Thursday, June 30, 2011
An Open Letter to Justin Timberlake
The one question I'm sure you're sick of hearing when you go on the interview circuit is, of course, "When are you going to make music again?" And I know you've been very defensive as you try and build up your acting resumé. Your reaction is perfectly understandable; you have your own project to promote, so why must you keep answering the same question over and over again? But did you ever think people ask you why you have given up music for acting because you are not a very good actor?
Don't get me wrong, you're very funny when you guest host on Saturday Night Live. Hell, I still listen to "Dick in a Box." But there's a difference between being funny in a five minute comedy sketch and in a full-length film. Some people are able to do both. You, unfortunately, cannot. In your most recent outing as an actor, Bad Teacher, you play an awkward, goofy nerd who greets people with individualized hand shakes and practically cries when he talks about how much he hates slavery. In another actor's hands, this could have been a funny role. Someone like James Marsden, who specializes in playing cartoonish characters quite well, would have really gotten some laughs out of this ridiculous character. When you play him, however, he's just Justin Timberlake with a pair of glasses. And that seems to be the major problem: all of your performances are you playing Justin Timberlake. Normally I'd argue that that's not necessarily a bad thing, but let's face it, there's a vast difference between you playing you and Cary Grant playing Cary Grant in every movie. You are never outlandishly bad, but neither are you the part of the movie everyone is buzzing about. When I'm telling a friend about a movie of yours I have just seen, it's usually, "Oh, Justin Timberlake was in it, too," right after I tell them about the hot guy a couple of rows in front of me and complain about my salty popcorn.
So, to sum this all up, get some inspiration and get back in the recording studio pronto. The only reason you get cast in these movies is because you are young, pretty and famous from your music career. Once your looks and goodwill from your music goes, you're fucked. Make some new music before a whole generation goes by wondering why you were famous in the first place.