I think one of the reasons I liked Morning Glory so much is that it was delightful to see Harrison Ford on screen in a role that didn’t feel like an unfortunate retreat. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was so aggressively stupid in so many ways that it was hard to focus on his performance as a stand-alone. But I caught bits and pieces of the original Indiana Jones trilogy on JetBlue and cable this weekend, and I’d watched fragments of the Star Wars trilogy in the same way recently, and it got me thinking a bit.Ford’s often a somewhat angry or grumpy actor. He’s got a preternaturally turned-down mouth and a brow that begs to be furrowed in curiosity or anger. When it comes to women, Ford’s characters are vexed until he’s moved to kiss them. Whether president or scientist, his men are concerned with weighty matters. He’s almost always saving someone, even if that’s not what he originally intended.I think I’d forgotten, given how long it’s been since I’d seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, just how sexy Ford can be. Don’t get me wrong. Han Solo is pretty much my ideal man, and if there was ever a dude who was born to wear tight navy pants with Corellian bloodstripes, it was Ford. But Solo’s sexiness is due more to characterization than to Ford just sitting around being hot. In Raiders, though, in the scene on the roof where he mostly spends a lot of time watching Karen Allen play with a monkey, Ford spends most of his time smiling with his shirt open a little lower than is strictly necessary, and he’s just straight-up smokin’. I think it’s the extended smile — as an actor, Ford tends to ration it, which is why it’s both so wonderful and so surprising.Given how ridiculously attractive he can look when he tries, it’s kind of remarkable that Ford essentially eschewed romantic leading roles. They’re scattered throughout his repertoire: there’s Working Girl, Regarding Henry, Sabrina, and Six Days, Seven Nights. But even in those parts, Ford’s not always a conventional hot dude who is either worth obtaining or a method of transforming the leading lady’s life. Instead, he’s a tough nut to crack — though of course in Sabrina, even he can’t out Humphrey Bogart Humphrey Bogart. I suppose it’s kind of admirable to choose to be something other than the hot dude. But I do wish he’d done genuine banter a little bit more funny. He deserved more partners like Carrie Fisher. And more smart women deserved a chance at cracking his particular on-screen tough nut.
Considering Harrison Ford