I’ve got an idea.
Let’s put Meg Ryan in a boxing movie!
Yeah! That’s it.
See, that way, all the women in the audience who are fans of Meg Ryan will refuse to go see it because it’s about boxing. And all the men in the audience who might see a boxing movie will refuse to go because Meg Ryan’s in it.
See, that way, we can absolutely alienate both audiences and make sure no one goes!
This, in short, is what happened last weekend when Against The Ropes starring Meg Ryan premiered in 8th place and earned a knockout $3 million!
Did anyone go see this movie? No.
Did anyone ask ME about the wisdom of spending all that time and money on a premise that was %100 guaranteed to fail.
This is what we like to call an audience killer. In your optimistic forecast you think: We’ll draw both crowds, but what really happens is that you cancel them both out.
But there was one decided bit of forward progress for fans of Meg Ryan. She continued to challenge reigning champ Julia Roberts in the category of “Worst Body Posture.”
And if you’ve seen Ocean’s Eleven a million times, as I have, and seen “the staircase scene,” you know what I’m talking about.
For those unfamiliar, this is Julia Robert’s entrance, the scene where Matt Damon looks up to the top of the staircase and says “This is just the best part of my day” and then she appears. I often wonder if Matt had to choke on that line, if the director and crew looking in the monitor had to bite their lips as they saw Julia clopping down the staircase and galumping across the floor, supposedly an example of beauty and grace but looking like she needs some makeup and definitely needs some walking lessons. Gal-lump, Gal-lump. Hands down, Julia wins.
Worst walk in movies.
But Meg is running a close second with that awkward, duck walk, bobbing and weaving she does. It’s a little bit “mannish” isn’t it? A little disturbing to me. And it makes me wonder why she insists on finding parts to display it?
Meg, it seems, wants to make sure that we know she’s not just some cute, nice pretty girl who can be in all those rom-coms -- she can act! She can be tough. She can be dark and weird -- as this summer’s In The Cut tried to prove. Yes, Meg, we know. We’ve seen When A Man Loves A Woman. We get it. You’re weird (so weird that I’m starting to think that all those weird roles is the REAL you.) But... wouldn’t your audience like to see you in something THEY like. I know this is asking a lot, but maybe you could think about offering a service to humanity: entertaining the people out there instead of “stretching.” I know it may not be on your radar but: All we really want is a good movie to go see!!!
What’s my point with all this?
My point is that I’m nostalgic for the long gone days of the studio system. And while I know that’s stupid, I still want someone in charge who knows what they’re doing in the management of star’s careers -- not the star. Would Louis B. Mayer have allowed Meg Ryan to strike yet another boring blow for feminine empowerment roles in a boxing movie? Not likely. Would not have Daryl Zanuck demanded his female stars take posture lessons and learn to walk, for chrissakes!
The answer is yes.
But nowadays these stars are all on their own. They dabble in “stretching” and don’t really think about “the fans.” No, no. It’s all about them. Which is fine. But being on their own as they are, without the advice of impartial observers who know, they are sometimes the worst judges. For every Drew Barrymore, there’s a dozen Alicia Silverstones. And now, after a string of misfires, Meg Ryan.
All I’m saying is next time you think about doing a bad movie role, Meg, ask me. I’m here. Call me up. Say: Blake what do you think about me as the first female fire fighter? Or what about a movie where I play a circus clown and I am covered in so much make-up you can’t even see my face!!
No, Meg, I’ll say. Just be pretty. Just be funny.
And for God’s sake, sit up straight
Dont't forget to also check out: Against the Ropes