Keira Knightley vs. Carey Mulligan
Not that Knightley is doing badly these days. She's doing great! She has the Oscar-bait movie A Dangerous Method coming up this year, as well as future Oscar-bait Anna Karenina with her frequent collaborator Joe Wright next year. She's doing well in this biz. But don't you think there must be some resentment held toward Carey Mulligan? You know, the little British pixie who showed up a couple of years ago and started taking some of the young British lady parts that Knightley had all but sewn up before Mulligan came along? Take Never Let Me Go. Sure that movie didn't turn out to be quite the awards hit it was supposed to be, but it could have been! And Mulligan got the big lead role, while Knightley got stuck with the lousy old supporting part. Plus Mulligan has had a lot more success in American movies, appearing in things as varied as Wall Street 2: The Legend of Sheen's Gold, this fall's spectacular Drive, and the upcoming The Great Gatsby. Knightley has what, Domino? These two are supposedly friends, and maybe they are, but we can't help but feel like it must have been a lot easier for Knightley before stupid old Carey Mulligan showed up.
Jennifer Garner vs. Amy Adams
The dewy-faced Garner was, after a stint of butt-kicking on Alias, poised to become the sweet movie star next door of American middleroad cinema. She had a successful romantic comedy with 13 Going on 30 and a good bit of critical success with her supporting role in Juno, but then, that same year, along came some dizzy gal named Amy Adams (Garner's Catch Me If You Can costar) in a movie called Enchanted and, whaddya know, Ms. Adams is all of a sudden in everything, racking up Oscar nominations left and right, starring in classy nice-girl commercial fare like Julie & Julia, and now in The Muppets. Jennifer Garner could have played any of those parts! (Well, the lighter ones, anyway.) But no, instead she's stuck making babies with Ben Affleck and doing Valentine's Day. Well, OK, the first part of that doesn't sound so bad, but the second part! How frustrating. There is only room for one All-American nice girl in movie stardom, and Garner had her crown stolen when she wasn't looking. Sure, she has a beautiful family and is still making movies, but it's just not the same.
Ryan Reynolds vs. Ryan Gosling
While everyone obsesses over Reynolds' hot bod and cool (like, temperature-wise) likability, you know who gets that same respect and more? Ryan Gosling. Oh boy must Reynolds have a bitter envy for his Canadian countryman's career. Gosling isn't just intensely dramatic in wonderful films like Half Nelson and Blue Valentine, he's also been winning in comedies (Crazy Stupid Love) and action flicks (Drive -- though, really, to call that an action flick sorta doesn't do it justice). Gosling is probably the envy of many a young actor, everyone loving him so much and all these days, but maybe of none more so than Ryan Reynolds. They have the same name, for god's sake! It's just not fair. It's doubtful they're often up for the same roles, but can't you imagine Reynolds seeing Gosling in something like Ides of March and thinking to himself, "I could do that? Why am I not doing that?" Ya got Gosling'd, Ryan. But really there's no shame in that (like there is shame in Green Lantern, for example). It happens to the best of 'em.