Averting the End of the Affair

Colin, dear, come sit beside me and take this old woman’s hand. Yes, I know I’m only two years older than you, darling, but for the purposes of this conversation, I am a wise and wizened dame of a noble Southern tradition, and you must fix your dark eyes upon me, still and attentive, while we have a wee chat.

Not so many years ago, you launched into the collective consciousness, seemingly from the ether, with nothing to sustain your reputation for greatness. You, and your stories of debauchery and rebellion, were everywhere. Overexposure, thought I, thy name is Colin Farrell. For this, young lad, I unfairly dismissed you, hated you even. I was tired of you before I ever saw you in a film, and for this I apologize.

In Tigerland, you gave a hint of the talent that laid beneath your rather lovely skin, suggesting that the smoldering eyes were more than a mere aesthetic charm. A gateway, perhaps, to something real and raw. I began to reconsider my assessment. Then, there you were in Minority Report, a film for which I had no love at all, my pet, except for the opportunity it granted me to broaden my hopes for you that much more. You could hold your own against a certified star, and effortlessly upstage him. My heart opened a bit more with Phone Booth and The Recruit—not great films, but fun enough, and you were, I reluctantly admitted, captivating, even in films that did not aspire to greatness. Still, I was not wholly convinced, but then—then, Colin darling—was A Home at the End of the World. And you slayed me.

By the time the credits rolled over Bobby Morrow, you had reached through the screen and drawn me toward you, and I was perfectly content to never leave.

And that’s when everything started to go horribly, horribly wrong.

I watched you in the wreck that was Alexander, fighting to retain your dignity among its ruins, and you did an admirable job, but it was, in the end, a wretched failure. Well, everyone stumbles now and again, love. But you picked yourself up, dusted yourself off, rid your hair of its horrible brassiness, and careened headlong into another disaster. I’ve just spent two hours of my life that I shall never get back with the horrendous mess that is The New World, and though every scene worth watching had you at its center, your soulful eyes conveying precisely what they were meant to convey and probably more, it was, quite plainly, another dismal flop.

And you’re following it with Miami Vice. This, sweetness, will not, I fear, rekindle the waning embers of your fire.

Beyond that, I see Pride and Glory, a film about cops with a costar called Edward Norton, who shares the name of another once-great actor full of spectacular potential. Whatever happened to him? I’m not sure two lost souls can arise from the ashes of the Phoenix. You ought steer clear of has-beens.

Speaking of which, we must talk a moment about this Woody Allen project. Can Woody deliver both you and Ewan McGregor from your chains? There may be an audience who yearn to see Sonny Crockett and Obi-Wan Kenobi waxing neurotic, but I struggle to define the demographic.

And the pinnacle of the dreadful trifecta of upcoming projects—another Terrence Malick film. As if The New World weren’t bad enough alone, you’ve got to add another of his meandering, dialogue-starved filmsongs to your teetering résumé, co-starring with Mel Gibson, to boot. This is not what I had hoped for, dear.

I’m going to give you a few names, my love, and commit them to your mind. Jane Campion. Sam Mendes. Damien O’Donnell. Marc Forster. Stephen Daldry. They are directors who need you, and whom you need. Chuck your agent. Get a new one who will phone these directors and endeavor to restore your luster. You won me over once, darling, but even true love fades with inattention. I am longing for our love affair that began at the end of world. Take me back, Colin. Make this old heart flutter again.

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