Since the beginning of time, mankind has been on a search for a punchline: a universal joke that can be used in any and all circumstances and will always be found funny, regardless of relevance or timeliness.
According to the Internet, which serves as our dispenser of knowledge and truth, we have found that eternal punchline: the films of Sir Nicolas Cage.
For Cage, acting was inevitable for him, as was being super Italian. Born Nic Coppola, he is the grandson of composer Carmine Coppola and actress Italia Pennino. This, of course, also makes him the nephew of famed director Francis Ford Coppola, but to avoid the appearance of nepotism, he changed his last name early in his career.
Cage quickly gained notoriety for his quirky roles and demeanor. In fact, his portrayals were very appreciated for most of his career, earning him two nominations for Academy Awards, one of which he won.
All of this was quickly ignored, however, as the Internet Generation started to get older. Instead of seeing the actor that was once considered talented, quirky, and handsome, we started to see a lunatic who accepted any script ever sent to him.
Suddenly, the perception of Cage changed into seeing him as a one trick pony. Not only that, but as a one trick pony who keeps doing that same trick constantly, regardless of anyone watching. This pony also keeps barging into your living room all the time, whether you want him there. Basically, nobody likes this pony anymore.
But why did this happen, exactly? For example, why don’t we as a society, despise Sam Jackson, who seems to have accepted roles in every film made in the past decade? For some reason, we choose to glorify his parts such distinguished films as Deep Blue Sea and Snakes on a Plane, a film that not only sucked, but also gave the band Cobra Starship a job. Those films are still talked about, and Sam Jackson is forgiven for them.
Furthermore, if one was to listen to popular opinion, then we should believe that Channing Tatum is somehow a good idea, and that Heath Ledger was a phenomenal actor based off of one phenomenal role. In reality, all had before then was a chick flick, a gay cowboy movie, and a crappy movie about jousting.
Furthermore, it should be noted that Tatum, an up and coming Hollywood heartthrob, has limited versatility. He’s nothing more than an emotionless Tom Hardy, and while his resume includes a Nicholas Sparks film, one of his highest grossing movies thus far was based on cartoons and action figures from the 80’s.
It’s interesting, looking at his line of work. He really only seems to have one notable look to him: the brood. So one of Hollywood’s up and coming stars is a handsome face with bad taste in movies and only the ability to brood. Why does that sound familiar?
So maybe the problem isn’t actually with Nic Cage. Maybe the problem is more with society. You know, the society that seems convinced that LMFAO is talented. The society that made a Transformers movie, a Twilight Film, The Hangover repeat, AND ANOTHER Pirates of the Carrabean all top five grossing movies last year.
The same society that has given one particular YouTube video more views than people who bought tickets to see the final Harry Potter film, all because the thumbnail looks pornographic.
Maybe, JUST MAYBE, society isn’t that smart? Maybe we’re just looking for potty humor and sex, and because of that, we don’t actually know what is good or bad any more? Maybe we don’t realize how damaging it is that we think “Call Me, Maybe” is worth listening to.
Maybe, JUST MAYBE, in this day and age, with unemployment statistics hanging over our heads and political parties wanting to claw each other to death, we’re missing the point? Because Nic Cage is still getting work. He is still collecting a paycheck.
And maybe, JUST MAYBE, he goes home every night, grabs a cold one, props his feet up on his couch, and enjoys a good, hearty laugh at the fact that the populace of the Internet hates him. But they all know him, and he doesn’t know you at all.
Because maybe, JUST MAYBE, dear children: we are the eternal punchline.