. Cameron Diaz, meanwhile, simply can’t act, and her character was unlikeable to boot. I think the movie inadvertently provides a keen illustration of how above-average looks and a skinny body don’t necessarily add up to a desirable person.


  10. Lucy asked: “Lori, do you really think Maggie thinks a beautiful woman should only be with a gorgeous man?”

    Lucy, I read “Cameron Diaz gets Jude Law and Kate Winslet gets… Jack Black? Seriously, Hollywood? I understand that he’s supposed to be impishly charming, and winning, and etcetera, but Kate Winslet is lit from the inside.” So, yes, it looks like Maggie said that Kate is too beautiful to get stuck with “… Jack Black? Seriously?”


  11. HA! Remember when Jack Black was in that movie with Tony Robbins and Gwen Paltrow except she was COMPLETELY FAT but awesome?! Hey how did that work out in the end? lol. I always thought it was funny he was calling HER fat…


  12. I know I have something to say on this issue but it just doesn’t come out right.

    As a human being I would take kind over hot (or should I have spelled it hott?) any day.

    Hollywood has been making unrealistic casting choices for years. And until indie movies cast in atypical ways and go on to gross $100m or more, Hollywood will never notice.


  13. Did anyone else that saw the movie – whether you liked it or not – notice that almost every seen includes a view of the boom mic??? And not just the tip of the mic, but the entire arm of the mic! One extra inch and we would have seen the boom operator. Bad movie all around for me. I apologized to my boyfriend ten minutes into the movie. I will probably never be able to convince him into another chick flick again.
    Slow, long, boring, unimaginative, lack of chemistry and bad acting all around. Yuck. Don’t even bother renting it.


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