It's been a while since I did a Why I love feature, but it seemed fitting with all the exposure Robert Downey, Jr.'s had lately. I admit I haven't seen even close to all of his work like some other actors, but in all the movies I have seen he's the best part of the movie. He's honed his wise-ass, articulate kid act into a smart-aleck knowing adult bad-ass.
Another 80s movie that I love to watch him in is Chances Are. He plays the reincarnated husband of much-older Cybill Shepherd. He arrives on her doorstep as her daughter's new boyfriend, but they soon figure out he has all the memories of Shepherd's deceased husband and is still in love with her. Of course lots of secret moments take place as they try to figure out if they're crazy and trying to keep the secret from Shepherd's new husband (a young Ryan O'Neal) and from Downey's girlfriend (a very young Mary Stuart Masterson). Of course it doesn't quite end happily, but I still like watching it on TV.
I haven't seen Chaplin or Natural Born Killers (I know, I know, I'll get to it). But he's really good in some really bad movies. Only You was one of the many vehicles for Marisa Tomei after she won the Oscar for My Cousin Vinny and ended up as one of those cheesy, romantic comedies that always end up as part of a DVD package or in the bargain bin. That doesn't diminish RDJ's performance though - he tricks her into believing he's someone else so they can stay together and then of course charms her into actually falling in love with him. It's a silly, over the top movie that gives "chick flicks" a bad name, but he's so much fun to watch it's almost bearable.
Then there are are whole bunch of movies in his career that I've neither seen nor heard of, but I'm sure he's probably pretty good. I think those were his particularly destructive drug soaked years. But he appears in a supporting role in Wonder Boys and reminds us he would be terrific if he could keep it together. He plays Michael Douglas' gay literary agent in town to pressure him to finish his second book. He doesn't have a lot of screen time or tons of lines, but he brings his insanity to each of them and helps Douglas and Maguire through their pot-smoking weekend.
Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man and Iron Man 2, Tropic Thunder, Gothika and Kiss, Kiss, Bang Bang. The last two I cannot recommend enough as off-the-beaten-track kinds of movies. I don't usually watch thrillers (nightmares) and Val Kilmer is enough to turn me off, but I really liked both of these. Gothika was Halle Berry's vehicle as a psychiatrist who has a crazy spell and ends up as a patient in her own hospital where RDJ is a fellow doc trying to help her figure out what's making her crazy and what happened to her. It's a good thriller/ghost story/mystery. And Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is much much funnier than I expected. RDJ plays a thief accidentally cast in a Hollywood movie. Rachel's Review is better than my memory will give you.
I can't wait for the next Robert Downey Jr. movie - sequel or not - I'm there.
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