This issue’s column is brought to you by the letter J and my inability to effectively narrow down a list of Hollywood hotties. It’s our Valentine’s Day issue, so we’re supposed to be all gushy, chatting about loooove and whatnot, right? Well, I’m going to discuss lust instead. (For the past two years, I’ve talked about rom-com clichés—click here and here—but I decided to tackle something similar next issue instead, in our bridal guide, so be on the lookout for my favorite wedding movies, coming soon!)
Anyway, I’ve noticed that the majority of my favorite famous guys have names that start with J. So allow me to introduce my boyfriends, four actors and a musician: Jake, James, John, Joseph, and Justin.
I think I’ve made my affection for JakeyG rather abundant in previous columns: When I reviewed his performance in “Nightcrawler” or when I talked about how his recent movies have positioned him at the top of my current favorite actors. I think what I admire most about him, good looks aside, is the way he chooses his roles and throws himself into them whole-heartedly. His back-to-back preparation for “Nightcrawler” and “Southpaw” (slimming way down to beefing way up) was insanely impressive. And while I’ve been a fan since his days as an ice age survivor, I think he’s doing an amazing job of making us all pay attention to precisely how he’s claimed his spot at the top of the A list.
In my last batch of mini movie reviews, I joked that I could listen to James do a dramatic reading of an encyclopedia—I wasn’t really joking. I didn’t discover James until 2007’s “Atonement.” (Technically I saw him in 2005 as Mr. Tumnus in Narnia, but as I didn’t know who he was yet, I didn’t recognize him until much later.) “Atonement” is brutal—if you’re familiar with the book, you know there’s no happily ever after happening here. I was so impressed with his performance (as was the Hollywood Foreign Press that year) that I went searching for more of his films. Plus, I mean, he’s not exactly hard to look at. I backtracked and watched him in “The Last King of Scotland,” “Penelope,” “Becoming Jane,” then saw “Wanted.” He’s a fantastic dramatic actor and the baby blues (and Scottish accent) get me every single time.
I’ve always joked that somewhere out there is a man for me who’s a perfect mix of John and Jason Segel (another J!) … I was late to “The Office” party, but once I started using Netflix as a way to catch up on all the sitcoms I’d never yet gotten to enjoy, I fell head over heels for Jim Halpert. The thing about John is, he barely has to act. He’s incredibly charismatic and, as he proved in his role of Jim, a well-timed eyebrow lift and a perplexed smirk is all he needs to get his point across. I love his comedic timing, demonstrated in rom-coms like “License to Wed,” “It’s Complicated,” and “Something Borrowed.” But this year, finally, he got his shot to show his range in the drama “13 Hours” and I suspect this will be all he needs to catapult himself from the background guy to leading man. I haven’t seen it yet, but I fully intend to.
I honestly forget when I fell for JGL. Was I a smitten kitten back when “Angels in the Outfield” or “10 Things I Hate About You” came out? Or was it later when “500 Days of Summer” suddenly reminded us that he was all grown up and plucking along somewhere out there, trying to get himself top-billed in a film? Regardless, he’s there now and I’m watching. This guy’s adorkable charm is irresistible, but I’m more drawn to his artistry. His business venture, hitRECord, is a phenomenal example of a celebrity using their fame and talent to create something beautiful. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a production company that gathers talent from around the globe by way of online submissions and collaborations. They’ve made short films and stories—they even host a TV show—and everyone who participates gets financially compensated. It’s a huge under-taking, but he’s done an awesome job with it. And all while furthering his film career in blockbusters and indies alike. He’s cute AND inspiring.
I already gushed about Timberbabe here, so I’ll just reiterate that now, as I pretty much said it all …
Here’s the thing about JT. I’ve been in love with him since his spaghetti-fro days and I always suspected he would have a successful solo career—but I haven’t always enjoyed his style of music. When I was a knee-socked elementary school kid, *NSYNC was my jam; they were my first ever concert! When they broke up and Justin started doing his own thing, I was just a little disappointed that I didn’t immediately love it all. “Cry Me A River” can still get me singing in my car to this day, but that was about it. And as his style evolved, my enthusiasm waned. Until “The 20/20 Experience.” The music was much better, but the concert was mind-blowing. It made me love the music even more. Seeing him live was one of the best experiences of my life and I’m not even remotely embarrassed to admit that. He rose up out of the stage flanked by a full orchestra, decked out in—what else?—a suit and tie and I was re-awakened to what it feels like to love JT. And I do. Love. Him. He’s a fantastic performer with a wonderful sense of humor—plus … I mean, just look at him. Ugh.