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9/21/2012

Musings: How do the guys in '10 Years' measure up?



 

I’ve never been to a high school reunion, maybe because I dread seeing people that I never really liked all that much anyway — and what if they’re more successful than me?! — and I’m just neurotic enough to get crazy over that. So I’ll be getting my high school reunion experience from the Channing Tatum romantic comedy 10 Years, which stars him (arguably the most successful male movie star of 2012) and a bunch of his friends. And his wife. Grumble.

But when I say “a bunch,” I mean a bunch: The ensemble comedy, written and directed by Jamie Linden (who worked with Tatum back on Dear John), is jam-packed with people, including Justin Long, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, Oscar Isaac, Ari Graynor, Rosario Dawson and more. And as I mentioned, it also stars Jenna Dawson-Tatum, reuniting with her husband onscreen before joining the cast of American HorrorStory this fall — a good career move for her, I’d say.

Look over those names again, though: Tatum, Long, Pratt, Mackie, Isaac … and a bunch of other dudes round out this film; by my count, 12 altogether. They’ll all be playing some high school archetypes, right? And isn’t high school where dating and crushes run wild? With that theme in mind, how dateable are the film’s dozen male stars? Who would you be overjoyed to take you out to dinner, and who would get relegated to helping you with your homework? Because I have nothing better to do than fantasize, let’s do this — ranking the men from Nos. 1 to 12, depending on who would be the best to date and the worst.


CHANNING TATUM: I mean, it’s Channing Tatum. What else do I need to say? Have you seen his smile? His body? His dance moves to Ginuwine’s “Pony”? Are you aware of his self-mocking nature? His easy grin? His sense of humor? I could gush on forever, but basically the dude is hot, funny, and isn’t afraid to rip off his pants for you. And even though he’s gotten more famous through the years, he’s always been exceptionally loyal to wife Jenna, and doesn’t seem like a cheating tool. Congrats, lady. We’re all jealous of you. RANKING: NO. 1

ANTHONY MACKIE: Here’s the thing about Anthony Mackie: He’s basically flawless. He was snide, conniving Papa Doc in 8 Mile, and I hated him so much! And then he was bruised, battered, beaten Sanborn in The Hurt Locker, and I loved him so much! (And he was totally robbed of an Academy Award nomination for that performance, by the way.) I can overlook questionable choices like Real Steel, Man on a Ledge and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter because he’s peppering them with more challenging work like Night Catches Us and The Gangster Squad. And, he owns a bar in Brooklyn, talks a lot about loving whiskey (mmm), and has described Ryan Gosling as a “little vanilla mocha fudge blossom.” Plus, no one looked as good in a fedora in “The Adjustment Bureau” as he did. He’s up there for me, ladies. RANKING: NO. 2

CHRIS PRATT: Is there a more lovable oaf than Andy on “Parks and Recreation”? So endearing and well-meaning, if a bit dumb? Chris Pratt has owned that performance like none other, but we know he’s not just a comedic actor; he was great in Moneyball, and he allegedly has a sizable role in Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming Zero Dark Thirty. He also seems very much in love with wife Anna Faris, and he’s a new dad, and he’s basically adorable. It’s that simple. RANKING: NO. 3

OSCAR ISAAC: Man, Oscar Isaac is wonderful at playing terrible people. From Robin Hood to Sucker Punch to Drive, Isaac is impressively awful, careening well between manipulative, dishonest and misogynistic. So naturally, he has to be the opposite of those things in real life! Only someone totally unlike his characters could inhabit them so easily (uh, I hope). But there’s always something very sympathetic about his characters, too — wasn’t Standard just trying to provide for his family in Drive, after all? — and his beautiful eyes certainly help sell it. Plus, apparently he sings, since he’s starring in the next Coen Brothers movie, Inside Llewyn Davis. I’m into it. RANKING: NO. 4

SCOTT PORTER: Well, I can’t look at Scott Porter’s face without thinking, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!” because his performance as Jason Street on the forever-underrated TV show “Friday Night Lights” was amazing. As Street, the star quarterback paralyzed during the first game of his senior year, Porter was one of the emotional cores of that show, and he deserves so, so much more work than just a few guest stints on shows like “Hart of Dixie” and “The Good Wife.” Plus, who turns down the star quarterback? Especially one with a face that handsome? RANKING: NO. 5

RON LIVINGSTON: I have a soft spot for Ron Livingston, even though he played Berger, the emotionally weakest of Carrie’s boyfriends on “Sex and the City,” because of Office Space. Honestly, doesn’t everyone adore and sympathize with Peter Gibbons, so disaffected and disgruntled with corporate life? He’s a hero for us all, so even though Livingston is otherwise kind of a mystery for me (apparently he’s married to Rosemarie DeWitt from Rachel Getting Married and “United States of Tara,” that’s good to know), those Office Space credentials die hard. RANKING: NO. 6

BRIAN GERAGHTY: There are two ways you can recognize Brian Geraghty: Either from The Hurt Locker, in which he played the frustrated, resentful Specialist Owen Eldrige, or from “Law and Order,” on which he played a guy who has HIV and is knowingly infecting women with it. So no, he doesn’t always play the nicest dudes. But Geraghty has a likeable face and brings a good intensity to his work; he pushes his handsomeness aside to regularly play tortured, troubled characters. It’s a good mix. RANKING: NO. 7

JUSTIN LONG: Meh. I dunno, does anyone really find Justin Long attractive? He has a very expressive face and seems pleasant enough, but then I remember those annoying Apple commercials he used to star in, and how at the same time he seemed to be in every movie ever (in 2009, he appeared in 10 films), and his on-off relationship with Drew Barrymore was weird. So I really know nothing about the guy; nevertheless, he is amusing in low doses, and I can’t deny that his porno mustache in For a Good Time, Call … was pretty chuckle-worthy. Perhaps he’s capable of being a great boyfriend and I’m just overlooking it, so I’m ranking him on the lower end of the spectrum but not entirely at the bottom. RANKING: NO. 8

MAX MINGHELLA: Shrug. I’m not into Max Minghella, possibly because he seems like the son of too much pedigree (his father is Academy Award-winning director Anthony Minghella, of The English Patient) and I don’t think he’s that great of an actor. I’ve certainly liked films Minghella has been in — Syriana, The Social Network, The Ides of March — but I don’t think he’s been imperative to them. So I don’t find him openly offensive, but I’m not that jazzed about the guy, either. Maybe you would go on one date with him and he would change your mind? But, eh. RANKING: NO. 9

CONNOR PAOLO: OK, I can’t look at Connor Paolo without seeing Serena’s gay little brother from “Gossip Girl,” so I honestly can’t even take him seriously as dating material. But he is pretty adorable, and he’s grown into his looks, so I can’t fault him for that. He’s just … real young. RANKING: NO. 10

NICK ZANO: I can’t get behind the women Nick Zano has dated; Kristin Cavallari of “The Hills” and Kat Dennings, his co-star on “2 Broke Girls,” are not my cup of tea. But I guess Zano is kind of cute or something? Once you get past the aura of smugness. RANKING: NO. 11

AARON YOO: Look, I know next to nothing about Aaron Yoo. Zilch! All I’m aware of is that he’s appeared in two different subpar horror movie remakes, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. So, sorry bro. You’re dead last. RANKING: NO. 12