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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: learning to deal with Matthew McConaughey

Do this criticism thing long enough, and the unlikeliest things eventually happen. Who’da thunk, for instance, that there would be a Matthew McConaughey movie that I wouldn’t hate… even if I didn’t love him in it? From my review of Sahara:

Needless too say, I usually wanna be the guy in one of these things — they have way more fun — but if I’d been having this movie adventure in the place of Penelope Cruz as the beautiful-and-brainy blah blah blah, pretty much the only thing I’da done different is I’da kissed Steve Zahn instead of Matthew McConaughey. Because even though McConaughey didn’t skeeve me out like he usually does, Zahn is completely adorable and way more competent than the typical sidekick guy, plus he’s funny, which is even more necessary than cuteness. That’s the only thing wrong with Sahara: Steve Zahn deserves to get kissed, and he doesn’t. How much more amusing would the movie have been if it were the short and goofy Zahn that a bikini-wearing Cruz ended up cavorting on the beach with in the coda, rather than the tall and studly McConaughey? (Aw, c’mon, that ain’t spoiling anything: you knew the two beautiful leads would end up together. It’s that kind of movie.) Zahn should never have told McConaughey “I’ll find the bomb — you get the girl.” That’s how these things start.

review of Sahara, posted 04.08.05

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