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binnie

NO clue. He does nothing for me (and always looks like he could use a bath).

jamy

I don't go see his films b'c they're crap.

But, I can TOTALLY understand the appeal. He's sexy without trying, he doesn't care what you think about him. So, he's got the hotness and the distance and it's very appealing.

Now, there are some actors (and actresses) I'll pretty much see in anything, but it's not always about sex appeal.

Ryan Stauffer

McConaughey is not a bad actor. Witness U-571. And, regardless what you may have thought of the movie as a whole, I greatly enjoyed him in REIGN OF FIRE.

We don't need to make him go away. We need to give him some career advice. It might go like this:

"Matthew ... My Dog ... you gots to quit with the mindless, by-the-numbers, girl-pandering 90s rom-coms. They may make you lots of cash, but in 10 years when you can't pull it off anymore, you'll be begging on the street for a cameo in 90210 Take Three. Don't do this to yourself. Pretend you're 50, and start looking for roles that prove you can still act."

Or words to that effect.

J

I have no idea why M. McConaughey exists. But I also have no idea why weeble bugs exit...and yet exist they do.

E.C. Henry

Billy,

In exploring the topic of Matthew McConauey you MAY have touched on an interesting except worthy of debate in your next "how to" book on writing romantic comedys: understanding male lead TYPES in romantic comedies.

Let me state right off the bat that I'm a HUGE fan of Matthew's. But when I think of him a SPECIFIC TYPE of romantic comedy lead comes to mind. For initial debate I'll subset his romantic comedy lead type as, "hot guy with wit." As typically Matthew McConahuey plays a character who is eye candy for the ladies, and mentally very capable. There is no deep seeded tragic flaw with his character. And on a verbal sparing level he hang with any lady or male romantic rival. Typically the stuggles of a "hot guy with wit" are ones of EGO. His character arc is usually coming to grips with some small hang-up that keep him from hooking up with the girl he's destined to be with. THAT is of noted difference than the "shlub" character who typically has a more pronounced flaw that is more readily event to all, and is central to his growth in his character arc.

My guess as to why you have such a hard time understanding Matthew McConahuey's appeal is that you can so relate to the "shlub" character, that over years has been so well played by the likes of Woody Allen, Ben Stiller, Hugh Grant, and Seth Rogen that subconsciously a confident, self aware character like Matthew McConahuey is like invading upon sacred ground for you. BUT I think Mattew McConanuey's appeal is a lot like that of Jon Cusak, who, if I remember right, whose work you're quite fond of...

Personally, I too can relate much more to the "shlub" character than the "hot guy with wit." NEVER EVER had a cool exchange guy-to-girl like the ones McConahuey and Kate Hudson have in "How To Loose A Guy in 10 Days." BUT as writer, and currious person in general studying his interactions with opposite sex make me feel empowered in a way. It's like insider secrets in how to be cool for socially underdeveloped.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Frank  Conniff

You wouldn't think that the 21st Century needs its own Troy Donaue or Tab Hunter, but McConanuey is living proof that for some reason we do. Female audiences continue to show up for his films in droves. All I can say is, if you're a woman who knowingly goes to a romantic comedy starring Mattew McConanuey, there's a lot of things you could call yourself, but feminist is not one of them.

Christina

I grew up in rural Colorado, near South Park. (Which in reality is a geographic basin, not a specific city.) What I'm trying to say is that I was born and raised a redneck. Consequently, I understand the simple nature of Midwestern mentality better than most people who were born and raised on either coast.

Matthew McConaughey chooses roles that capitalize on an idealized "prom king" archetype for a large expanse of the population. You know, he's playing that hot guy who drove a Camaro in high school and had a fake ID. Maybe he was on the football team? E.C. is not too far off - he's playing the hot guy with wit... in Wichita.

The problem here is that a smart New Yorker like yourself is ALWAYS going to see through a guy like MM's one-note wit. You lack the childhood experience to grock it.

What usually happens to that popular guy in high school who drove the Camaro and played football? He ends up alcoholic and selling used cars at 40. However, the average American who is the target audience of MM's movies doesn't let the probable real-life story invade their fantasies. If the audience member is female, MM plays the guy they wanted in high school but could never get. If the audience member is male, he's the guy they wanted to be, but couldn't.

I have so many smart friends who were raised by with-it parents in San Francisco or New York City or Boston or New Haven who don't believe that there are people out there who like Matthew McConaughey (or George Bush, for that matter). But I'm here to tell you that they do exist. And I think the reason why can be traced back to their high school experiences.

Patrick

I have no insight to add, I just want to say that you aren't the only one, I'm just as mystified that this guy is a star as you are. In his romantic comedy roles at least I get the feeling he is posing for the camera more than acting - "Look at me, aren't I the greatest."

Mark Martino

Matt is a good action actor. Not so much romantic comedy. I almost liked "Fool's Gold." It had a pretty good story that got stepped on by subplots whose existence I cannot explain. I don't think his acting is the problem. I think it's his choice of roles and some bad luck, e.g., Sahara. Maybe he's a good actor who is bad at choosing agents and scripts. Imagine how much money he'd make if that got fixed.

Dave

I think you were close with Scarletm but I think you would gain a whole new appreciation would if you inserted the name Jessica Alba in there.

I'm okay with the fact my wife would leave me spinning with dust flying around if she had a chance to sleep with him. He may have a ten pack, cute smile and can drawl out a great line but at the end of the day he still plays his bongo's naked.

Can we agree he can deliver a great line, has good timing but the wit can be allocated to the writers? He isn't too bad in interviews but again.....how many questions are scripted??? Who knows but he does give me a laugh in a few movies(definitely not all)
cheers
Dave

Maria

I'm a woman in my mid-30s who's born and raised in the midwest (grew up in Michigan and now live outside of Chicago). I can see that Matthew McConaughey is cute eyecandy, but it's his redneck ways that completely turn me off. His films are generally considered entertaining fluff by the women I know (although I haven't been to see Ghosts yet), and he's not hard on the eyes.

Is it any different with Jessica Alba or Scarlett Johannson? Shia LaBeouf? A lot of the big movie stars seem to have been chosen by someone (studio execs, maybe?) and then are pretty much shoved down our throat. MM is no different.

Craven

The simple answer is CHARM. It's what Selleck had. Beefcake can grow stale very quickly all by itself. Charm helps it endure. It would be nice if during the stay of execution charm grants, either would hone their craft so as not to be dependent on charm and good looks alone. But alas, Tom didn't, and I doubt Matt will.

Maria

Sorry for posting two separate comments, but I just read the Time article and feel compelled to add: I don't think MM will be remembered as an icon. He'll be forgotten within 5 years of his retirement unless he does something with a little more substance.

Erika

Thank GOD its finally been said, because Matthew McConaughy has been perplexing and infuriating me for years. I DO NOT get him. Yes, I completely understand buying a movie ticket just because you want to slaver over a cute guy. I wouldn't dream of censoring that behavior. How many Depp films have I gone to simply because I'd like to lick that man? The quality of Depp's acting is but the icing on his beefcake, adding to his overall appeal. But in what realm is MM cute? He has a terrible, smug, inexpressive face, a creepy coif, icky, neanderthal forehead, empty eyes, and is so clearly not thinking about anything beyond catching the next wave. Has our appreciation of male beauty and appeal come down to the six pack? Really? That's all we need? That's so heartbreaking for us as a culture. But as your reader Frank observes, having grown up in NYC myself, I may "lack the childhood experience to grock it."

I also find it funny in a oh-here-we-all-go-to-hell-in-a-handbasket way that he's been so successfully paired with Kate Hudson, who perfectly reflects him in her own hideousness. She possesses the merest whiff of talent. She only does bad movies (with the exception of "Almost Famous" which somehow survived her lightweight, utterly vapid performance). She mugs incessantly for the camera. She has exceptional abs and therefore relies heavily on midriffs in order to convey her characters' pathos.

Thank you Billy and thank you Richard Corliss for finally taking this subject on. It has been driving me batshit for years!

Caitlin

I don't find Matthew McConaughey remotely charming. I would despise him if it weren't for Dazed and Confused.

I am tempted to bitch about how pissed off I was after sitting through Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, but I guess I'll refrain. But for those who haven't seen it yet, please do not. (If anyone does want to read my angry feminist ranting, it's on my blog.)

Rachel Hauck

I just saw Ghost of Girlfriends Past and felt like I was watching a movie "in first draft mode."

All the plot points were obvious and bumpy. Gardner was lovely but not charming. It's like she didn't quite "fit" into the movie.

All the actors seemed to be caricatures rather than characters.

Matt didnt' lose his shirt in this movie. Well, briefly.

He looked a bit too old to be playing the charming, dashing, crusty on the outside, tender on the inside bachelor.

Did Hollywood lose all their razors. Give the man a shave!

Never the less, he is what the article said, a showman.

To me, a thinking woman who is tired of the overly feminine and/or wimpy male roles Hollywood is producing lately, Matt is just plain fun to look at.

He exudes a charm that makes me feel he'd be fun to hang out in real life. And, perhaps given the right circumstances, he'd even ask me on a date.

Whatever he has going on inside of his soul comes out on the screen and THAT is what makes him a box office winner.

But, he'd better beware of his future and go back to more rolls like A Time To Kill or find himself outgrowing these romcom roles.

JamminGirl

Oh wow! Yeah his flicks are paint-by-numbers but he's making money. If people actually pay to see that kinda nonsence, why stop?

People want to see better films? Write better ones. Cut the archetypical crap as well because not everyone grew up with jocks and cheerleaders, popular kids, losers and geeks. People are just people so write better characters instead of archetypes(which is another word for hollywood created boxes to lump people in). Atleast that's what I think writers (myself included)should do. That way we'll see MM act like we know he's capable of

JamminGirl

Btw Billy this was not directed at you personally, just a frustration with writers in the industry...

WiseFlickGuy

Haha, I enjoyed this commentary. McConaughey keeps on making money because people keep on seeing him.

martinb

He's got charm. To me, he's The Little Boy Who Never Grew Up. FAILURE TO LAUNCH and SAHARA were fun, and TWO FOR THE MONEY was a pretty good movie.

He's entertaining, not a bad attribute for someone who works in the entertainment industry. I don't think he's good-looking, but then I'm a guy, what do I know.

Becky

At the risk of reiterating what some of your previous commenters may have said, I'd like to add my 2 cents. The man is SIZZLING! In each of his albeit fluff movies, he just has this attitude... this charisma, if you will. Confident, connected, intelligent. Each of his characters has something in common... it's that look. You know the one. Most people don't have it, but if you've ever met anyone who does, GOD! The magnetism is just incredible! He's one of those people who looks at you... talks to you, and you feel like what you have to say is THE most important thing in the world. Like there is no one but you and this person chatting, even if it IS just about the weather, or vanilla ice cream. THIS is what does it for me. Oh, and the abs are a bonus!

Ally

Matthew McConaughey has a career for the same reason Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, and Scarlett Johansson have careers: easy on the eyes.

Judith Duncan

I agree with Ally,I think Matthew McConaughey has a career for the same reason a lot of beautiful woman have careers e.g.the model turned actress.I grew up in the surfing community and at 17 Matthew McConaughey would have been my dream man.By the time I got out of my teens I realized how little that kind of man has to offer.What I find strange is that he continues to play that limitation over and over in every film.I couldn't even sit through 'Sahara' when it was on t.v.,he was so smug.Obviously he's somebody's fantasy cause he keeps getting the work...go figure.

Melquiades

Though his filmography of late has certainly been lacking, I feel we must give the man credit for excellent performances in two classic films: Dazed and Confused and Lone Star.

Laura Deerfield

I think he's delish. I know he's full of crap, but who cares? I can enjoy having a charming man flatter me in a bar or at a party, and maybe even take him home, it doesn't mean he's relationship material. More or less how I see McConaughey.

I also don't pay to see his movies in the theater, but tend to catch them on cable.

And enjoying these movies does not mean I am not a feminist. What kind of idiocy is that statement? I don't think that it takes any value from my work volunteering at shelters for abused women, or helping women in Afghanistan build schools for girls and document their treatment under the Taliban, or raising money for breast cancer research, or any of the other projects I've undertaken.

Nor will it stop me from encouraging women to write and direct, hopefully changing the abysmal percentages that exist in the industry today. Maybe one of us can get a decent performance from Mr. McConaughey in one of our films. (I liked him in Lone Star, Tropic Thunder, and Reign of Fire and loved him in Frailty and A Time to Kill.)

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