I have to admit that I am not a George Clooney fan.
I must be one of a rare breed of forty-somethings who have never found him remotely sexy. I would watch him in ER and the Ocean’s movies and somehow never managed to get caught up in Clooney-fever.
But then I have never been a hero-worshipper. In my teen years, when my friends drooled over their pop star or actor heroes, plastering posters of them all over their pop star or actor heroes, plastering posters of them all over their bedroom walls, my walls were pristine and my nose was always in a book. I could never quite see the allure in placing one person on such a high pedestal. I would watch my friends and scoff at their ridiculous adoration of a person who would never know they existed.
And so it was with George Clooney in my twenties. Again, when my twenty-something friends were fantasising about languishing with him on some tropical island beach, ocean waves lapping at their bodies, I quietly laughed, thinking what a ridiculous waste of energy all this fantasising took – energy that could be put to much better use. No, George Clooney was never going to be my muse.
To make matters worse, I didn’t rate him much as an actor either (sorry, George).
However, when Up in the Air hit the media with such hype, such adoration of Clooney’s acting, touting the awards for which he was being nominated, implying that this was his best work yet, that he had actually reached new levels of acting prowess, I began to wonder if I hadn’t got it all wrong.
I watched the trailer online, with the added interviews, which cleverly weaved a take of an actor that had finally made his mark, that this would be the move for which he would be remembered.
Suddenly, I didn’t want to miss the boat. I didn’t want to be that person that had doubted, was proven wrong and hadn’t been there to see it.
My sister-in-law and I had decided to take our teenage daughters to see a movie and since Up in the Air was the only movie available at the time that suited us both, we went to see it. Okay, in truth I convinced my sister-in-law to see it with me because my husband refused to go and see George Clooney (I think a lot of men suffer from Clooney-hatred).
Having never been a Clooney fan, but wit the ringing of the Golden Globe and expected Oscar nomination in my mind, I decided to give it a ‘fair go’.
Sorry Geroge, but it was awful.
There is no other way to put it. It was slow and laborious in the way the story was woven, predictable in a lot of areas and had a ridiculous ending that had my sister-in-law and I looking at each other and saying out loud “Is that it?”
I felt betrayed. Here I was, George’s worst fan, prepared to give him a chance based on the promise of acting prowess strong enough to get him a possible Golden Globe and even an Oscar and what did I get? A two hour Clooney monologue with him interacting with a few characters along the way. Characters, I might add, that had no depth or meaning, except to reiterate the meaningless purpose of his character’s life.
Here was an opportunity for the producers to make Clooney shine, to allow him to surpass his stereotypical crooning and to find some depth in his character. Instead, they chose the safe option. He crooned, he smiled, his eyes twinkled, he was empathetic. He was stereotypical Clooney-perfect, the entire way through, for two agonising hours.
One might even be able to forgive this lack of depth if the story itself was reasonable, but it wasn’t. The movement of the movie was so one dimensional and incredibly predictable – certainly not a story worthy of any award, never mind an Oscar. Actually, what I felt I was watching, and people who have seen the movie may agree with me, is perhaps a snapshot into his actual real life – good looking and (seemingly) commitment-phobic – and for me, that was not acting. I felt cheated.
Judging by the mood in the cinemas after the movie had finished, I was not alone.
Our daughters, aged 15 and 17) had lost interest half way through, choosing to talk about my niece’s impending birthday instead. People in front of us shuffled – a lot! And even my sister-in-law and I took to the odd comment here and there, something I would never usually do.
And so it was, I left the cinema having my original view of Mr Clooney remain intact – a man (and actor) not worthy of my hero worship in my twenties and even less so in my forties.
Until next time,