Edward McGowan


How Tall Is Jake Gyllenhaal?

And other pressing questions that should have matter-of-fact answers but do not

When I feel overwhelmed by the world, I take comfort in the knowledge that, for just about any controversial topic, there is a fact of the matter. As I’m buffeted by opposing op-eds, rival theories, and barroom debates, the fact of the matter waits patiently, biding its time beneath tectonic layers of invective and argument and confusion. Unfortunately, discovering the fact of the matter can drive one to the limits of sanity, as I learned when I tried to glean some vital information about the actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

I recently watched Gyllenhaal in the transdimensional, train-based thriller Source Code. The movie left me in a state of befuddlement. I wasn’t confused about how a Marine could be forcibly transposed into a dead man’s body to defuse a bomb that had already exploded—any fool could figure that out, especially with Vera Farmiga calmly explaining it 100 times. No, I was confused about how tall Jake Gyllenhaal is.

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