- Big Mama's House 2
- National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation
- Just Friends
- Rush Hour 2
I wanted to laugh out loud or maybe cry at the wasted two hours I was about to endure. I voted for Just Friends, because it was the only movie of which I hadn't heard. Big mistake. First of all, as their names were flashed on screen, I realized I didn't know any of the actors, which is fine if a movie is trying to aspire to something but a really bad sign if it is merely aiming to be a romantic comedy. If a bunch of D-list actors are involved, you have yourself a D-list romantic comedy. I take that back: I recognized one name. Amy Smart. I somehow know who she is: I had seen her in that bad TV movie series "The Seventies" several years back as well as the movie Rat Race, which John rightly proclaims as having the worst movie ending of all time. The name of the lead man--Ryan Reynolds--was not particularly familiar to me though. Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Reynolds...sounds like I've heard the name perhaps but not instantly recognizable. Yeah, this movie's going to be bad, I thought.
Indeed, the opening scene presents an overweight man (fat suit, of course) sitting in a house in New Jersey in 1995. Fat suits never bode well for anything, especially comedy. The scene was kind of funny though because the heavy man, who turns out to be a high school senior about to profess his love to his best friend, is singing along to the song "I Swear" by All-4-One. I think my own memories of an overnight camp counselor who used to play "I Swear" every night right before our cabin went to bed made me laugh in recognition and appreication of this sad portrayal of being a teen in the 90s. It was all downhill from there, however, with the predictable effort at winning the viewer's sympathy through portraying the mean treatment of our fat protagonist at the hands of others paradoxically coupled with the script's own derision of him (he eats a lot, he is too sensitive, he cries, etc.). Heavy man then vows he will get revenge on all of the people who laughed at him in high school by being very successful. Okay, fine, that's a good enough story, even if it's been done a lot.
Ten years later, he is a Hollywood agent who can get any girl he wants. Fat suit gone, I recognize this man to be Ryan Reynolds, and I now realize I do know who Ryan Reynolds is. He's one of those people who you've seen in a few movies but is easily forgettable, and for good reason. Indeed, I feel a pang of longing for an earlier time when I could not put the name Ryan Reynolds to a face. There's nothing distinctive or interesting about him. He's not attractive, he's not a good actor, and, this lead part in Just Friends is probably the best role he's capable of. He was in "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place." He's a poor man's Paul Walker. [I later recalled that he had a small part in the movie Dick, which I do enjoy, though no thanks to Ryan Reynolds (his part could have been played by a lot of people).] Here are a few actors I equate with Ryan Reynolds, in terms of sheer badness: Jerry O'Connell, Matthew Lawrence, and Seann William Scott. Here's a guy whose biggest aspiration is probably to be in a sequel to Old School. Ryan Reynolds is the Nickelback of movies.
As good as I thought the Vamoose bus ride was, I just have to wonder why they have such an awful stock of movies (the movie that was shown first was RV). And yet, I must also say, there is something elegant about the mediocrity personified by Ryan Reynolds, because if you ever want to illustrate the thorough unremarkable, uninspired, forgettable nature of something, just say two words: Ryan Reynolds.