Following Ryan Gosling’s announcement that he would take a hiatus from acting — “I need a break from myself as much as I imagine the audience does” — the female world reacted with grief and denial. There were supercuts to “delay Ryan Gosling withdrawal.” There were hundreds of GIFs “to keep you warm while he’s away.” Today video streaming site Blinkbox introduced the Gosline, a hotline that plays lines from Gosling’s movies to “reliev[e] the pain and hurt.” If Ryan Gosling is America’s imaginary boyfriend, then this hotline is the equivalent of America curling up in her bedroom after a breakup and listening to her ex-boyfriend’s old voice messages for hours on end while sobbing.
And so the time has come for America’s imaginary best friend to come over, rend the cellphone from her hand, and force her into a party dress so she can go out and meet someone new. You need to get over Ryan Gosling, America. All the “hey girl” memes in the world cannot change the fact that Ryan Gosling is just not that into you.
From the beginning, Ryan Gosling was ambivalent about his relationship with you, the public. More than once, he likened fame to the slow death of a lobster, something that snuck up him, a commitment he made without really thinking. It made him feel trapped:
I don’t know what to say about fame. I’ve been doing this since I was eight, so I can’t really say that it came out of nowhere. But I can’t say that I saw it coming, either. My friend’s grandmother would soak a lobster in vodka, get it good and drunk before she put it in the pot to cook it. Then she’d turn the heat up real slow. That lobster never knew what hit him. That’s how it’s kind of gone down for me. Except in my story, I guess I’m the old lady and the lobster.
He appreciated the intimacy you shared, but was plagued with feelings of artifice:
It [fame] has a weird effect on people. The experience of recognizing you puts them into some kind of trance where they think they know you but they don’t. They start sharing with you, and it gives you this intimacy that’s very rare.
To be with you, he had to live in Hollywood. But Hollywood made him feel grim:
They have meals. They go to Pilates. But it’s not enough. So they do drugs. If everybody had a pile of rocks in their backyard and spent every day moving them from one side of the yard to the other, it would be a much happier place.
He really likes carrying things, doesn’t he? Anyway, in the same interview where he announced he needed a “break,” Ryan Gosling worried that the public didn’t understand him:
By virtue of being in a movie like [The Notebook], it just changes people’s perception of you. But it doesn’t make it true.
I know this is hard. Ryan Gosling told you he needed only “to take a break and reassess,” which gave you hope that he might come back. But what are you going to do, sit around outside the door of the multiplex, waiting for the day he reappears on a whim? You need to move on. You can’t live this way. You need to find a new unattainable male actor to obsess over, one who deserves you. An unattainable romantic hero who commits to his unattainable romanticism. One who provides a never-ending stream of feature films for you to pin impossible hopes and dreams onto. Ryan Gosling isn’t that man. He can’t give you what you need. This is the exact situation outlined in rude dating book He’s Just Not That Into You, which turns out to be at its most appropriate when applied to celebrity fanaticism. Soon you will meet a new Ryan Gosling (Maybe Eddie Redmayne? He’s into art, very sensitive) and you’ll forget this period of forlorn telephone-hotline-listening ever happened.