Do Pretty People Ruin Movies?

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"I am fascinated with the fundamental stupidity of films like this," says Jonah Goldberg, referring to the new movie Valentine's Day. "They work on the assumption that super-successful, funny, kind, well-adjusted, and hot-as-magma women can't find dates." Likewise with "absurdly handsome, super-sensitive rich and successful dudes, who love their dogs and mothers, do carpentry for orphans in their spare time but who're still manly enough to punch out jerks who threaten the honor of women." The National Review writer gets that movies are fantasies, but shouldn't these plots have normal-looking people playing the parts?

Yes, Goldberg's readers agree. One points to a scene in Waitress where Keri Russell--"so pretty she is almost hard to look at"--starts to cry when told for the first time that she is pretty. Asks the reader, "Seriously?" Another teases directors' favorite trick--slapping a pair of glasses on a beautiful actor at the beginning of a movie, only to have them whipped off later to reveal--gasp!--she's a "Smoking Hot Woman."

Do pretty actors spoil films intended to portray average people? At least with Valentine's Day, Jonah Goldberg thinks so: "Frankly, I find the plot of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel more plausible."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.