Recently I attended the premiere for “Up in the Air,” and had a conversation with a friend about how amazing it is that “Sexiest Man Alive” regular George Clooney has somehow managed to dodge the vitriol that dudes typically have towards beefcake leading men. My theory on how he gets away with it? The guy loves to make fun of "Batman & Robin."
Remember when you were a kid, and bullies would pick on kids to feel them out? Some would spaz and just make things worse. Others would laugh at themselves before the bullies got a chance, thereby being in on the joke rather than being the butt of it. And in the years since he played the world's greatest detective in Joel Schumacher’s disastrously awful 1997 superhero film, Clooney has been smart enough to laugh along with the rest of us.
Take the red carpet, for example, when I asked him about the top-notch awards season buzz “Up in the Air” has been receiving. By virtually all accounts, the movie about a man who fires people for a living (which hits theaters today) is a surefire Oscar contender. But, I mentioned to Clooney, not every film he’s made has been an awards contender.
“Really,” he teased. “Do you think?”
And then, hilariously, Clooney went to town. “You’re thinking ‘Batman & Robin,’” he grinned, faking outrage. “Is that what you’re talking about? Are you trying to bring that one out?”
“There was a lot of Oscar buzz around ‘Batman & Robin’,” he insisted. “There was a ‘Best Codpiece’ award. And then they took that out, and I had no shot.”
As Batman fans — and Clooney fans — know all too well, the Oscar winning A-lister once donned the world’s most masculine-challenged costume in Schumacher’s 1997 dud. It’s easier to laugh at all these years later, because Christian Bale has saved the Dark Knight, “Up in the Air” seems bound for Oscar glory — and, thankfully, George is the sexiest man alive to be in on the joke.
Is “Batman & Robin” really worthy of all the ridicule fans (and Mr. Clooney) have heaped on it over the years? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!