There are many reasons to dislike a person and no doubt some of them have occurred to you in my case but there’s something which really disturbs me and that’s when I dislike someone for no apparent reason. I’ve tried to rationalize these things and there have to be reasons but I can’t pinpoint those reasons in Andie MacDowell’s case.
Interestingly, the comments about disliking her seem to come almost exclusively from men [though there are also men who like her or who don’t mind her.] Yet it is true that many men don’t and I saw a poll on this some years back. Also interesting was that on one of these sites, a female commenter dropped in the name Richard Dreyfus. Yes – he’s another one I don’t like and also Dustin Hoffman.
What’s tied up in this question is our own self-image. You can’t very well say you dislike Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinem and Andrea Whatshername without someone twigging as to why that is. If it were Sidney Poitier, Chuck Berry and Sammy Davis Junior, then certain questions could be asked. And it doesn’t look good, does it? The word “prejudice” hovers round in the background.
This is the point when it becomes time to admit we are not as crazy about plain or ugly people as we are about pretty people. We accept things from them less unless they have a real talent which breaks through that barrier. Someone wrote that Andie MacDowell is beautiful and it is true that she was once a model but my reaction was, “What? Her? Beautiful? Andie effing MacDowell?”
That’s a terrible thing to say. Looking at her pic [top left] … well … she’s OK, not bad, not good. And now I think we might be on to something. Perhaps we pigeonhole someone, we expect him to act in certain ways and when he acts outside those ways, we don’t like it. When that person has a narrow personal bubble in which we’ll accept him, perhaps we’re saying, “Now you just play your role the way we conceptualize it but don’t go giving yourself any airs.”
And that poor person – all his/her life he’s had to put up with that although he never says anything to anyone about it but he knows … he knows, deep down. I know that the man up the road in the shop doesn’t like me. Sometimes he puts a brave face on it and I try to act normally in placing my order but there is a definite unspoken negative there. On the other hand, the lady in the shop breaks into a smile whenever she sees me, so I give up.
And sometimes it’s only a physical facial feature, a way of smiling, a way of walking. Maybe it’s the shape of your neck or your ears and immediately you subconsciously accord to that person less tolerance of anything he might have to say. You listen but you’d prefer to move on. Then people start giving him praise for his acting or whatever and the very worst thing happens – he starts to give himself airs and strut about like a George Clooney and he simply cannot do it. It’s ludicrous.
Andie MacDowell comes across to me as a hard woman. I might be 100% plain wrong, wrong, wrong about that and I hope I am. But she seems that way and that makes her manner of acting annoying – she’s so earnest, she tries too hard and even in that trying too hard I feel sorry for her because she clearly realizes she can’t do it easy.
Askmen disagrees with me and gives her a high rating but still says:
Andie is one of those women who’s actually more beautiful than sexy, though that’s not to say that she’s not a scintillating Southern belle.
Making excuses for her: “While her acting had been panned by most critics …” OK, so there’s a factor. “Independent spirit …” Ah, perhaps that’s it though I like Kate Bush, another independent spirit. “Used this time to study method acting …” Groan – another one of those bores.
“In fact, in my travels, I’ve discovered that most people have at least a mild dislike for Ms. MacDowell. On some level this feels uncharitable. She is, after all, a model-turned-actress, and she’s only doing her best.”
You see – we’re always making excuses for her and feeling bad about disliking her. Here‘s another.
“She seems to be trying very hard, and not succeeding. No matter what expression is on her face, there’s always a look of strain behind her eyes. Then again, I guess that could just be how she looks.”
By now, some of you reading this will be angry with me, with this post, for bashing the woman. I agree, I feel bad about writing what I have but I want to know why I’m writing it. And the way she has now, at 50, started going in for the nude scenes she once refused and turning up at functions letting it all hang out, is sad. The time to do that was 20 years ago.
Do you know, I think I might have it – she either genuinely thinks she’s alluring to men and plays the femme fatale or else she knows she’s not but plays the femme fatale. I’ve just read some interviews with her and she’s coarse. Unfeminine. And yet she talks about being a “leading lady” and how difficult it is in your 40s. She seems to give herself airs like her neighbour Steven Seagal.
Now I’m sure I’m close to it [this is almost live blogging now]:
I’ve never felt sexier in my whole life. I can wear sexy clothes because I’ve got an incredible body and I happen to be 43 but it’s really not that hard, all you have to do is work out a little bit and it’s not like everything is falling apart.
Er … is she for real? Sexy? Incredible body? This woman has serious image problems. This article says of her: “Other women like her characters, men don’t much.” She says of her modelling:
“Anjelica Huston, Jessica Lange, Geena Davis – what’s the girl from Basic Instinct? Sharon Stone – Sean Young, all modelled. The big difference is that I was extremely successful.”
The article says: “There’s nothing soft about her,” then:
Nearly all my questions seem to trigger irritable, defensive answers. She’s defensive about modelling, defensive about being a model-turned-actress, defensive about the fact that Paul Qualley has acted as a househusband in the service of her career. She jumps down my throat at the suggestion that several of her best roles share traits of repression.
When I ask her if she has ever felt limited in the roles she’s played, she retorts, “When you look at the work that I’ve done in the last few years, I don’t know that it could be better.”
Yep, this woman has problems.
She’s OK, maybe not as bad an actress as people say and people might be willing to cut her some slack if she was nice but when she comes out with how men find her sexy and she’s G-d’s gift to us, then I begin to understand the loud and almost universal, “No!”
I feel myself sinking now, sinking as low as many of these anti-Andie MacDowell sites and I want to end on a positive about her, I want to say something nice.
I want to.
Help me say something nice about her.