Look, you’re not alone. Even though we live in a world of Hatha-haters and Beyoncé bullies and where Chris Brown continues to have a music career, Gwyneth Paltrow was recently voted the “Most Hated Celebrity” in Hollywood by Star magazine readers. (She was also named People’s “Most Beautiful Woman,” which in this case only added fuel to the fire.) It is normal to dislike Gwyneth Paltrow these days; it’s a consensus viewpoint, basically. Which is fine — we’re not here to tell you to love someone who recommends wildly expensive footwear and name-drops Jay-Z every chance she gets. But we are here to help you enjoy Iron Man 3, and the fact is, Gwyneth Paltrow is in this movie. Friends, Gwyneth Paltrow is even good in this movie. So in the interest of a positive Iron Man 3 experience, Vulture has devised a six-point plan to help you put aside your Gwyneth Paltrow distaste for the length (130 minutes) of the film. Take a deep breath, and begin:
Step one: Unsubscribe from GOOP.
What’s that you say? You weren’t subscribed to GOOP in the first place? You were just getting irrationally angry about an e-mail newsletter that has never defiled your in-box and has no effect on your Thursday mornings? Okay, don’t do that. Pick another Thursday-related event to get mad about instead. Community is pretty bad this season, right?
Step two: Repeat the words Pepper Potts is a pretend person who picked a pot of pickled peppers.
It is an important lesson. Also, you will get so confused that you will forget to be mad.
Step three: Consider the importance — and the mystery — of chemistry.
Without Pepper, Tony Stark is just another (funny) egomaniac in a suit. It’s important that his love interest be believable, and strangely, Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow have a charming onscreen rapport. If he can like her for two hours, can’t you?
Step four: Read a few choice quotes from Robert Downey Jr.’s GQ profile.
We’d suggest: “I’m probably one of the best … But it’s not that big a deal. It’s not like this is the greatest swath or generation of actors that has ever come down the pike.” Or on winning an Oscar: “Look, even if I don’t get one directly, eventually they’re just going to have to give me one when I get old. So no matter how you slice it, I’m getting one.” How about: “I do like a bit of Jung, and it was just this kind of numinous thing.” And while we’re at it: “Sushi’s worth it, but sometimes you’ve got to clean the bugs out.” What was that you were saying about smug and inaccessible actors?
Step five: Watch Gwyneth impersonate Jay-Z, Kanye, Beyoncé, and her husband Chris Martin.
This doesn’t help? Oh. We liked it!
Step six: Pretend it’s May of 2008.
Once upon a time, before GOOP existed or before Videogum had written a single post about how Gwyneth Paltrow is the worst person on Earth, Iron Man was a summer blockbuster that most of us enjoyed without any reservations. Cast your mind back to that time; focus on the positive, and notice how good it feels to walk through life unencumbered by hate for a movie star that you have never met. Embrace that feeling. Carry it with you to the theater. You can do this! For two hours, anyway.