Here is an outstanding example of masterful acting for education purposes from the mainstream Hollywood feature film “Up In The Air”. This scene features the typical and all-too-predictable confrontation by a western female on the subject of a man completely opting out of signing a marriage contract (or desire to have children) when navigating today’s social and legal climate.
The female dialogue flows in regular and predictable fashion. As the younger female pretends to know better* while grasping with a scowl and furrowed eyebrows, the middle-aged male character maintains a SMILE on this face. This is a money shot every MGHOW can appreciate. Her character clearly had a little too much Walt Disney during early development. It’s almost believable.
The female carries on as if she knows* there is something tragically skewed and wrong with him – even though the male character has +/-25 years more life experience. It’s clear his character has already spent the necessary time to educate and inform himself on the subject and is SO WELL PREPARED, that he even challenged her to “sell it to him”. Displaying amused mastery and absolute confidence that he is bullet-proof to her machine-gun rapid fire, his most potent defense is his smile.
(Women are unstoppably attracted to “confidence”. Except when you’re right.)
She grasps at every last sales pitch she can think of to try and convince him he should be interested in signing a marriage contract against his own will and better judgement – including the favorite “how about just not dying alone”.
• “How about love” (yeah how about it »)
• “How about somebody to talk to”
• “Somebody (anybody?) to spend the rest of your life with”
• “How about JUST not dying alone”
Aim higher, sweetie. If those are the BEST reasons she (and the writers) can think of, that marriage will be a disaster. But at least the audience knows exactly why the writers had her boyfriend leave her.
Sign a marriage contract JUST for those last few minutes? If you know don’t know the answer, “just” shackle yourself to an aging, nagging little combative brat like her for a few decades, and hope she is in the same room with you when you drop. In her mind, you should consider yourself fortunate that she would stand over you and say “I told you not to eat all that bacon.” Then you die. If you’re lucky, she might say something kind which she never said in the last 40 years. But as your life flashes before you, you remember every time she withheld sex until you fixed the bathroom tiles.
We must also remind ourselves that the casting of Hollywood leading man George Clooney is purely coincidental in this case and is in no way a reflection of his personal stance on the subject. He is, after all, an “actor”, and it’s all make believe and should not be held up as and example of his personal lifestyle choice. He must be regarded as a mere puppet, with zero agency or endorsement of such a belief system. Any other men sharing exactly the same views should make up their own minds and separate fact from fiction as effectively as Mr. Clooney can.
Back in 2001, Hollywood leading ladies Michelle Pfeiffer and Nicole Kidman once bet Mr. Clooney $10,000 he would be married by his 40th birthday. When Mr. Clooney actually turned 40, he challenged them to “double or nothing for another 10 years”. In spite of this, we must insist that no a~~ociation can be made to Mr. Clooney’s personal stance on the matter. No type-casting here.
In the way that one can examine a clip from an Indiana Jones film and compare it to real-life archeology, or a James Bond film and compare it to what actually goes on the spy world… here we have a conversation which happens daily in everyday life – almost verbatim – while beautifully illustrating female frustration and confusion with such a viewpoint, regardless of how sensible, well thought out and educated it may be.
When she realizes she has ultimately lost this intellectual confrontation and her shaming attempts all failed miserably, the poor young lady immediately turns on the waterworks as easily as flicking a switch. While George’s character appears to be genuinely concerned for her well being and begins to console her (great acting there), the audience is led to believe that her breakdown is genuine. Clooney’s character even goes as far as to say “oh f~~~” and accepts personal responsibility for something he believes HE did, because donkeys will fly before an on-screen female character will ever admit: “I’m sorry. You’re right. And you make perfect sense. I was totally out of line and should have just shut my cakehole.” This is an attempt to absolve the female of any wrong doing (suggesting the Man made a mess of the situation) when in actual fact, she started it in all her supreme arrogance.
Familiar? You betcha.
The moment is saved by the all-knowing older female who arrives at the uncomfortable scene and suggests the poor girl has a drink. The sniveling child immediately snaps out of her hissy fit, instantly adjusting herself (and her tone of voice) revealing her emotional overreaction to the very confrontation she started was nothing more than an infantile deflection and emotionally-manipulative stunt.
The moral of the story? At least 50% of female tears, hurt “feeeeewings” and drama can be avoided if women just shut the f~~~ up and stop behaving like confrontational little b~~~~es. Plus, Nicole Kidman and Michelle Pfeiffer wouldn’t have lost $10,000.
Fascinating. To say the least.
And beautifully played, George.