Not Your Mother’s Guide to Ryan Gosling Romances

Welcome to modern rom-com week at The Daily Beast’s Obsessed! In honor of two big romance releases this week—The Fall Guy and The Idea of You—we’re celebrating everything we love about the last 15 years of romantic comedies.

Ryan Gosling is the undisputed king of the modern studio romantic comedy. From The Fall Guy to Crazy, Stupid, Love (which both ranked in the upper echelons of our ranking of the best modern studio rom-coms)—even to Lars and the Real Girl—Gosling has all the other rom-com hunks beat.

His swoony talents aren’t exclusive to the rom-com genre. Gosling has also brought his charm to numerous romantic dramas, like La La Land, The Notebook, and Blue Valentine. There’s something so soothing about that smile… something about that contagious smile and that fluffy blond hair makes us all go wild.

In honor of The Fall Guy, we’ve set out to determine what makes every Ryan Gosling romance so undeniably delicious. Below, find our examination of the elements that make every one of the actor’s love stories unique.

The snort-laugh

Gosling does this little thing when he’s acting particularly besotted. The girl says something quirky or acts a little kooky—typical rom-com fodder—and Gosling purses his lips together, smirks, and blows a bit of air through his nose. I know no other way to describe it other than how I just have: It’s a snort-laugh.

You’ll find Gosling’s traditional snort-laugh in pretty much every one of his romances. My personal favorite is in La La Land, when Sebastian takes Mia (Emma Stone) on their first date at a movie theater—right as they’re about to kiss, the film reel melts, and the house lights flash on. It’s awkward, perhaps the worst moment for this to happen. Luckily, Gosling breaks the silence with the snort-laugh.

It’s just so endearing. A lot of people are afraid to snort on a first date—it sounds kind of piggish—but this happy little expression sounds more candid than a perfect laugh. He finds his leading woman humorous enough to sneak out a little pfft, as if he can’t hold it back.

As seen in: All of his movies

Um…well…he’s a little bit awkward…

Some will try to tell me that Gosling is never awkward—but they might as well argue with the wall. Awkwardness is part of his characters’ appeal in movies like La La Land and The Fall Guy. Unlike the big movie stars who make up the rest of those films, he’s the guy in the back of the room making funny faces. He’s not like other girls. He’s awko-taco—phrase used facetiously—and proud.

Jokes aside, this less charismatic approach actually leads to more charisma because Gosling’s characters become totally approachable. He’s not the hottest guy in the room (OK, Ryan Gosling is always the hottest guy in any room; the movies just don’t pose him as such) but he is the funniest. He especially excels at this in Lars and the Real Girl. Why am I crushing on a guy who’s in love with a plastic doll woman? Simple: Because that guy is Ryan Gosling.

As seen in: The Fall Guy, Lars and the Real Girl, La La Land

Ryan Gosling in Lars and the Real Girl.

©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

…Or he’s super-smooth

If Gosling isn’t playing adorkable, he’s portraying the exact opposite: a suave chick magnet. A bit mysterious and totally charming, you’ll find these characters picking up women in a crowded bar—or stealing her back after another hot guy (like James Marsden in The Notebook) tries to win her over. We’re not talking about players here. We’re talking about guys like Noah from The Notebook, who are so confident about pursuing women that it’s honestly an art, and Jacob from Crazy, Stupid, Love, who literally teaches older men how to flirt because he’s so dang good.

As seen in: Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Notebook, Blue Valentine

Emma Stone

I really need Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling to work on one more movie together to complete the romance trifecta. OK, yes, Gangster Squad exists; that was actually their first movie together, and while they locked lips, it’s not a romance, nor is it nearly as good as La La Land and Crazy, Stupid, Love. Stone is the ideal woman to do those eccentric little bits that result in Gosling’s snort-laugh. Together, they make the word quirky sound like less of an insult towards hipsters and more of a kind compliment offered to beautiful people who are really good at acting like everyday people.

As seen in: La La Land, Crazy, Stupid, Love

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in Crazy, Stupid, Love.

©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

A heart-wrenching song (or three)

Taylor Swift has already shouted out the use of “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” in The Fall Guy. Even before the film premiered, it was destined to be an iconic moment: Colt (Gosling) cries in the car while thinking about the end of his relationship and how badly he wants to get his girl back. Men, take note: Crying to Taylor Swift isn’t just allowed; it’s encouraged. You’ll remind us of Ryan Gosling every time you throw on a track about heartbreak.

We get plenty of these in La La Land—most notably, “City of Stars”—as well as “You and Me” in Blue Valentine. I’ll even mention Barbie for “I’m Just Ken” here, since the tune is, technically, a ballad about unrequited love.

As seen in: The Fall Guy, Blue Valentine, La La Land, and Barbie

Stunning homages to film history

Really brilliant romance movies take time to remember the love stories that came before them. La La Land has plenty of homages to Jacques Demy movies and Casablanca—Mia and Sebastian stroll around the Warner Bros. lot on their first unofficial date—a true shoutout to the history of the romance genre. The Fall Guy is an ode to the feat of filmmaking (especially stunt people), so it falls into this category, too.

But nothing has solidified Gosling as a romantic lead more than the Dirty Dancing lift he pulls off with Stone in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Gosling won the hearts of every diehard romance fan with this move. And they do it after running home in the rain together! Just brilliant.

As seen in: The Fall Guy, Crazy, Stupid, Love, La La Land

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