Fun is in how you tell story, actor says
When it comes to dissecting the romantic comedy genre, Matthew McConaughey is no fool.
The 38-year-old actor has become something of a rom-com mainstay, logging three entries into the genre in the past seven years.
Now he can add his fourth with Fool’s Gold, in which he reunites with his How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days co-star Kate Hudson.
While other actors steer clear of the romantic comedy, McConaughey has embraced the genre wholeheartedly.
The key to that embrace, he says, is to keep their purpose in perspective.
“They’re designed to be light, not really lightweight, but light,” he says. “You go too deep in these and you sink the boat.”
In the film, McConaughey’s wild-eyed character Finn is in the midst of a long pursuit of a cache of undersea Spanish treasure, which has ruined his marriage to Tess (Hudson).
Just as their marriage is about to be officially nullified, Finn thinks he’s found the trove and races to convince Tess their marriage and his dreams of fortune are worth salvaging.
She reluctantly agrees to help him continue the search while he manages to convince her boss, the billionaire Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland), the hunt is worth financing.
The problem is, Finn faces stiff competition to find the loot from his former mentor Moe Fitch (Beowulf’s Ray Winstone) and a wealthy rapper named Bigg Bunny (Epic Movie’s Kevin Hart), to whom the treasure hunter owes thousands of dollars.
Some of the conventions in this plot may sound familiar and McConaughey is the first to acknowledge that fact. That’s the point, he explains — the romantic comedy is supposed to be predictable.
“You know basically in the romantic comedy genre you’re going to have a battle of the sexes or you’re going to start off with two people separated, they’re going to come together, then split up one more time because at the end the guy’s got to get on some sort of vehicle, either his own two feet, a motorcycle, a moped, a taxi or a boat and chase the girl down and get her by the end,” the 2005 People Magazine Sexiest Man Alive says.
The fun, he points out, is in how the story unfolds, hopefully with a few unpredictable twists.
But from his first foray into romantic comedy in 2001’s The Wedding Planner, McConaughey was dissatisfied with the idea of playing the guy who is merely the butt of the joke. He found that premise unbelievable and boring, opting for a different approach.
“I’m the guy who makes decisions and goes after the girl, but is maybe misinformed or goes in the wrong direction, and then you need to laugh or get comedy out of me trying to handle the situation that turned out other than I expected.”
You may have seen it all before, but as McConaughey would argue, sometimes you need to give the people what they want.
Fool’s Gold opens in theatres today.