The Ryan Gosling Effect

This year was undoubtedly the year of Ryan Gosling -- you couldn't turn on the TV, peruse the newsstand, surf the Web, go to the movies or probably even sneeze without seeing his chiseled mug somewhere. Gosling made the rounds on the festival, press and late night circuits and had three movies come out within months of each other: "Crazy, Stupid, Love," "Drive," and "The Ides of March."

While channel surfing recently, I came across one of his older films, "Murder by Numbers," which I haven't seen in years. That is what really inspired this article because it was just further confirmation to me that this guy is practically omnipresent. The film was also a reminder that Gosling is really quite fantastic at playing disturbed people.

I remember my introduction to the actor. As a kid, I happened to tune into a short-lived Canadian series that he starred on called "Breaker High," which was basically "Saved by the Bell" on a cruise ship. Even then he was likable, even if nothing else about that show was.

So what exactly is it about him that is so intriguing? Here are five possible causes (though it can be argued that there are more):

1. His seemingly endless array of bizarre stories -- e.g., as a child, packing his Fisher Price kit with steak knives and throwing them at his classmates as inspired by "Rambo;" a particularly disturbing trip to a Turkish bath; being a witness to a motorcycle accident that sparked his love of motorcycles, etc.

2. The realism and genuine quality he brings to less-than-likable characters (Blue Valentine, The Believer, Half Nelson).

3. His nasally, Brooklyn-esque accent -- which is rather curious in both its inexplicable appeal and its mystery (he is from Canada). Observe: the Ryan Gosling Accent-O-Meter.

4. His physique, which Emma Stone so aptly described in "Crazy, Stupid, Love": "It's like you're Photoshopped!"

5. Two words: The Notebook. Yeah, don't kid yourself. "I wrote you 365 letters. I wrote you every day for a year!" Snail mail has never seemed so appealing.

And for those who are not quite as enamored with Gosling (e.g., my boyfriend, my brothers, most of the male population, etc.), he currently has three movies in the works for next year. May the Ryan Gosling effect prevail in 2012.

- By: Stephanie Snyder Photo by Warner Brothers Pictures