Friday, November 13, 2009

Of Keanus and Carys

Cary Elwes took a wrong turn. Where and when it happened, I really couldn’t tell you. But as good-looking as he was in 1993, you'd think he'd be a bigger star now. If success in Hollywood were based solely on talent, then I’d say that Elwes has had a career relative to his acting ability—he isn’t a spectacular actor but he’s far from horrible and as a result he’s been able to work on a fairly consistent basis over the years. But that really isn’t the way Hollywood operates, is it? Generally, the more attractive you are, the more roles you get, the more roles you get, the more famous you become.

Cary Elwes is the quintessential example of a glitch in this system.

cary elwes 2
Keanu Reeves is what we get when the system is working perfectly.

I’ll start off by confessing that Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a personal favorite and Keanu Reeves is, admittedly, great in it. But his subsequent work has showed us that he is, if not a one-note actor, no more than a two-note actor. If Hollywood stardom were predicated on talent then Keanu Reeves’s career would have petered out in the early nineties. But for some reason, it seems, everyone is able to forgive him his lack of ability. His star will shine in perpetuity, and to be honest, I really don’t have a problem with that. So maybe it’s my ambivalence and not his handsomeness that’s been keeping him afloat all these years. I don’t know.

I still wish I could figure out what went wrong with Cary Elwes, though. In my Da Vinci Codesque quest to unlock the mystery, 1992 continues to present itself as the key. This was, of course, the year that Keanu Reeves and Cary Elwes co-starred in the film Dracula. Here we have two good-looking men, one gives what is arguably the worst performance in movie history, but comes out the other side a mega star, and the other gives an unmemorable performance and goes on to have a middling sort of career. If I ever hope to understand how Hollywood really functions, I think I’ll need to watch Dracula a few more times.

gnihtyreve ot yek eht si alucard


Princess Geek said...

OMG I love Cary Elwes. *swoon* When I was little I wanted Westley to come and save me. =D
The Princess Bride is my second favouite film ever, after The Labyrinth.

RenRexx said...

Beeth Oven.

Brianne said...

Maybe it's cause fantasy/period actors sometimes get kinda stuck there? Think Orlando Bloom.
Anyway, what are Cary's most memorable roles... Robin Hood and Westley..?

nikki said...

Loved Elwes in Men in Tights and Princess Bride. Not so much in anything else. Did see him in this horrible B movie with Alicia Silverstone (is that her name/??) once. Gah! Terrible.

Wasn't Elwes in the first Saw?