[caption id="attachment_187469" align="alignleft" width="300"] Universal[/caption]
Dear Ryan Reynolds,
Hi. How are things? I'm guessing, since you are a successful movie star who has made millions of dollars and is generally understood to be in the 99th percentile of attractive people in the world, that things are, overall, going well. Congratulations on everything, including last week's debuts of both "R.I.P.D." and "Turbo." On a larger scale — the scale of life, you might say — things are going swimmingly for you. (Scarlett Johansson AND Blake Lively? What? Come on, dude. High five.) And that's great. It's important to keep perspective.
As a loyal fan of your work, however, I want to do my part to help you get out of this, um, "slump" you're in currently, career-wise.
If I may: It seems like you may not care as much as you once did.
To be clear, I don't mean "care" as in "You lack the passion for acting and movies that you had at one point." It's still easy to see old-school Ryan Reynolds squirming to peek out of every recent role. I mean it more like, "You've made it, everything's cool, and maybe as a result, the importance of the quality of the role is a distant second to the fact that the movie will be made in the first place."
[caption id="attachment_187472" align="alignright" width="220"] Lionsgate[/caption]
That speaks to a bizarre underestimation of your own abilities, in my mind. When you burst on the scene in "Van Wilder," it wasn't just the fact that it was the last movie in which Tara Reid looked like a functioning human and not a walking Picasso painting that made the movie watchable, it was your surprising charisma and comedic timing. You killed it. And you were like, nine years old at the time! There's a reason the many (oh so many) sequels to that movie failed: None of them starred you. (Also, they were terrible. But still.)
It may also speak to a sense of career complacency. You might be saying, "Hey anonymous Internet writer whom I'll never meet — you try having so much intercourse with Scarlett Johansson that you become TIRED OF IT, do the same thing with F**KING BLAKE LIVELY, and yet still get up every morning with the motivation and the desire to find the perfect role. You try doing that." That's fair. To my knowledge, I've never had carnal relations with either of Ms. Johansson or Ms. Lively, so it's altogether impossible for me to empathize.
That said, I think I get it, if you'll hear me out. Your ex-girlfriend (before them) wrote and performed a popular song about going down on this guy in a movie theater:
Had to have been traumatizing, and I understand why you worked so hard to make up for it afterwards. It's not your fault. Ryan, look at me. It's not your fault. It's not your fault.
[caption id="attachment_187474" align="alignright" width="300"] Warner Bros.[/caption]
I'd also, if I can, like to talk about your hair for a second. Let me preface by saying that it's an incredible head of hair, and I know you know it. Otherwise it wouldn't be your hairstyle in every single movie you've ever done, ever. Now, I don't know what you could do with it, necessarily, to make it more believable that a CIA agent ("Safe House") does his hair for 45 minutes before he goes to work. Or a middling superhero ("Green Lantern"). Or a summer camp counselor ("Adventureland"). Or a single dad ("Definitely, Maybe"). If it were up to me, you'd have a bowl cut for your next five movies, just to see what happens. I acknowledge fully that that's probably a bad idea for your career, though it would be great for all of us.
No, it isn't that all of those roles individually feature you with the Ryan Reynolds boys' regular; it's that because your hairstyle never changes (and because it's so distinctly yours), it becomes difficult to take you for your character as your roles change. "Whoa, that CIA Agent is kind of a badass ... oh, that's Ryan Reynolds! He's hilarious. Why's he beating that guy up?" Your hair is (to film fans and not pervs) your most distinct physical characteristic, and it is, for better or worse, associated with the laid-back above-it-all sarcastic persona you've established in your more successful movies. Because it goes with that guy.
[caption id="attachment_187475" align="alignright" width="300"] New Line[/caption]
That's why it might be best if you go back to comedy full time. Your cameo in "Ted" was hysterical because you know how to kill a scene with a look. The movie "Just Friends" is underrated and ridiculously re-watchable because of your talents for physical comedy. "Waiting..." is a cult classic. "Blade: Trinity" is hilarious when you think about Wesley Snipes casually going about his day having not paid income taxes for decades. I think you even had the right idea with "The Change-Up," though a script which calls for a scene where we watch Leslie Mann have explosive diarrhea after eating Thai food probably isn't your best bet, just for the future.
And hey, I think dramas and action movies are still doable later, after three or four more solid comedy roles. Robin Williams won an Oscar for the movie I linked to above in the context of snarkily mocking your ex-girlfriend's past relationships with former network television stars. But it's time to get back on your feet. You can't just emphatically shout "Yes, of course" when you're offered movies co-starring Jeff Bridges or Denzel Washington without having read the script first anymore.
Unless you want to get that bowl cut. Then everything's fair game.