Beautiful Loser: Ryan Gosling


Edited By Cody Palovich

Ryan is famous for many roles, but every time he is the biggest loser.

Cody Palovich, Editor-in-Chief

With only two months left of my senior year, I decided I was going to write something I typically don’t write about. I was watching La La Land starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and it got me thinking, and actually had me texting co-host Zach Kalis. Ryan Gosling shines in the typical ‘main character that loses’ role. Or he plays the ‘main character is kind of a loser’ role. Which had me questioning: why is the most attractive man according to Hollywood, and maybe the entire world, flourishing in these roles. So I started my journey to rank every ‘loser’ character trait in Ryan Gosling movies. While I rank these movies, keep in mind I am ranking them based on the character Ryan Gosling plays, not based on his performance. 

5) The Notebook – Now I know what the consensus is, ‘It’s a sweet love story about a persistent guy.’ I know. But let’s say that it wasn’t a movie, and the girl didn’t just change her mind like the weather. He was a guy obsessed with a girl who doesn’t want him back. The obsession was over a summer fling. Gosling’s character was just a guy who over-romanticized. The role reeks of loser if you take out the ending. 

4) The Place Beyond The Pines – Gosling’s role in this movie wasn’t as big as expected. He ends up dying pretty early in the movie. He does have a loving family, but he is a penniless motorcycle driver with dyed blonde hair and face tattoos. He eventually robs a bank which leads to his death. Yes, the movie may not be about Gosling’s character, but he is in it enough to warrant a ‘main character’ tag. 

3) La La Land – Gosling plays the loser role until he plays the guy who isn’t a loser. But it doesn’t matter because, towards the end of the film, he loses. He is a guy who moves to Los Angeles that swears he will start a successful jazz club. He falls in love and towards the middle of the movie he joins a band that takes jazz music and twists it to pop. His love interest, Mia (Emma Stone), calls him out for being a sell-out, but despite that he helps her get a major role in a movie. He quits the band and makes a pretty popular jazz club, but he loses no longer has love from Mia. Sounds like losing to me

2) The Nice Guys – If you have seen this movie, you would know why this is ranked number two. To start the listing off, the movie even starts out with Jackson Healey (Russel Crowe) sending him to the hospital. For the duration of the movie his own daughter, Holly (Angourie Rice), makes numerous disses at him. He’s an independent detective and everyone tells him throughout the movie how he is not good at detective work. Towards the end of the movie, the girl Gosling’s character is trying to protect ends up dying, but he redeems himself and releases a movie to the public exposing the antagonist. 

1) BladeRunner 2049 – Epitome of the loser role, Gosling really sells his performance. He is a replicant Blade Runner and he gets a lot of passive-aggressive comments for it. His wife is a holographic clone that anyone can buy and customize and his apartment in the future is extremely lackluster. (Spoiler Alert) The entire movie sets him up to be this prodigy of a replicant, who was the first replicant that was born from another replicant. Officer Deckard (Harrison Ford) and the replicant Rachel (Sean Young) are the parents of the replicant child. The bombshell hits, and he realizes he has been fighting to find out that the replicant-born child was not him, and the story really has nothing to do with him. He takes on both the loser and the guy who loses in this film

Ryan Gosling’s performances in all of these films were pretty flawless. There have been a few of Gosling’s films that either don’t fit in this pattern, or I haven’t seen. When you see this kind of performance from Gosling, it makes the film hit close to home. You start to see yourself in his shoes and relate to his character. In most movies that you watch, the main character wins. So when you finally see a good-looking main character lose over and over again, it makes you feel better about yourself.