Ryan Gosling seemed to become Hollywood's hottest property almost overnight. It does one's heart good to see a guy with talent actually become a hot property in this town that places such a lower premium on ability than it does on the potential for commodification. Many people, women mostly, were outraged that Gosling was not named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in 2011. Which makes it all the stranger that Gosling seems to be the guy to take on the role of Andy Kaufman.
Andy Kaufman already received the standard Hollywood biopic effort in "Man on the Moon." I went into that movie with low expectations for Jim Carrey to pull it off and came out amazed. The movie as a whole failed to match the spectacular display put on by Carrey, however. Andy Kaufman was a notoriously surreal, provocative and offbeat performer and he is deserving of a second movie that matches his particular and peculiar comic sensibilities. Not sure which writer and director are up to the job, but I am convinced that there is only actor who should be given the chance to bring Kaufman to life again on the silver screen.
An actor looked upon as being robbed of the Sexiest Man Alive immediately seems to require dismissal from consideration of playing Andy Kaufman, who was never going to be a candidate for that title. If you don't think Gosling is the man for the job, I urge you to watch "Lars and the New Girl."
I actually just got around to catching this quirky little flick and the thing that first struck me when I saw Gosling in that mustache was how much he looked like Andy Kaufman. Not a perfect match, obviously, but enough similarity to have me thinking throughout "Lars and the New Girl" that Gosling needs to play Kaufman. Aside from bearing a striking physical resemblance to Kaufman in that mustache, Gosling's performance in the movie reminded me often of Kaufman. Can't really place my finger on what it was, exactly, but there was some spark of recognition going on, especially in Gosling's facial expressions.
"Lars and the New Girl" is about an emotional agoraphobic who develops an unconsummated relationship with an anatomically correct, full-sized, lifelike female doll. The fact that Gosling was not only interested in this bizarre concept, but threw himself into the role with abandon also reminded me of Kaufman. Let's face it: Lars is exactly the type of character that Kaufman might have created for himself. That Gosling saw the potential in a part that required him to essentially treat a piece of plastic with all the realism and emotional association as if he were doing a scene with Rachel McAdams or Michelle Williams says much about the man. You can bet that most Hollywood stars would be scared to death of looking or at least feeling like a fool doing romantic scenes with a doll, but Gosling clearly was not intimidated. That's the kind of guy needed to play Andy Kaufman in a movie that is just as innovative and wacky as Kaufman's brand of comedy itself.
You may still not be convinced that Ryan Gosling is the perfect choice to bring Andy Kaufman to life again on the big screen. I can only urge you to watch "Lars and the New Girl" with this idea firmly implanted in your mind. I think you will quickly be convinced.
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