I have to say, I’m a big fan of the above. Almost teetering on man crush territory. Or is it just talent-crush?
To many people he is Matthew Mahogany, just a rom-com dwelling piece of wood with good abs and an irritating drawl. Not to me. To me, he is one of the finest actors working in Hollywood today. But it could have been so different… (queue dreamlike flashback sequence if this was actually a movie).
It started so well for Matt. A bit of an iconic role in the legendary Dazed and Confused (1993) as David Wooderson, a guy who has already left high school but just can’t let go. He followed that up (we will skim over Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation!) with a quick fire double in 1996 of A Time To Kill and Lone Star. Both solidly good movies that carry 7+ ratings on IMDb. Roles in Amistad and Contact followed the next year and McConaughey was building a pretty impressive CV.
He team up with Dazed & Confused director Richard Linklater again in 1998 for the flop, The Newton Boys. A blip but heh, every actor has them. He followed that up with Edtv which unfortunately was superseded by the superior, but conceptually similar Truman Show. It is also worth noting that the poster for Edtv is the first in many ‘Matthew leaning against co-star’ posters. I’ll note which others there are in due course.
The Texan actor bought in the noughties with below par submarine drama U-571. So far, pretty good on the career overview front. And not a rom-com in sight. Yet.
2001, trouble on the horizon for our hero as he makes The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez. The first rom-com but not quite a ‘leany co-star’ poster. Either way, its bad. BUT! He swiftly follows that up, not with further rom-coms as you would expect, but with slightly mental thriller Frailty, and apocalyptic drama Reign of Fire. Neither are career highs, but they beat The Wedding Planner hands down.
Next came How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (2003, leany co-star poster) and the lean years continue with such efforts as Sahara, Two For The Money, Failure To Launch (leany co-star poster), Fools Gold, Surfer Dude (leany poster, this time with a tree) and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (leany co-star poster). Sandwiched in amongst this lot is a good cameo in Tropic Thunder.
But, here’s the thing. This is where I differ from most people. I LIKE THE LEAN PERIOD!!! There I said it. I like to hear Matt spewing out cheesy lines in that Texan drawl! And I like the Indiana Jones adventure rip-off’s. They are all enjoyable Sunday afternoon viewings. I know they are naff, and Matt is just taking the pay check, and he is far better than all that rom-com nonsense, but I still LIKE them!
Anyway, onwards and upwards. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past in 2009 was followed by a quiet two years where McConaughey seemed to vanish, perhaps to take stock. A once promising career seemingly in the rom-com gutter. AND THEN…
2011 to present day. A run of success which shows no signs of stopping. It started with a return to form in The Lincoln Lawyer and was followed up with a dark, twisted turn in Killer Joe and as a co-star in another Linklater movies, Bernie. The following year was just as good with The Paperboy (average movie, great performance), Magic Mike and Mud. Six great performances in two years! HE IS BACK! And he shows no signs of stopping, with Dallas Buyers Club and Scorcese’s Wolf of Wall Street coming to cinemas near you soon.
My wife thinks I’m strange in my love for McConaughey. She doesn’t get it, can’t see past the rom-com era. She looks at me funny when I say he is one of the best actors in Hollywood. I say embrace the man and his movies. And look forward to what he makes in the future, because he is on a roll!
As Ron Burgundy would attest, there is nothing like the smell of rich Mahogany!