The next time someone tries to convince me that Pitt is ‘a really great actor, actually’ I’ll just throw my eyes around the room in a casually-but-profoundly dramatic fashion before fixing them on the Fight Club fanboy – and it always is a Fight Club fanboy – and saying: “THERE you ARE!”
I don’t mean to be bitchy, but… Ab Pitt seems to have all the neuroses of a Marilyn Monroe about being thought a dumb blond, but little or none of the talent. It’s not the fact this Big Movie Star has done an ad like this at all, or even the bathetic horror of the script – par to the course in perfume ads – it’s the way he delivers this stinky stuff like it was a Shakespearean soliloquy. We’re laughing at it because we know it will hurt.
Though of course, we’re just jealous. I certainly am. Brad is being so earnest and romantico not because he’s addressing you or me or Angelina Jolie, but his reportedly $7M cheque for the 30 second spot – which I suspect the director has taped to the camera.
At the height of her fame method-actress Marilyn was paid only $100,000 plus 10% of profits for the feature-length classic movie: Some Like It Hot. And I rather doubt she received a fee at all for her own posthumous Chanel No.5 ad.
The real significance of Brad’s ad of course is that Pitt is the first man to advertise the woman’s fragrance Chanel No.5 – which hitherto has been plugged only by leading examples of the ‘fairer sex’. Leading man Brad has stepped into a role previously occupied by leading ladies.
This though is very familiar territory though for Brad. Often described as ‘the most beautiful man in the world’ – i.e. the most objectified – he did after all play both Achilles and Helen in the movie Troy. He has the abs that launched a thousand sit-ups. And this former model’s own movie career was launched by playing a toyboy picked up and ravished by an older Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise (1991), a movie which itself famously reversed the gender roles of the buddy road movie.
Pitt also played, you may remember, the highly, er, aesthetic leader of a bogus revolt against metrosexuality and consumerism in Fight Club.
Oh, and by the way. Pitt is 48 years old. Which makes him even older than me. But in the Chanel ad, even with his gray beard and (electronically altered?) gravelly voice, Dorian Pitt seems no older than about 27 – the same age he was when we first met him in Thelma & Louise. In fact, he looks like a 27-year-old with a stick-on beard pretending to be 48.
As he puts it himself:
“It’s not a journey. Every journey ends. But we go on.”
A survey released just before Brad’s Bad Marilyn moment appears to confirm the continuing, endless trend for men appropriating previously feminine preserves that has been going on since at least the 1990s, and which Pitt, whether he wants to or not, has often exemplified – and encouraged. “The world turns and we turn with it.”
The fashion and beauty spending poll (commissioned by online casino RoxyPalace.com) asked 1000 UK men and women how much they spent on clothes and cosmetic products. The findings showed, they said, that ‘men are fast catching up with women’.
Women average £2,462 p.a.; men £1,786 (£50 less a month than women).
Men and women in London are the most extravagant, and also the closest to one another in expenditure, with women spending c. £2,700 a year; men £2,350, £29 per month less than women.
Unsurprisingly, other metropolitan areas such as Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Liverpool also showed above-average rates of spending.
A man who took part in the survey says: ‘I can remember my dad’s cosmetic shelf consisted of a bar of soap and a bottle of Old Spice but I have a cabinet full of products.’
A woman says: ‘I have been shopping with my boyfriend before and on occasions he has been known to spend more than me on hair products. I don’t think men spending more money on clothes and cosmetics is a bad thing. It’s always attractive for someone to take pride on their appearance.’
Again, nothing very new here (and the quotes do sound a tad hackneyed). Just, further evidence that despite the recession the ‘trend’ of metrosexuality has hardened into an epoch – that nevertheless some are still in terrible denial about.
A spokesperson for RoxyPalace.com concluded:
‘It’s becoming increasingly acceptable for men to use cosmetic treatments. Even macho film stars are advertising skin cream, and whilst it would be difficult to imagine a world where guys spent more money on looking good than women do, but who knows where the age of metrosexuality will lead us?’
I imagine when he mentioned ‘macho film stars’ he had in mind Gerard Butler as the bearded face of L’Oreal, not Brad Pitt. But in regard to his last poser, it’s not entirely impossible that for younger people living in metropolitan areas, that world may have already been delivered by metrosexuality. Or very nearly.
These days, working out is often at least as important a way of ‘looking good’ for males as fashionable clothes and cosmetics – but isn’t covered in the survey. In fact, many men invest more heavily in their bodies than in their wardrobe – which tends to be rather skimpy…. And generally it seems men are more into working on their bodies to ‘look good’ than women are.
So if you were to factor in average spends on gym membership, fitness equipment, and particularly sports supplements such as creatine and protein drinks (a booming market), the gap between men and women’s average spend on ‘vanity’ might shrink again. Currently the gap between male and female spending on ‘looking good’ is reportedly only £29/month in London. That’s less than most monthly gym memberships.
£29 also happens to be about the price of a yearly subscription to the best-selling men’s magazine, Men’s Health. The November UK issue of which carries the results of another survey, this one studying MH readers’ favourite subject: themselves.
One of the questions asked readers who had their ideal body. The answers were:
Tom Hardy 42%.
Cristiano Ronaldo 32%.
David Beckham 26%.
Somewhere David Beckham is crying into his low-carb lunch. Interesting to note though that Brad Pitt doesn’t make the list at all, when once he would probably have dominated it – after all, Men’s Health has built a global empire out of modern man’s yen to have abs – and thus be worthy of love. And abs didn’t exist, remember, until Brad Pitt invented them in the 1990s.
Perhaps though Brad is relieved to be out of the running. Or maybe he’s relieved and heartbroken.
Tom Hardy, the Brit Brando with the voluptuous pecs and the pouty lips, seems to have won the hearts of Men’s Health readers. I don’t blame them. And I suspect Tom’ doesn’t either. Probably they were seduced by his body in Warrior and his motto in Inception: “Don’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling”. Actually, in a better world that would be the motto of Men’s Health magazine.
Interesting that a third would want a body like Ronaldo’s – despite Ronaldo’s official designation in the UK as Most Hated Footballer. It rather confirms my suspicion that us Brits are just jealous of him.
It does seem a little odd though that there are only three men in the whole world whose bodies Men’s Health readers want/aspire to – and nearly half of them want just one body in particular. (There’s no indication of whether they were given a multiple choice or just came up with the names themselves.)
Other findings include:
37% of MH readers spend 4-6 hours in the gym a week – while 30% spend more than six hours there.
46% want to improve their abs. 42% their upper body, and 12% lower body.
Chicken legs, in other words, are de rigeur with MH readers.
You know how everyone complains that the best bits of a movie are in the trailer these days? Well, in the case of the new super-hero blockbuster Captain America the ONLY bits are in the trailer.
But WHAT bits they are! At around c. 1.40 mins Chris Evans’ oiled bazookas burst out of the instant stud machine he’s been strapped into by the German-Jewish Frank-N-furter. Everyone’s jaw in the lab slaps the floor as the camera trolleys in for a worshipful close-up on those shiny, massive melons.
Injected with gallons of steroids and popped in the gimp microwave the skinny nerd’s buns have risen, transforming him, not into an ultimate fighting machine but into the ultimate Men’s Health cover model. And in just a few moments instead of the several months it usually takes everyone else using gear — or the seven days that Charles Atlas promised. Isn’t this every boy’s metrosexy dream come true?
So I eagerly coughed up £8 to see more of his super tits last night. But I was robbed. Turns out that this is the only time Evans’ gets his tits out in the whole movie. What a con! What a TEASE!
What’s more, this scene comes very early on in the film, and is its climax — in every way. Unfortunately, there’s another hour or two to go, in which our hero tediously battles the evil Nazi bad guy, fully-clothed — and wearing that daft helmet. Desperately trying to prove he’s not, as Tommy Lee Jones’ hard-bitten old Colonel character dismisses him after he has done one too many propaganda shows, a ‘chorus girl’.
But he so IS a chorus girl. No one went to see Captain America because they wanted to see him throwing his stupid bouncing dustbin lid around (has there ever been a more rubbish super-power? Or a camper one?) Male, female, gay, straight, young, old, animal and vegetable they ALL went to see his TITS.
And I’m not even mentioning the terrible script, total lack of any plot – or credibility – the completely lifeless direction, and the terrible acting (Evans’ body may have been injected with steroids but his face seems to have been injected with Novocaine). It is, after all, a super-hero movie.
Towards the end of this very long, very disappointing, very chaste movie date, Nick Fury played by Samuel L. Jackson in a dashing eye-patch, tells a defrosted Evans running around Times Square (finally levered into a nice tight t-shirt — but it’s much too little much too late): ‘You’ve been asleep for 70 years, Cap’n.’
‘YES!’ I felt like shouting at the screen in my local cinema, ‘AND SO HAVE WE!!’
I jest of course. The staff at Men’s Healthwish they looked like that.
Even if I’m sure quite a few of them dance like that — when the readers can’t see them (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell may be about to be repealed in the US Armed Forces, but not any time soon at Men’s Health publisher Rodale Inc.).
The topless, somewhat top-heavy chaps miming to Kylie in the vid are actually models from a gay porn outfit. The clip is called ‘A Tribute to Kylie’ – but should probably be called ‘A Tribute to My Tits’.
Then again, lots of things today should probably be called that, including Men’s Health, Strictly Come Dancing, and Mikey Sorrentino’s wannabe narcissists’ self-help book, Here’s the Situation.
Get outta their way!
Especially now that narcissism is officially no longer a mental illness. Earlier this month it was announced that the next edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, the bible of therapists and psychiatrists, would no longer include narcissism in its list of personality disorders.