I should have written this letter a while ago, but I kept getting distracted by rewatching Good Will Hunting and Shakespeare In Love and to some extent Changing Lanes. And of course - looking at you. You, Ben Affleck, are a good looking guy. Seriously, that chin? And you're aging well. Clearly your wife has steered you in the skin care arena. But all of that is beside the point.
The point is I watched The Town this holiday season. And I think you are an interesting director. I think you have a voice and a simplicity as a Director. And as a writer? What a freaking suprise. You're really good. Honestly, I'm not just talking about that bit in Esquire that I've saved - about why you love motorcycles. I mean you have adapted some great books into really great screenplays. Your movies have "felt different" and considering the genre - that's not easy. Parts of The Town were awesome - casting Jeremy Renner? Awesome. Blake Lively? Who knew? There was a trajectory to the movie and I think you were shooting for something simple admidst chaos - a nice aim.
Here's your problem. You can't act. You might be great in supporting roles, but there's no way you can carry a film. And part of it is your looks. And the other part - you just can't act. And your performance in The Town was good - but it was the weakest link in a good movie - you brought the whole thing down. You ruined your own movie. With the right casting in that role - someone rougher, uglier, someone who needed that love, who could make us believe in the romantic conflict (because Ben, you did not - at all.) Or maybe you didn't show us the scenes you needed too - not sure. You were too movie star. In a gritty gritty movie, you showed up false.
Why did you do it? Why write, direct and act? I still love you Ben. I really do. But sometimes, you make it so hard.