Third Film Comment

gerard-butlerI don’t know what’s happening, but I feel that there aren’t too many films out there worth watching. So I’m going to write about a film I have watched, but haven’t loved.  I find that American cinema doesn’t cast  foreign actors well. Actors like Penelope Cruz, Gerard Depardieu, and even Antonio Banderas lose some of their screen persona when they act in American films. All these first-rate actors, who are impressive in their native countries do for the most part second-rate work in the USA. I’m saying this because I love Gerard Butler, the Scottish actor. I first saw him in a British film called Dear Frankie. He had a small role, but  he caught my eye. Then, I identified him as the phantom of the opera in the film of the same name and as Beowulf in Beowulf and Grendel. I thought he was a striking phantom of the opera, preferable to the blond leading man. Then as King Leonidas in 300, a film where he was perfectly cast, he was catapulted into fame. And that’s when the problems began.

Though a very attractive man, he doesn’t seem to do well in romantic comedies. I hated P.S. I Love You, mainly because the plot was so improbable and because Hillary Swank was miscast as a romantic figure, and they kill him at the beginning of the film. Well, that wasn’t his fault. After that, I enjoyed his character in Rock’nRolla, but this was a British production. Then I saw him in The Ugly Truth, another run of the mill romantic comedy. It has nothing new to offer. Katherine Heigl is very pretty, but there’s something about her that doesn’t click with me. As far as the romance, I found this film too vulgar for my romantic taste. The love triangle is badly developed. Except for being handsome, the young man who plays the doctor, doesn’t do much…and he’s no competition for Gerard Butler. There’s really not much in the story which leads to the romantic ending.  So, as you can see, the ugly truth is that you should skip it. The Bounty Hunter was even worse than The Ugly Truth. There was absolutely no chemistry between Aniston and Butler, and though cruel, while I was watching all I could think of was that I could  understand why Brad Pitt left her for Angelina Jolie. So it was, at least for me, a disaster.

However, since he’s become very popular with both men and women, he has many films out there now. I  haven’t watched Gamer but I did watch Law Abiding CitizenLaw Abiding Citizen begins with an interesting premise about how a criminal can get away with a crime if he/she has the right lawyer. Unfortunately, at least for me, the director and writers took the easy way out and developed an action packed ultraviolent film with no heart.   Butler has several films which will be released soon, the most promising being Coriolanus about a Roman warrior. Hopefully, he’ll do better in this. Anyway, I’ll watch anything he’s in-I just like him.

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