Went to see a rather likeable film at the weekend – The Nice Guys with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. Ryan Gosling has the ability to be adorable in everything, no matter how awful the character he plays – rather like a fluffy gosling, in fact, you can forgive him anything.
You’ve probably seen the endless ‘hey girl’ memes sloshing round the internet, where a delightful picture of Ryan is overprinted with something that any teenage girl would like Ryan to say to her:
Playing a foil to all this is Russell Crowe, quite a few years on now from Gladiator and looking very much like a retired fighter who has fallen off his training regime and into a vat of whiskey and hard living. I used to have a soft spot for Crowe as well but his paunchiness and air of seediness were no match for Ryan’s effortless adorability.
That is, until Kim Basinger popped up. Remember her? I don’t think she’s been on screen for about a decade, or since Hollywood discovered that she had her first wrinkles and thus had to be banished from our screens. Well, now all her wrinkles have gone. Looking at her, and comparing her with Russell Crowe, I felt very sad despite the feel-good tone of the film. Either Russell Crowe has been able to grow his own paunch in his own way and is still getting joint double billing, or he had to work hard to get unfit especially for this movie. I know which I think it was, and I doubt there is much chance of Kim Basinger getting a single line in a film if she got as chunky as Russell happily is. Rene Zellwegger famously had the immense chore of putting on enough weight to reach the apparently ginormous (by Hollywood standards) size of 14 for Bridget Jones. Let’s remember that the average size for women in the UK is a 16, and I’m sure it’s larger in the US. Women are not allowed to be fat in movies. Rene has since come in for huge criticism after having some sort of work done on her face, because women are not allowed to be old in Hollywood either.
Kim Basinger is definitely not fat and by any standards, she is still a beautiful woman. There is something unnatural about a woman of her age having no wrinkles, however. I don’t want to attack her, as Rene Zellwegger was attacked, because what on earth is a woman in her situation to do? Putting on weight is never an option. Growing old is unthinkable. Er, where do you go from there?
There was an interesting interview with Isabella Rossellini in the Observer recently where she remarked that people don’t know what to do with a woman between the ages of 45 and 60. Presumably we should all go away and hide in caves until we can come back as wise women, or wicked witches, or whatever stereotypes are allowable.
Or maybe we should all just gaze at Ryan Gosling, and take our minds off these troublesome issues. Here he is again: