Dear Rock of Ages,
I'm just going to get straight to the point, Rock of Ages: For our own good, whatever this is ... we have to end this. Look, I'm madly in love with you, you know that. Hell, everyone knows. At first, I thought my obsession with you was healthy. But, I'm stating to believe it's not. At all. And I know it's cliché to say, but, it's not you, Rock of Ages, it's me. (OK, it's a little bit you, too.)
I'll be honest: I have really thin skin. I've learned to accept criticism that's directed at me. I've channeled that pain. But I can no longer sit idly by and listen to what they're saying about you. It hurts too much. I know, you've told me to brush it off. 'To hell with them," you'll say. (Classic you, Rock of Ages.) Sadly, I care too much about what my colleagues say. They've seen me go down this road before - "Here I Go Again," am I right? -- and they have very strong opinions of you, Rock of Ages. I just can't do this anymore. I can't listen to the horrible things that they're saying about you. I love you too much for this to continue.
Good grief, what a couple of whirlwind weeks we had, right? I'll never forget the day we first met: May 29, 2012 - which happened to be my birthday. You're the greatest birthday present a guy could have. I mean, we had just met and you were already singing me "Paradise City." It was truly love at first sight.
I can't remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did when I was around you. Sure, maybe not everything you said was intended to be funny. But, really, what's the difference? And remember the time you showed me Malin Ackerman shoving her tongue into Tom Cruise's ear? Or the time Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin made out? I had never seen that before.
And that's the thing, Rock of Ages, you showed me an entire world that, not only had I never seen, but a world I never even knew that I wanted to see. You showed me a world in which not-always-great-acting can be forgiven by just singing a Foreigner song. You showed me a world in which very famous people can overact without inhibition. You showed me a world in which those same famous people just stopped giving a fuck about their pride.
Unfortunately, I still have my pride. And no matter how much I love you, I just can't be with you any longer. As long as I'm with you, I'll never be able to show my face in front of my colleagues. "Oh, he's lost his edge," they'll say. "Sing him 'Shadows of the Night' and he'll melt like he did for Laura Buffington in 11th grade biology class," they won't say because they didn't know me then. (Hi, Laura.) In other words: Own the lowbrow so dominantly, that, somehow, in my eyes, you become highbrow. Rock of Ages, you're so stupid that you are genius and I'm not sure that you fully realize that. And I hate the fact that I know this. And until you do realize that, I can't be with you.
I shouldn't have met you out again this past Tuesday night. Fellow movie writers Matt Singer and Matt Patches confronted me, "You're going again? What's wrong with you? Why are you doing this to yourself?" I didn't have a sufficient answer.
My poor girlfriend. I mean, what kind of asshole brings his girlfriend to meet another love. A love that he already knows that he can never be with. I thought, maybe, in a bigger group - with a bigger crowd! - people would see you the way that I see you, Rock of Ages. This didn't happen.
I thought, just maybe, people would realize that a movie in which Paul Giamatti sings just might be a good thing. People would realize that Tom Cruise might just be performing his most autobiographical role to date. People might just realize that the reason Tom Cruise is just so into this role is that Tom Cruise sees himself in Stacee Jaxx - a character with an obviously made up name played by an actor with a made up name. Maybe that when Stacce claims that he's alone, even though he's always surrounded by handlers, perhaps Cruise feels the same way. Perhaps that's why it all comes so naturally for him. Then again, maybe that's just my hormones speaking. Or maybe I just read too much into things once I hear songs by Quarterflash and Extreme.
I promise, this is harder for me that it is for you, Rock of Ages. You are a sultry minx. You are nothing like anything I've ever seen before - I can honestly say that. And even though I'd give up everything for you, I could never recommend you to anyone else. That's a problem. I know your faults: you're long, you're bloated, you're poorly paced. But, for whatever reason, I still love you. But this isn't right. And we need to say our goodbyes.
I know this isn't easy, Rock of Ages. I'll never forget you. And I hope, someday - who knows when? - we can reconcile. To paraphrase Bruce Springsteen: maybe you'll be out there on that road somewhere. In some bus or train, traveling along. In some motel room, there'll be a radio playing and you'll hear Twisted Sister, or, maybe, Whitesnake, sing that song. Well, if you do, you'll know I'm thinking of you. Good luck, goodbye, Rock of Ages.
Forever your friend,
Mike Ryan is senior entertainment writer for The Huffington Post. He really does love Rock of Ages. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.