When I sat down to watch the new Netflix movie Enola Holmes, I anticipated a cute two hours featuring the lovely Millie Bobby Brown becoming an amateur detective in old-time-y England. Sure, I knew Henry Cavill was in the film, and I knew he played her older brother, the famous Sherlock Holmes. But I didn't know that his hotness, his chiseled jaw, and Superman good looks, would distract me so much that I wouldn't be able to tell you what the actual plot was. It got me thinking: Is Henry Cavill too attractive to play Sherlock Holmes? Follow me on this weird and slightly deranged journey.
Let me start with a disclaimer. I am not a Sherlock Holmes fan, necessarily. I've never dabbled in the books, and I don't think I've seen any of the previous film adaptations. So you might think that disqualifies me from having an opinion on this. You're probably right! But I have things to say, and I'm going to say them, because this is the internet and that's what we do here.
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I started to notice the problem in Henry's very first scene. Enola goes to fetch her brothers from the train station, and it's supposed to be a funny moment where they don't recognize her because they haven't seen her in so long. But I couldn't even really focus on the matter at hand, because my reaction upon seeing Henry in his Victorian England getup was something like this:
I was, simply put, stunned. And then he spoke, and I knew I was in for a rough time. The way he pronounced "Enola," with the slightest bit of disdain and putting the emphasis on the second syllable, really got me. For the rest of the movie, I was stuck in this same basic state of shock and awe. The way he laughed! The way he smirked! The slight smugness! Everything about it ruined me.
To be clear, this isn't me throwing shade at the other people in the movie. Millie is downright perfect as Enola. But the problem is that even the best of performances can't stand a chance against that jawline, you know? It's too powerful. Netflix cannot expect one person's brain to process Henry and anything else at the same time.
That got me thinking. How does this man compare to the other men who have played Sherlock in the past? Has this always been a problem, or is it just this particular instance? (Or the more horrifying and most likely option, is it just me?) I think of the typical actor who portrays this character as bookish and maybe even quirky looking. The first two former Sherlocks that come to mind are Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. And yes, those two guys are not unattractive. Some would even say they are both also hot. But... I mean...
It's not even a fair competition. So that answers my earlier question: Yes, it is just this particular instance.
But that took me even further down my little spiral. I asked myself, in my most Carrie Bradshaw voice, can you be too alluring and too captivating to play a certain part? (Yes.) Is it Henry's fault that I want to swim in that little chin dimple so badly that I can't pay attention to any other part of this movie? (No.) And most importantly, am I going to have to rewatch Enola Holmes ten more times just to test my own theories and assumptions? (Yes. Definitely yes.)
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.