Written by Sarah

Frequently asked question: "How did that terrible movie get made?" Usual answer: "It looked good on paper." Looking at the just-announced Ryan Reynolds/Bradley Cooper buddy cop flick in development, it looks pretty good on paper. After all, they're two of the best-looking guys in town, both with solid comic screen presence. They can handle action as well, so a Lethal Weapon-type project seems right up their combined alley. The untitled project is about two cops whose dads used to be partners but are now retired, who have to bring their dads out of retirement to solve The Case. And it’s being written by Sheldon Turner, lately of Up in the Air. Can’t miss, right?

Hollywood is big on Ryan Reynolds right now. Everyone is drinking his Kool Aid. And I want it to be for real--I like what Reynolds brings to the table: legitimate Movie Star potential with fine comedic timing and a great face. I want his pissiness and sourpuss to be a thing of the past. The Reynolds that showed up at Comic Con earlier this summer to promote The Green Lantern is the Reynolds I want all the time. His exercise in dramatic acting, Buried, comes out next month and I'm curious to see if audiences embrace that side of him (to date, they really haven't) and if Reynolds can carry a whole movie literally by himself.

Cooper is another story. While he certainly has his share of industry cheerleaders, The A-Team’s mediocre box office is a setback to the momentum he’s been building. Right now, I’d say Reynolds is more likely to sell a movie on his name than Cooper is. All of Coop’s top-earning projects are ensembles (Valentine’s Day, The Hangover, He’s Just Not That Into You) or he was a supporting character (Failure to Launch, Wedding Crashers). That may be part of the reason he lost The Green Lantern to Reynolds--that situation makes Bradley Cooper either the most gracious person in Hollywood, or so desperate for the A-list that he’ll eat that loss every day on set. Coop is still carving out his niche but a popular summer comedy he *doesn’t* share with nine people funnier than him could go a long way to setting him apart.

But the more I think about it the more it bugs me. Who's the straight man? Who's the lead? Why do these two A-list names need the support of their "retired cop dads"? Ryan Reynolds and Bradley Cooper can't carry a movie together? You're hedging your bets with the dads? Because you know the dads will be big-deal casting. It’s like the movie is being set up for the softest landing possible, and that sort of thinking usually cuts the balls right off a comedy.

I want this movie to succeed. I support the R-rated comedy renaissance. But it’s fishy. From the Lethal Weapon sell to the retired cop dads, I have a sinking feeling next year we’ll be saying, “But it looked so good on paper.”

Here are Reynolds and Cooper hanging out in Vancouver last September. Click here to read the original post with these photos.

Written by Sarah
Photos from Punkd Images