So, although I am picky when it comes to choosing what to watch- if you've got something written by Stephen King set in the first world war on a creepy island which features a Hugh Grant figure circa 1992, a child that has magic powers and a flying car, I'm sold. Funnily enough, these films are hard to come by. Which is why as a general rule, I tend to go with what I think I'll enjoy. If the film is a post-modern view of the 1960's, it gets a thumbs up. If it has Richard Curtis as a writer, it gets a double thumbs up. If it features Jennifer Aniston in the role of a giggly blonde with an inability to fall in love, I avoid it like the plague.
So, when I was faced with Drive- the 2011 film directed by a danish director I couldn't dare pronounce (and also not set in the 1960s or starring Hugh Grant), I instantly wondered if it was something that would appeal. Whilst I was sure that a film about cars wouldn't be my new favourite thing to watch, I was intrigued to see why the film had such good reviews whilst also curious to see whether Ryan Gosling really deserved the title of sexiest man alive.
For anyone who hasn't seen Drive, it features Gosling as a Hollywood stunt driver who also doubles as a get away driver. He seems nice enough, and when he meets Carey Mulligan's character Irene, it seems apparent that there might be romance on the cards. Never mind the fact that she has a husband currently serving a jail sentence. We'll forget about that bit and focus on the longing looks they're exchanging at the supermarket. So far, so lovely. Until the husband is released from prison and all hell breaks loose. Not because Gosling clearly has eyes for his wife and he wants to gauge his eyes out, but because he owes a considerable amount of money to a pretty lethal gangster. Stupidly (and slightly heroically too), Gosling decides to help him and offers his services as a get a way driver to assist him in robbing a pawn shop. Enter Christina Hendricks- looking quite shabby indeed. Playing the role of gangster's moll, she has replaced her Mad Men curve skimming dresses with frayed jeans and an attitude problem. Still, her worst fashion moment of the film is yet to come- when minutes later she is faced with a shot gun to the head, splaying blood all over the motel room. I don't want to spoil the rest of the film for anyone who hasn't seen it, but as you can imagine- it becomes increasingly brutal to the end. What begins as a light-hearted romance reminiscent of an old 1980's film becomes a bit of a blood bath and not the film you'd want to be sitting down to with the kids.
Still, I actually enjoyed it. The cool mysterious allure of the Gosling's 'driver', Carey Mulligan's big doe eyes and a brilliant performance from Albert Brooks really makes this film a good watch. Combine this with a distinctly retro feel and a heavenly soundtrack to match, and you've got the perfect Saturday night film. Oh, and whilst I don't think Ryan Gosling is the sexiest man alive, I would still love to borrow his satin bomber jacket.