goodbye de niro

I believe congratulations are in order for Robert de Niro, latest inductee into the Sack of Shit Club for appearing in an American Express commercial disguised as a sentimental paean to New York City. He commits not only his face – radiantly lit, rueful and grim, furrowed here and scored there, engraved with an expression that seems to mourn the constant passing away of the things we love – but even his signature to the commercial’s coda. What’s the matter with you, de Niro? Your career flagging? Restaurants emptying? Tribeca Film Festival dying? I don’t think so. Whatever aura that clung to your name, to your face, is gone now, taken by those who thought to borrow it for thirty seconds on prime time. It was bad when Venus and Serena Williams pretended that McDonalds food made a healthy post-workout meal, but there’s something tragic about watching Robert de Niro take a dump over the city he supposedly loves with the lines “My life is happens here… My card is American Express”. In thirty seconds he transformed himself, chameleonic method actor that he is, from a once-great actor (although his miss-to-hit ratio has been pretty high over the last ten years) to a cynical schmuck, a human sandwichboard willing to drape himself over the highest bidder.

Mind you, it's probably better than Meet the Fockers.