This isn’t the weirdest Matthew McConaughey Lincoln commercial. It’s not even top three, really. Those honors probably go to, in some order, “Matthew McConaughey encounters a bull on an empty desert road,” “Matthew McConaughey talks to himself as he sits in the backseat and driver’s seat of a car that appears to be parked somewhere on the astral plane,” and “Matthew McConaughey takes his dogs out and asks them where they want to go for dinner, like they are people.” This new one might not even crack the top five, to be honest, because at some point we’d need to address the one where he sends everyone home from a party and then does a backflop into his swimming pool while wearing an expensive designer suit. I think about these commercials a lot. Too much, some would say and have said. Someone needs to address them, though. And if that someone has to be me, so be it.
It should be noted, though: Even though this one doesn’t crack the upper echelon of weird Matthew McConaughey Lincoln commercials, it is still super weird. So weird. Weirder than most other commercials by a factor of 10. I’m fascinated by it. Maybe you will be too by the time I’m done. Yes, we are getting into this. You’re welcome and I’m sorry.
We open on an overhead shot of a mansion and a quick cut to a group of people enjoying an outdoor dinner party. This raises a question I had somehow not considered until this very moment: Is Matthew McConaughey playing himself in these commercials or is he playing a character? The first option is interesting, of course, because it tells us so much about the man and his beautiful brain, but the second option is game-changing. Who is this person? How did he earn the money to have multiple mansions and a fleet of new Lincolns? What do his coworkers think of him? I would, no joke, watch a full limited series about this.
The party ends and people begin filing out toward the door. But then — BUT THEN — Matthew spots the pool table and freezes like he just saw a clue that solves a murder he’s been investigating for 18 months.
Now, I also have a few questions about this. For example:
Who had been playing this game of pool only to walk away in the middle with the balls spread across the table?
Do you think Matthew McConaughey had been playing against himself?
Do you think he — or his character? — does this kind of thing a lot?
Do you think there are board games and stuff scattered throughout the house in various stages of completion, with multiple stations set up for multiple players, and he’ll just sit down as one every now and then, take the turn, and say something like “Well well well, kemosabe. Looks like the ball is in your court now” to the empty seat his imaginery opponent occupies?
I choose to believe each game lasts for months.
Anyway, the action. This is so great. McConaughey spies the table and holds the cue stick vertical to execute a perfect spinning masse shot, sending the cue ball weaving around and through clumps of other balls until it gently taps the object ball into the pocket. This is cool. It’s a cool thing. If you know how to do this, you should do it a lot to impress people. The weird thing about it, though, is that he does it in complete silence. Never explains any of it to the people standing near him. Like a crazy person.
Also, in a move that I can only assume is a nod to the home audience watching this, a woman is heard repeatedly saying “I’ve never seen that before” as he’s doing it. This can mean a few things.
- She’s never seen someone do a sick masse shot before
- She’s never seen someone walk away in the middle of a conversation to play pool against himself as though he’s deep in a trance
- My theory about these commercials being about a man who is slowly losing his mind was correct and the “this” she’s referring to is a troubling new behavior that should justifiably worry his family and friends
All equally plausible.
He walks straight out of his house and into the Lincoln in his driveway because, you see, the spinning and weaving cue ball reminded him of the handling capabilities of his new luxury automobile. Please note his look of satisfaction upon this realization.
And that’s the end. Like I said, not close to the weirdest commercial in the campaign. But please — PLEASE — do imagine one of the people at this party explaining what happened the next morning at work.
“Hey, how was the party at Matthew McConaughey’s house?”
“Pretty cool. It got weird at the end, though.”
“Well, we were all saying goodbye, normally, when his eyes went distant and he kind of glided into his game room, where the pool table was, completely silent, and then he hit this incredible spinning shot that sent the cue ball curving around the table-“
“The shot is called a masse.”
“Whatever. Anyway, he does that, makes the shot, then just marches out to his car, chuckles a little, and drives off.”
“Where was he going?”
“That’s the thing. No one knows!”
“You wanna hear something even weirder?”
“The last time I was at a party at his house, I had to double back after leaving because I forgot my phone, and he was suddenly soaking wet, in his suit.”
“He just jumped in the pool!”