My open letter to John Cusack, following viewing of Grace is Gone trailer:
I've just watched the trailer to your new drama, Grace is Gone, in which you play a father faced with dealing with the loss of a wife and delivering the news of her death to your daughters. Your intimate portrayal has already won you the accolades of critics, and I wouldn't be surprised if you see an Oscar nomination.
Please never take this kind of role again.
Since the mid-'80s, through films such as Better Off Dead..., Say Anything..., and the non-ellipsised High Fidelity, you have shown how the everyday, somewhat geeky man can still get the girl. When referring to the kind of guy one would like to be, the words "like a John Cusack role" have often been uttered by myself and others. You found the gray area between cool and geeky that we thrive for. This depressed dad role is really detracting from that ideal.
Don't get me wrong; I know you've taken many varied and challenging roles before, weaving delicately between genres, but they've never been such a convincing distraction from the John Cusack archetype until now. Seeing you in something like Con Air, I was still able to convince myself that it was not really John Cusack I was seeing, it's just John Cusack--or maybe even Lloyd Dobler himself--playing a role. Once the cameras were off, I was certain you were back to holding boomboxes over your head.
But with Grace is Gone, it appears you've created such a believable and depressing character that I'm forced, for once, to think maybe I don't want to be John Cusack. Maybe being John Cusack is a horribly morbid experience where your wife has died in Iraq. I hate that John Cusack.
In the future, please take exclusively romantic comedy roles, or at least portray your depressing characters less believably. Even if you have to break character, give us a wink to let us all know, "Hey, don't worry. It's just me, Lloyd Dobler, and I'll be right over with my Peter Gabriel tape."
Grace is Gone Trailer [Yahoo!]