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Head to Head: Gosling vs. Brody

Once again, it’s a weekend battle of two young guys. In this corner, we have Oscar-nominated Ryan Gosling in the courtroom thriller Fracture. And in his opposing corner, television star Adam Brody from the chick-flick romcom In the Land of Women. Let’s drop the cage. Two men enter! One man leaves!

In the box office this weekend: Winner – Gosling. One is facing off against Anthony Hopkins in a tense thriller about a man so smart that he killed his wife, everyone knows it, and he’s probably gonna get away with it anyway. The other stars opposite a dug-up Meg Ryan, found after her banishment for punishing us with On The Ropes. This one is simple mathematics. People will always pay to see Hopkins be creepy. Romantic comedies without two household names? Not so much.

In the critical arena: Winner – tie. Critics love to beat up on thrillers, even when they’re good. Despite having an Academy Award nominee going head to head with an Academy Award winner, they’re both still gonna get their chops busted for doing something mainstream. Especially since they’re in a film that starts off very original, but doesn’t stay that way. Indie-style romantic comedies (especially ones about creative types stuck in suburbia) tend to get a critical pass. But neither is going to escape the weekend being celebrated.

In their careers: Winner – Gosling. Despite being pretty much the same age, Gosling has already been nominated for an Oscar, been the romantic lead in a blockbuster tearjerker (The Notebook) and has a role in the popular sports drama that is the model for all modern sports dramas (Remember the Titans). Brody actually won most of the awards he was nominated for (the Teen Choice Awards) and had a hit TV show which cleverly took the numbers 90210 and replaced them with the letters O.C. Oh and he was in one of the very worst films I saw back in 2003 (Grind). Barring that, he’s had some great cameos in good to great films. But nothing comes close to Gosling. However, don’t count Brody out yet. He’s got this whole John Cusack thing that, if he plays his cards right, could make him a serious romantic lead in the next generation of romcoms. And if Gosling continues with ‘serious’ filmmaking, there’s a chance this position could switch a few years down the line.

In a fight: Winner – Brody. Sorry, Ryan. You were a Mouseketeer. And no matter how bad you are, no matter how big you get, nobody, and I mean nobody, bets on a Mouseketeer to win a fight. Besides, Brody seems kind of scrappy. And those Teen Choice Awards he’s got are heavy.

C. Robert Cargill - - - Email Me

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Austin-based Cargill, who not only loves but owns The Cutting Edge, writes on movies and DVD five times a week.