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Justin Long is the Nicest Internet Commenter Ever

From Jezebel comes the heartwarming story of how actor Justin Long headed off an internet flame war with one of the sweetest internet comments left for a movie critic by an actor, possibly ever. Short version: Michelle Orange wrote a review of Going the Distance for Movieline and had some not nice things to say about Justin Long’s looks, saying:

How a milky, affectless mook with half-formed features and a first day of kindergarten haircut might punch several classes above his weight is a mystery…we are increasingly asked to accept on screen. 

Long read the review and quoted it word for word on national television. Orange was mortified and wrote a response to the events. Long commented on the latter piece, saying:

Michelle, I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d get to be in one movie, let alone several over the course of the last ten years – never had any delusions of grandeur. I always wanted to be a theatre actor like my mom, always assuming the movie roles were relegated to the good looking people…Then I started idolizing guys like Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Sam Rockwell, Woody Allen, and Philip Seymour Hoffman – I found myself relating (I hope you’re not wincing at my use of that word now) to them and formulating some wild fantasy of one day pursuing a career in movie acting – if guys that looked like that could do it, I thought, maybe this milky mook could role the dice. So while there’s no defense for my performance in the movie (everyone is obviously entitled to their opinion), I have to say, I’m surprised by the amount of stock you seem to invest in my looks. I absolutely agree with you too, I’d be hard-pressed to hold a candle to even a fraction of Drew’s beauty – in my humble opinion, she’s the most beautiful girl in the world…Maybe you’re frustrated because it so rarely works the other way – I don’t remember the last time I was asked to accept a female romantic lead who was “punching above her weight class” – though it does happen (I just don’t want to name names at the risk of offending – I leave that to the experts)…Regardless, I really meant what I said about your writing – I love film too and I love reading about it – so keep up the good work and I’ll try to pick better projects…Take care and hopefully one day our paths will cross so I can compliment you in person. Until then, best wishes and be proud and confident in your role as a film critic – you’re a damn good one.
-Justin Long

ps I swear to god it’s me and I swear (as emphatically) that I’m not being sarcastic.

You win this battle, Justin. And the battle of life too.

[Side note: I don’t understand writers’ occasional withering fixation on people’s God-given looks. I was reading GQ’s profile of Robert Gibbs’ this weekend which described him as follows: “His 39-year-old face is more like a shield, with an immense forehead and tiny eyes that scarcely radiate. The smile, affable and empty, could be that of a small-town gas-station attendant or a hired assassin.” I wonder how the writer would enjoy being described in similar fashion.]

  • Donald B.

    Justin Long is awesome. BUT – I do think the very premise of: its somehow unbelievable that men "punch several classes above his weight" –is THE accurate reflection of society and coupling. I mean, is Michelle Orange not in tune with the sights around her? This idea of "punching above his weight" is what friends and I call "inter-facial relationships" where there is some disparity between the perceived "attractiveness" of the man and the woman in any relationship. My experience, and I would dare say MOST people's experience if they looked around — women will MOST OFTEN be the better looking person in the relationship and will essentially be holding the "upper hand" so to speak in the interfacial relationship.

    I don't think I am being "sexist" when I say this – but for the most part, women do not put as much weight into "looks" when considering a potential mate – as compared to men. What I mean is that for women, things like: attentiveness, listening skills, humor, being considerate, personality – these are given greater weight for women than they are for men.

    Men on the other hand, will usually ALWAYS start off with physical attractiveness and then work from the there. Oh – you don't like Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica? Ok. As long as you don't HATE it – I can work with that…cause you are really pretty.

    Take a woman though: Oh…you don't show any interest in my likes or dislikes? You don't like to do the things I do? Well, I don't care HOW "hot" you are…I have no use for you.

    Ultimately, my issue with Michelle Orange is not her obsession with Justin Long's looks, but rather that she is so out of touch with the reality of interfacial relationships. Has she not seen any of the following: King of Queens, every girlfriend of Jerry Seinfeld on Seinfeld, Every girlfriend/wife of Adam Sandler in EVERY one of his movies…(the list goes on and on – but you get the point – we are never thrown off by the interfacial relationship where the woman is hotter, but name the LAST time you saw a movie or film where the MALE was hotter than the female…AND the female wasn't actually a plained-down-attractive woman (ie, Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles).

  • Anonymous

    This is great to see – I've been around Justin a couple of times, and while we have not spoken, he has always seemed humble and kind. He doesn't have any sort of "I'm famous" machismo happening – it would seem that he keeps getting cast as the "nice guy" because, well, he is.

    And, even though I'm a straight man with no real authority on this matter, he comes off as a good looking guy in person – milky skin and all.

  • A couple things: I think this speaks to generally how most of us at least are inherently a bit shallow and that looks, for worse or worser, can unfortunately be very important to us.

    Secondly: for those of us non-believers, I say our looks are not "God-given" but genetically-given or driven to come out the way they do by one's respective folks… so, if you are one fugly ol' fuglerson, thank them for it!

  • … I'm "J. Wanrer?" Crap.

  • Anonymous

    I…think Justin Long is cute.