Last night, I had the pleasure of chatting on the phone with CC, the woman who posted a flyer looking for Ryan Gosling or a Gosling lookalike to replace the boyfriend she just lost. (FYI, contrary to my initial belief, there is only one flyer and it’s hanging inside the window of CC’s store in Brooklyn.) Initially, I thought the flyer was funny and cheeky and, quite frankly, something I should have thought of ages ago. But as I discovered from talking with CC, the real backstory is far more heartbreaking and sweet than your average viral celeb-related meme.
A few weeks ago, CC’s longtime boyfriend basically ghosted her. After she hadn’t heard from him for awhile, she called him to find out what was going on, and he told her that there relationship was over, without further explanation. She was understandably devastated, and in an effort to cheer her up, her brother made the “lost and found”-esque flyer for her as joke.
“He asked me which celebrity my boyfriend most looked like so I could find a new man to replace him,” CC explained in her thick French accent, “but I didn’t want anyone who actually looked like him, that would be a parody. So he suggested Ryan Gosling and I said, ‘Okay, I like Ryan Gosling!’ And that was it.” CC considered making more than one copy of the flyer — with an old email used as the contact — but ended up just posting the one in the window.
“It was just a catchy idea, a joke,” CC said. “That flyer was my way to tell the universe, give me a break, give me Ryan, give me something! When my brother made me that flyer, it was the first time I had laughed since my breakup. It was poking fun at a bad situation.”
CC — who says she’s not a “crazy” Gosling “groupie” (like me!) — hardly expected her flyer to turn into viral internet story or to have her phone ringing off the hook with calls from press. (As I said, there is one flyer posted and it’s inside a shop window.) Of all of the responses CC has received — and my email to her was the first — none have been actual responses from people who are or know Gosling look-a-likes. Which, from what I can tell, is okay by her.
“My breakup is still very fresh,” she said. “I just wanted to laugh and then it turned into this whole other thing. Is it the power of the internet? Is the power of Ryan? I don’t know. But I’m glad I’m able to tell my story. I think a lot of people can relate to something tragic like that.”