Dear John Cusack,
Happy birthday! Forty-five candles to blow out on June 28. You've given us so much movie joy over the past quarter-century that we'd like to mark this milestone with a small gift of our own.
It's a piece of advice: Return to your strengths. Charm us again. Make us laugh.
After all, is it us, or have you been in a gloomy funk for the past, oh, six years or so? How come all your recent movies have been such downers? Where's the funny, sharp, charismatic, wily, cool Chicago striver that moviegoers fell in love with 25 years ago and followed eagerly for the first two decades of your career? Why do you seem to be perpetually trapped under your own personal rain cloud?