How Much is George Clooney’s Smile Worth?

As George Clooney’s new film is widely released this week, I still marvel at how much Hollywood questions his pull. The fear is this: handsome, yes, but too edgy, maybe. What? I cannot picture a more mainstream definition of handsome. I cannot imagine an actor with more crossover appeal. He’s a man’s man, ladies’ man, Latino/as, African-Americans–everybody digs Clooney. The problem is that his movies have a message–usually deep and faintly disconcerting. Moguls worry the average Joe won’t get it, worse yet, won’t like having to think. I am watching the box office returns with great interest to see if the numbers tell the RenGen story. Namely, that the average Joe is not below average, but instead a thinking, expressive human being. Besides, look at Clooney’s smile. What’s not to get?