Sunday, July 27, 2008

One tiny complaint about The Dark Knight: The Dark Knight was a heck of a movie--at least in some ways--but someone has got to state the obvious. A movie this big, this spectacular, this impressive, has got to have a leading lady who is not homely. I know Maggie Gyllenhaal is a good actress with lots of personality. The word "personality" is a tip-off that the girl is in the wrong movie. I spent half the movie thinking, "This girl is not beautiful enough for Bruce Wayne... Not even close to being beautiful enough for Bruce Wayne... Not even close."

Why does Hollywood do this? You know, I couldn't even remember the actress in Batman Begins, but guess what--that's a GOOD thing. Twenty years from now, I'll be discussing movies with someone and will say, "Oh yeah, The Dark Knight was good, but why did they put Maggie Gyllenhaal in it?" You know you have a problem when people are contemplating casting decisions while they're watching the movie. I mean, geez, Aaron Eckhart is about 10 times better looking than she is. Maggie's brother would have been a better choice. He's played catcher before.

So if any Hollywood people are reading this, I'm just an ordinary moviegoer, but that's what most of us are, and we buy the tickets. Do not, under any circumstances, cast Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sarah Jessica Parker, or Cameron Diaz in a role that calls for a beautiful woman. Allow me to suggest a minimum cutoff: never, never choose someone who is not at least as attractive as Kate Winslett. I only bitched a little during Titanic. Bare minimum.


  1. I haven't seen it yet, but if they were looking for a pretty assistant DA, Angie Harmon sure worked when she was on Law & Order. Penelope Cruz could do it too.

    Is it well known that Cameron Diaz is not beautiful? Everyone pokes fun at Sarah Jessica Parker, but this is the first time I've read someone else who thought Cameron Diaz was also overhyped.

    What did you think of the Joker? From the ads, he looks like what a high school goth would draw as his MySpace profile pic. The Joker from Tim Burton's Batman is one of my favorite characters of any movie. I might be more distracted by that than by Maggie...

  2. agnostic: Diaz is a personal thing. Great body (although she is getting older) but a leading lady needs a face too since that is where the camera is most of the time. At least in the trailer, she looked BAD in the Vegas movie.

    In my view, Ledger is the best part of the movie. The makeup didn't distract me. I mean, here's a criminal who goes around painted up as a clown. It's absurd from the get-go. I know it's a Batman story, so the particular look is not so important to me. In this movie and others, the head part of Batman's costume has looked funny to me, but it doesn't bother me much.

    Nicholson was the perfect Joker. It would have been a mistake to try and imitate him. They went for a Joker who doesn't really joke, but it worked.

  3. Grateful Nerd7:22 AM

    Kudos to Christopher Nolan for casting Maggie Gyllenhaal as Batman's burning object of unrequited love. The extra boost of confidence I got knowing that my girlfriend is much more attractive than the one Batman can't even get, allowed my fragile, threatened male ego to enjoy watching a movie about a handsome, genius, billionaire superhero ubermensch.

  4. green mamba8:58 AM

    Gotta agree. Gyllenhaal is not very attractive. That doughy face with its flattened-out nose gets on my nerves. Plus, she always looks smug in the pictures of her I see, like she thinks she's much more attractive than she is.

  5. c.o. jones9:31 AM

    Diaz has unfortunately not aged very well. I thought she was smokin' hot in There's Something About Mary though.

    OTOH, even though she's over 50, I'd still do Christie Brinkley if given the chance.

  6. wongba12:51 PM

    i found katie holmes' performance in the first movie to be extremely ill-fitting for the movie. i had watched her since her dawson's creek days, and me and my friends were driven to distraction by her mannerisms which hadn't changed one iota from those days as joey. we found her performance as positively the worst thing about the first movie.

    say what u will about maggie's attractiveness, but at least she can act.

  7. Ray Midge6:06 PM

    Diaz is a curious case. She exploded in The Mask and was freakishly hot there.

    I kept looking for that chick to make another movie but it never happened. She was replaced by this above-average-attractive tomboyish ala Jenny McCarthy nothing.

    She's still attractive, but nothing, I mean nothing has revealed her anywhere remotely as hot as that first movie of hers. Her comet dazzled, flickering brilliantly, and then...

  8. Anonymous8:29 PM

    "Maggie's brother would have been a better choice. He's played catcher before."

    Layin' down the truth loud and hard! LOL

    All kidding aside, you could probably put some tranny make-up and a wig on Jake Gyllenhall and he would look more do-able than his sister. Jake reminds me of one of my younger cousins.

  9. "She exploded in The Mask and was freakishly hot there."

    Yes, I remember. They showed off her body a lot and her moves with all the dancing. Her long legs and charisma have taken her a long way. She probably peaked with There's Something About Mary--golfing showcased her body and coordination once again.

    In the Vegas trailer, it looked like too much sun has aged her fair skin, but my main complaint is with her is facial bone structure. She looks like some of my ugly cousins--is it a duck she looks like? a frog?--only improved by professional makeup people.

  10. agnostic: I forgot to mention that Angie Harmon would have been a great choice.

  11. Anonymous1:40 PM

    Did anyone think the problem was more of how badly she seems to be aging than her looks per se? Sure the mousey nose and big chin are negatives but I felt in her earlier films they were balanced out by her large eyes and apple cheeks, giving her a cute if not hot look. The problem I had with her in this movie was how old she looks, the crow's feet at her eyes looked cavernous on the big screen. I was amazed to find out she's only 30.

  12. Anonymous8:51 PM

    Cameron Diaz has bad skin on her face. Result of a lot of teen acne. She's airbrushed on magazine covers and often not skillfully made up in films.

    She also cannot act, and that shows up in a role where feminine empathy and compassion are required.

    Gyllenhall is known for being Jake's sister, and taking degrading roles in "Secretary" and a few others. She is not particularly attractive, you could swing a stick in Hollywood and find better lookers: Eliza Dushku, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Blake Lively, Kristen Bell, Andrea Parker, Anne Hathaway, etc.

    Gyllenhall ALSO cannot act. She gets parts because of nepotism and she's "known."

    There ARE good actresses around, but they tend to be mostly on TV where roles are better for women, and there aren't the huge barriers to entry as there are in films. TV is a massive beast needing lots of talent on soaps and such (where most of these actually pretty and GOOD actresses get their starts). They can't afford to be picky ... and GAY, they have to feed the beast and get bodies.

    In film, the gay casting directors choose the most damn ugly women who have some sort of "rep" or nepotistic connection, the same way they choose boy-toy Metrosexuals like Shia LeBeof or Ashton Kutcher or Josh Hartnett. Who have the on-screen masculine presence of the hosts on Home and Garden Television.

    Same problem. [Katie Holmes CAN act, check out the indie "Pieces of April" on IFC, she's great and carries the whole picture.]

    The biggest problem is most of these women just can't act. Look at Scarlett Johansson, or Jessica Biel. Great bodies, no experience finding out early what works and what doesn't (for them). Compare-contrast Sarah Michelle Gellar or Amber Tamblyn who had to learn 20 pages a day and find out real fast what worked for them, all before 16.

    It's a craft like anything else, the more practice = better skill.

  13. Anonymous7:33 AM

    Jessica Biel started on tv. She just can't act.

  14. Biel has SUCH a great body, I find myself forgetting about her lack of talent. It covereth a multitude of sins.

  15. Anonymous1:59 PM

    After seeing the film, I went on to some internet movie forums to see how common the revlusion reaction to Gyllenhaal's looks was. Apparently it was high enough that you had the phenomena of viewers at different showings indepedently and spontaneously heckling the screen when (very minor spoiler) the joker says Gyllenhall "is beautiful, very beautiful," shouting back things like "No she isn't," and "not really." A few days later I came across another posting describing basically the same thing except this time it took place in a theater in the philippines, complete with a tagalog rendering of the heckle! Great illustration of cross-cultural universals of beauty in action.


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