Prior to beginning our interrogation of the American culture through the oeuvre of Ms. Jennifer Lopez (and prior to the existence of this website), we did a season on the films of Matthew McConaughey.
Here’s what we watched:
- A Time to Kill
- The Wedding Planner
- Reign of Fire
- How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
- Dallas Buyers Club
- The Gentlemen
- Dazed and Confused
Each episode is, of course, a masterwork of insight, humor and rigorous Marxist analysis – as is our wont. You may especially enjoy our discussion of the turgid adventure flick ‘Sahara’:
What did we discover about Mr. McConaughey? Tough question! We went into the season thinking “That guy has made a bunch of movies, some of them pretty good” and emerged still basically thinking that. He’s got more range and talent as an actor than maybe you’d give him credit for, though his forte is really dramatic roles. The dude’s made his share of rom-coms and action movies, many of them beloved, but few of them particularly good.
Mostly we came away seeing McConaughey as particularly and emphatically American. In most of his roles he exudes confidence – brisk, self-assured, silver-tongued – even when it’s unearned. He’s frequently shirtless, and has perfected the fine art of being sexy but non-threatening. “Hey, baby, let me push that strand of hair back from your forehead.”
Programming note: Alert readers will spot not ten, but eleven movies in that list. We agreed early on that ‘Dazed & Confused’ was not properly a McConaughey film, as his role is quite minor. But despite that movie being 27 years old, people still associate him so strongly with it (“All right, all right, all right”). It was far and away the movie people asked us about, so we decided to discuss his role in our end-of-season wrap-up episode. Honestly, it’s not like we have so many fans we can afford to ignore any of them.