"New Line could have made the press conference for the dour thriller "Rendition" a two-drink-minimum affair. Jake Gyllenhaal demonstrated better comic timing than we see in the average studio comedy.
A sample for you: Director Gavin Hood was ranting about the potential of film, Hollywood's hunger for money and why we need more movies like "All the President's Men". It was well intentioned, and Hood should totally be a guest lecturer on college campuses. But he went on a wee bit too long about his idealistic visions of a Hollywood in which studios forget about their coffers.
That's when Gyllenhaal put an arm around him—the arm was key—and made a crack about Hood's next project...Wolverine.
It was seriously hysterical. Jake made his director blush like a freshman boy in speech class. So, why won't Jake put that swift wit to use on camera?
"His family is just very serious," says one Beverly Hills-agent type. "They want to see their kids in smart films with a political angle. And their family is obviously close."
An interesting theory, but I'm more inclined to think good comedy scripts just aren't that easy to come by. And if you have a sense of humor, as Jake clearly does, then you're not gonna sign the dotted line just because your agent tells you to. In essence, he needs another "The Good Girl".
That's why a brilliant, sophisticated comedy writer—like Woody Allen, Mike White, Julie Delpy or Nicole Holofcener—should pen a script for Jake. We've seen him be serious so much, and we're getting more with Rendition and the far-off Brothers. But I don't think he'll make a Brokeback-style impression on audiences until he makes us laugh.
There is one moment of lightness in the heavy "Rendition". And it's all Jake."