It’s true. Life is hard. Every day we are beset by obstacles. Most we handle simply and move on, but others are more intractable. These give us fits and make us miserable. Yet, the George Clooneys of this world don’t seem to have any problems at all. For these people, life is effortless. They laugh in the face of difficulty. They toss aside life’s little problems without stirring a hair on their perfectly quaffed noggins and then they return to their cocktail parties or their pick-up basketball games with Nicholson. Sure, that must be swell for them, but what can we learn about life from people like Clooney?
Remember that even for George, things were not always so sweet. He once toiled away as a secondary character in the waning seasons of The Facts of Life. Imagine being second banana to Tootie, Jo and the girls on the bastard spawn of a Gary Coleman sitcom. Even in its prime, Facts was of dubious entertainment and cultural value, existing as it did in the same creative continuum as Hello, Larry and Silver Spoons. Lesser mortals would’ve been humbled, beaten down by the experience, likely to end up as IMDB obscurities (just ask Jimmy Baio). Sure, Molly Ringwald got out early and managed to rise above it for a while, but fame was fleeting even for the girl from Sixteen Candles. Yes, Ringwald would eventually fall back to earth, but not Clooney. No, Clooney parlayed his role as handyman George Burnett into that of Unquestioned International Superstar. That’s right, Clooney is a cool customer. In fact, right now he’s probably relaxing on the patio of his stunning villa on Lake Como, drinking a Manhattan and chatting up Brad or Julia or Oprah. Yes indeed, Clooney makes it all look easy.
Of course, we can’t all be George Clooney, so what is a regular mortal to do? The trick it turns out is this: if you can’t be Geroge Clooney then you’ve got to live like George Clooney. When you’re faced with an unsolvable problem you just have to ask yourself “What would Clooney do?” If you can answer that one simple question, all of life’s myriad problems can be resolved. Lucky for you, WWCD is here to help. Here’s our first letter:
I’ve been dating this girl for six months now. I’ll call her Molly. She’s pretty, she’s smart, she’s got a good sense of humor and she’s fantastic in bed. It sounds like a cliché but Molly really seemed to have it all and I was beginning to think that she might be “the one”. Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago we were just sitting on the couch talking and she dropped a bomb on me that changed everything and made me wonder exactly who I’d been dating for the last 6 months:
Her favorite movie is Titanic.
I was dumbfounded. I felt like the carpet had been suddenly yanked from underneath my feet. Miss Perfect has absolutely zero taste in movies! I didn’t know what to say. Hoping against hope I asked her if she meant the one from 1953, directed by Jean Negulesco, starring Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck, but she just kind of looked at me like I’d asked her if I could stick my tongue in her sister. Then I asked if she was sure, like maybe I could get some kind of second opinion, but no, she was sure and by this time she was pouting. I backpedaled a little and put my arm around her. I told myself that maybe it was just a girlhood dalliance, a youthful fling. Surely now that she was an adult with a fully formed adult brain, this smart, hot, funny, super hot, sweet, obscenely smoking hot perfect woman had grown out of it, right? RIGHT?!
I comforted her and I kissed her on the cheek and I told her that I hadn’t seen it in like 10 years and that maybe I’d like it better now watching it with her. Molly perked up a little at this so I suggested we rent it and have a nice dinner and watch it together. We’d make a special night of it, just the two of us. Of course, deep down, I was sickened at the thought. I was really hoping she’d watch the movie again and finally see it for the quivering cinematic turd that it really is, but when she brightened up and looked at me with those big, beautiful, sexy brown eyes and explained we didn’t have to rent it because she had the collector’s edition at home…well I died a little inside. I knew I was fucked.
I went through with it of course, praying that maybe she’d see the light. Frankly, most of it was a blur. I think I might have dozed off, or maybe that was just part of my soul dying and leaving my body, I don’t even know. I started getting a little interested when Kate Winslet took her clothes off, but even that scene felt hollow and pointless and as soon as it was over I slipped back into some kind of protective cinematic coma. The part where the ship finally and mercifully sank was pretty good I admit, but how long did it take to get there? In the interminable hours before that, well, pretty much every time a character would open their mouths and speak, it was like being waterboarded. Sweet Jesus, who in hell ever taught Cameron to use a word processor? Koko the sign language gorilla?
Anyway, when the end credits finally rolled with that nausea inducing song by Celine Dion (talk about kicking a guy in the crotch when he’s down), I looked over at Molly and she was sobbing like an ice cream truck had just clobbered her cat. She’d loved each and every one of the 195 spirit crushing minutes of the thing for probably the 100th time. Of course, I pretended to like it, but I could barely even look at her the rest of the night. I felt worse than the time I was 6 years old and I found out there was no Santa Claus when I walked in on Mr. Calhoun from across the street, still half dressed as St. Nick, sticking it to my mom one Christmas Eve when dad was away on business. I was destroyed.
Should I just get used to it? Should I try to cure her? Should I let her go? Please help WWCD. What would Clooney do?
A Titanic Problem
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Wow, a night to remember indeed. Seriously though, you didn’t find out what Molly’s favorite movie was until six months into the relationship? Come on! That’s a standard-issue first-date question. Anyway, it’s too late for that now. Clooney does not cry over spilt milk. The question is what to do about it.
Sure, you could swallow a lifetime of finely tuned cinematic aesthetics and just give in because she’s a great girl in all other respects, but is that what Clooney would do? Hell no. Clooney does not give in. He’s Clooney for chrissakes. Besides, imagine the monthly ritual of sitting down to watch Titanic with your girlfriend who now assumes you like it as much as she does. Also, what would your friends say when you move in together and Titanic is proudly displayed on your DVD shelf right next to Seven Samurai and Dr. Strangelove? Even worse, what if one day you and Molly get married and have kids? They could end up Titanic lovers too. You’d not only be hurting yourself, you’d be doing a disservice to all of mankind. Do you want that blood on your hands? No way. Clooney sure doesn’t and neither do you. Plus, if we ever realize our dream of ruling the world, you could conceivably be arrested and charged with crimes against humanity, but that’s another issue. Back to the matter at hand.
Your second option is to try and cure her through some kind of intervention. You know, invite all her friends and family over to confront her and tell her you know she has a problem and that you love her and support her and that if she tries really hard, she can work it through and one day rejoin normal society, happier and more healthy than she ever imagined she could be. She might even listen, but the problem is Titanic might just be a symptom of a much larger problem.
Clooney knows a simple toothache could mean the whole molar is rotten to the core. His clear choice would be to yank the tooth as quickly and painlessly as possible. In other words, you’re going to have to get rid of the girl. Alas, this presents a second problem: if Molly likes Titanic, she might be the clingy, hard to get rid of type. We can just picture her holding fast to your lifeless, blue-lipped body like some kind of deranged human limpet as you sink below the icy waves for the last time. Frankly it kind of makes our flesh crawl. No, in this case, the old “Honey it’s not you it’s me and I just don’t know what I want right now and I think maybe we shouldn’t see each other for a while” routine isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to have to make a clean and decisive break, but how?
You could kill her of course. A pillow held tightly over her nose and mouth would do the trick as long as you remember to keep holding the pillow until she absolutely stops twitching. It should be noted however, that we here at WWCD don’t advocate homicide in any but the most extreme of circumstances. For example, if she was a huge fan of Nancy Meyers we might consider more dramatic measures, but we’re afraid in this case you’re just going to have to do something a little more old fashioned.
So back to the question: what would Clooney do? It’s simple really. He’d have one of his publicists start a tabloid rumor that he’s dating Pamela Anderson. From that day forward, any woman would realize that to have sex with a man who is having sex with Pamela Anderson would be the same thing as having sex with the thousands of filthy whores who’ve have ever had sex with Tommy Lee and Kid Rock and heaven knows who all else. You’d practically be a leper and freedom would be yours. Voila!
Of course, in the unlikely event that the rumor isn’t enough, Clooney would probably also have the locks and security code to his swank villa on Lake Como changed. If you don’t live on some sort of compound, you’re probably just going to want to move to a whole different neighborhood. Also, you might have to find a whole new group of friends so make sure you get all your CDs back first.
There might be a few other small details to iron out, but as far as we’re concerned, another problem solved!
Thanks for writing, good luck and just remember: Next time ask about your potential girlfriend’s favorite movies right away. If she says some crapass Meg Ryan monstrosity like French Kiss or something, you can simply ask the waiter for the check, slip the girl some cab fare, call it a night and save yourself a whole world of heartache.
Disclaimer: While we do admit to a certain irrational, but entirely heterosexual man-crush on George Clooney, the writers, editors and crack team of psychologists responsible for WWCD do not wish to imply any real-world connection to Mr. Clooney nor that we have received his blessing in the creation or maintenance of this column. If Mr. Clooney is actually reading this…well first of all: Hey George, what’s up?…but also, please don’t sue us. Further, we define the term “crack team of psychologists” to mean the guy next door, any of various species of poo throwing monkeys, your mom, or in fact anyone with a couch and a notepad – anyone that is, except for actual psychologists, crack or otherwise.