The Boyfriend of the Week

January 18, 2005

Hey, all! Before we get started on the first write-up for 2005 (which is very late, sorry), I thought it might be nice to have a quick moment of silence in honor of the passage of Jerry Orbach, who died on December 28th after a ten-year battle with prostate cancer. I've been a huge fan of Jerry's for years and years -- ever since he played Baby's kick-ass father in "Dirty Dancing," and it just kills me that I didn't get around to featuring him on the site before it was too late. He was a great, kind, and talented man, and his death is a huge loss for all of us. It's also made me realize I may not have as much time with some of my old favorites as I think I do. So, you can expect to see a string of old guys on the site in the next couple of months. I'm sick of moments-of-silence and regret. Carpe Boyfriend! And Jerry, wherever you are, stay cool, you heartbreaker, you.

Now, let's get back to work! I hope you all had a lovely holiday season and are all geared up for 2005, which at the very least shouldn't be as hellish as last year, if only because it won't involve forty-thousand presidential campaign support phone calls every evening between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m. It's already started out pretty well for me -- the phone pretty much hasn't rung since January rolled around (hurrah!) -- and we've definitely got a VERY nice face on the web site to kick the whole thing here off. Those of you who subscribe to the email list already knew I was planning to feature Gerard Butler this week, so you aren't all giddy and surprised or anything. But I did leave out some important information when I made that notification -- namely that I don't know ANYTHING about Gerard Butler whatsoever.

See, a funny thing happened on the way to the video store. . .

Well, no, that's not actually true. What happened was this: about 87 gazillion readers have been emailing me over the last few months to try to get me to check out Gerard Butler. After all, they said, he's got everything I could want in a Boyfriend: talent, an accent, and extremely unruly hair! Plus, the movie they were all recommending was a sci-fi one called "Timeline" based on a novel by Michael Crichton, an author I really liked six weeks ago, before I learned of his ridiculous theories about global warming. (A rant for another day, and don't make me go all “a priori” on your ass in the meantime because I'll do it. I WILL DO IT.)

So, anyway, I finally got a copy of "Timeline" and plopped it into my DVD player and was instantly hooked. Not just on the story, which is good old-fashioned cheesy sci-fi fun, or on the fact that total cutie ex-Boyfriend Ethan Embry was in it and playing a geek no less, but also on that extremely cute archaeologist guy with the Scottish accent and the incredibly messy hair and beard. Boy, was he ever cute. In fact, wow, is he ever CUTE.

In fact, holy CRAP, he is CUTE!!

I was in love immediately, which I'm sure you all knew would happen, which is why you were relentless in your campaign to enlighten me. And for this, I have only one thing to say: how totally freaky cool is it that all you guys KNOW me so well? Answer: very totally freaky cool.

The moment the movie was done, I promptly went to the computer and put several more Gerard movies in my queue at Netflix. Then I sat back and waited for the disks to roll in.

And it was that waiting period wherein lay the problem. Because by the time those disks started to show up, I was in the throes of holiday planning, holiday shopping, holiday cleaning, holiday stressing, holiday complaining, holiday songs stuck in my head-ing, holiday songs stuck in my head making me crazy-ing, and holiday songs swearing off of listening to ever again-ing. Oh yes, and let's not forget the holiday eating, which is the one part of the whole holiday-ing thing I'm actually miss-ing when it's all over-ing. Confession: I actually really really like fruitcake.

What does this have to do with Gerard Butler? Well, the problem was that once the holiday hoopla began, I couldn't concentrate on anything for more than about thirty seconds at a time. So, I kept popping Gerard movies into the DVD player, sitting down to start watching them, and then suddenly remembering I had fifty things I had to get done that day or else I'd never get ANYTHING done in time for Christmas. It was like, well, do any of you have cats? You know how sometimes your cat is just sitting there all quiet and passive and snoozy and then all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, she leaps up and races out of the room? Like, she was juuuuust starting to relax when suddenly she realized, "Oh my god! I have to be in the bedroom RIGHT NOW!!" That was me the couple of weeks before Christmas. And thus, I have seen the opening credits of no fewer than 4 additional Gerard Butler movies, and well, absolutely nothing beyond that point.

But let's not let that stop me. Here, briefly, are my reviews of the four films which, briefly, I only saw briefly.

1. MRS. BROWN (1997). Opening credits: kind of lovely, really, with nice swooping letters and classical music. Soothing. Very soooooooth. . . Holy CRAP, I forgot to buy stamps for the Christmas cards!!

2. DRACULA 2000 (2000). Opening credits: gothic, cheesy, kind of unoriginal. Not crazy about the font either, to be hon. . . oh HELL! I forgot to buy more wrapping paper! I'll never get this presents ready in time to be mailed if I don't get more wrapping paper!!

3. ATTILA (2001). Opening credits: actually, I found the opening credits kind of intriguing. Action! Upswoop! Creativity! And I also like the colors of the. . .bloody HECKFIRE! I forgot to buy flour! And I have to make ten million Christmas cookies by Thursday!!

4. THE JURY (2002). Opening credits: I didn't actually see the opening credits of this one (a miniseries) because the opening song was so indicative of slow-paced, thoughty British mystery that I started to doze off the moment the first bar was played. Snapped out of it thirty seconds later, just in time to see a kid get hacked to pieces by a sword. I'll definitely try this one again later, by the way, because it's supposed to be very good and I like courtroom dramas. However, I just can't do slow-paced, thoughty British mystery when I'm stressed. Heck, I can't even do fast-paced, stupid American mystery when I'm stressed.

Now, before we go any further, I feel I should probably note for the record that I just made all of that stuff up. Did you really think I'd remember the opening CREDITS of all those movies? What kind of dork do you take me for, people?

After the holidays were finally over and it was time to get back to working on the site, I realized I had little to go with for Gerard and desperately opened up his IMDB page to try to find something more substantive to talk about. Thankfully, it turned up the fact that I HAD actually seen Gerard in something else -- a movie called "Harrison's Flowers," which I've previously watched for David Strathairn and Adrien Brody research but in which Gerard Butler also appears (as a photographer). It's a pretty decent film once you get to the middle -- the beginning and end are schlocky, but the war stuff is pretty intense and I really liked a couple of the characters. The problem with citing this as Gerard research, though, is that I don't remember him being in it AT ALL. Probably due to the fact that Adrien Brody was there with a camera around his neck, and I'm sorry, despite the fact he's gone from an Academy Award to Diet Coke commercials in only two years, I still get all woozy when I see his bendy nose. Make him a photographer on top of that, and you're lucky I even know what this movie is ABOUT.

Okay, so, quick(ish) bio time. Gerard Butler was born in Glasgow, Scotland on November 13, 1969 (making him roughly the same age as my husband, incidentally -- 1969 was a good year for hotties with dark, curly hair). He was raised, along with an older brother and sister, by his two parents Margaret and Edward, and the family lived in both Paisley, Scotland and Canada for a time. When his parents divorced while Butler was still a young boy, all three kids went to live with their mother, who later remarried. Due to the less-than-amicable nature of his parents' relationship, Gerard really had no contact with his father until he was about 16 years old. At that time, they sought each other out and quickly became close, remaining so until Edward's death when Gerard was in his early 20's.

After high school, Gerard went on to study at Glasgow University, eventually ending up in law school, of all things. His acting career began in a coffee shop in London, however, when he was approached by an actor named Steven Berkoff who wanted to offer him a part in a play. Gerard was quickly hit by the bug, and he dropped out of school soon thereafter and began to pursue a serious career on stage.

In 1997, he landed his first role in a film, playing Billy Connolly's younger brother in the movie "Mrs. Brown." His movie career continued with a small role in the Bond flick "Tomorrow Never Dies," but it wasn't until 2000, when he was cast in the title role of the USA movie "Attila," that he finally broke through. Pretty soon he was starring in Wes Craven's new movie "Dracula 2000" and being talked about as a potential successor to Pierce Brosnan as James Bond himself.

Since then, he's appeared in a number of movies, including "Reign of Fire" with Matthew McConaughey, and "Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life" with Angelina Jolie. At the moment, of course, you can see him starring in film version of "The Phantom of the Opera," which is getting pretty mixed reviews, but which will at least be worth a rental, I'm sure.

Upcoming projects include a small part in "The Game of Their Lives," a movie about the 1950 US soccer team, and the starring role in "Beowulf & Grendel" in 2005 (and for those of you who never read the famous story that movie is based on, it's a medieval adventure about a Norse warrior who kicks some serious troll ass). Could be great! Could be really, really awful. Alas, only time will tell.

Finally, in 2006, Gerard is slated to star as Robert Burns in a biopic titled "Burns," focusing on the famous poet's relationship with his true love, Jean Armour (played by Julia Stiles, who seems much too young for Gerard -- they really should think about replacing her with me instead). What's interesting to me about this is two-fold. First, one of the three poems I have memorized is a poem by Robert Burns -- uncanny coincidence. Second, my high school best friend's mother used to throw a party every year on Burns's birthday, actually making haggis every single time and serving it to all her guests and friends. This is interesting only because I always think it's interesting when people eat horrible, disgusting things that I would never eat. Why do you think I keep tuning into "Survivor" every season?

Anyway, so that there stuff above this point is all I really know about Gerard Butler. He was entertaining in “Timeline,” has an accent, and has tremendously unruly hair. In short, since ignorance is bliss and so is, I would argue, unruly hair, this combination pretty much makes Gerard the greatest Unknown Boyfriend since Secret Agent Jack. In fact, the man is really a mystery. An enigma. Wrapped in a riddle. Wrapped in the opening credits of four movies. Wrapped in a. . .DANG! Wrapping! Wrapping paper! I still haven't gotten the WRAPPING PAPER!

Only 341 more shopping days until Christmas!

MacGyver Factor Score: 99.129%. The thing is, if you don't know anything about a Boyfriend, how can you deduct any points from his score? They all start out perfect -- it's the knowledge that slowly starts chipping away at them. And thus, the wicked super high score for Gerard. Well, thus and this: my GOD I love that hair. Woo!

Boyfriend-Related Links

Gerard's IMDB Page
Gerard Butler On-Line
The Official "Phantom" movie web site

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