Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Ryan Reynolds' Aviator Gin is this 84-year-old’s first “legal drink”

Ryan Reynolds’ latest ad for his popular Aviation Gin cleverly capitalizes on our recent leap day. The spot, titled “Arlene’s Big Leap,” focuses on Arlene Manko, who was born on a leap day in 1936. This means she only gets a birthday once every four years, so February 29, 2020, was technically her 21st birthday. The situation makes for lots of layup jokes about how Arlene’s never really had a legal drink, as she tries and fails to fool her local bodega proprietor with a series of disguises. Also, she states that she had seven kids in 10 years, so if anyone deserves a drink, it’s her.

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The commercial enthuses, “We wanted her first legal drink to be Aviation Gin,” as Arlene takes a sip of a tantalizing birthday cocktail with a festive straw and a formidable orange slice. “Holy moses,” exclaims the octogenarian. The ad states firmly that Manko is not an actor, but really, she kills every scene she’s given here. Even in the kicker, where she admits that she’s just not sure who this Ryan Reynolds is. The smooth voice of Deadpool sternly cautions us: “Ignore her. She’s been drinking.”

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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