Gwyneth, Gwyneth, Gwyneth. While we should be spending our precious time worrying about Amanda Bynes’ downward spiral—which, surprisingly, is concerning me more than is natural—we are back to fixating on Gwyneth. In movies, she’s amazing, sparkling, smart: In the new Iron Man 3, just like the previous two, she’s “girl Friday” to co-star Robert Downey, Jr. But then press junkets and magazine interviews and cookbook intros and GOOP happen; she opens her mouth and wham! She says something so pretentious, so self-important that a thousand online articles are born. Don’t believe me? Just type, “Gwyneth Paltrow is…” into Google and see for yourself. (Hell, even us here at Philly Post/Philly Mag can’t get enough of her: here, here, and here.
That’s why in 2013, she can be crowned People magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful Woman and Star magazine’s Most Irritating Celebrity. It’s why many of us read the diet and digestion articles on GOOP, while secretly believing she doesn’t actually poop like a normal human. (Gwyneth perched bird-like from a wire? More believable.) Even though most of have never met—and will never meet—her, we simply can’t get enough of loving the actress but hating the person.
Let us count the ways …
Hate: “You know, I use organic products, but I get lasers. It’s what makes life interesting, finding the balance between cigarettes and tofu.” (2013)
Love: Emma (1996) — So effortless in her first starring role that we momentarily forgot about the other Emma adaptation from the year before, Clueless.
Hate: “Beauty fades! I just turned 29, so I probably don’t have that many good years left in me.” (2001)
Love: Sliding Doors, 1998 — Though the film is imperfect, she shines in her more demanding, second leading role (also Miramax).
Hate: “Even actresses that you really admire, like Reese Witherspoon, you think, ‘Another romantic comedy?’ You see her in something like ‘Walk the Line’ and think, ‘God, you’re so great!’ And then you think, ‘Why is she doing these stupid romantic comedies?’ But of course, it’s for money and status.” (2006)
Love: Shakespeare in Love (1998) — Part of me will never get over her winning the Best Actress Oscar over Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth, but her performance is flawless.
Hate: “When I pass a flowering zucchini plant in a garden, my heart skips a beat.” (2011)
Love: Royal Tenenbaums (2002) — A lovely, quirky performance in a lovely, quirky film.
Hate: “I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year.” (2009)
Love: Sylvia (2003) — There isn’t much to like about this dreary movie chronicling the life and death of poet Sylvia Plath, except for the earnest, honest performances from Paltrow and Daniel Craig.
Hate: “When you go to Paris and your concierge sends you to some restaurant because they get a kickback, it’s like, ‘No. Where should I really be? Where is the great bar with organic wine? Where do I get a bikini wax in Paris’?” (2011)
Love: Iron Man 3 (2013) — With subplots of terrorism and bombings, the new Iron Man is much darker in comparison to the first two (My grade: B-). But the chemistry between Paltrow and Downey, Jr. is as crackling as ever.
Hate: “I’ll never forget it. I was starting to hike up the Red Rocks, and honestly, it was as if I’d heard the rock say: ‘You have the answers. You are the teacher.’ I thought I was having an auditory hallucination.” (2013)