We all experienced it: the misplaced infatuation with various fictional men in film and TV. From Peter Pans to Batmen, they’ve established the foundations for our taste in real-life romances. Which explains why we’re all so fucked. So let’s take a look, shall we, at some of the reasons we fall for these guys, and why it’s a horrible idea.
Stef, Pretty In Pink:
The Myth: Stef is the biggest fucking dick to ever grace whatever high school Molly Ringwald goes to in Pretty In Pink. He’s rich, privileged, cocky as fuck, can bang any chick he wants without consequence, except…Molly Ringwald, who’s more interested in that huge pussy, Blane. And that’s exactly why we want Stef. He’s the asshole that we eccentrics think we’ll tame. He wants us because we see right through him. He wants us to condemn him and forgive him. WE CAN CHANGE STEF. And he can afford to buy us lots of shoes. And he’s super, super hot.
The Reality: Stef is not interested in us because we’re so real, intriguing, or unique. He is into us for the same reason people collect stamps: he doesn’t have us. Once the chase is over, you’re another boring acquisition and a punch line for the boys in the back rooms at SoHo House. In the best case scenario, you’re of good enough stock to merit a marital merger. Before the ink’s dry on the certificate, he’s cheating on you constantly when not pressuring you do to more and more depraved, humiliating things in bed involving saddles, gimp masks, and safety words he ignores or pretends he mishears.
Lloyd Dobler, Say Anything
The Myth: Let’s get it over with. But Sabrina, you say. Are you mad? Lloyd Dobler is the best boyfriend on earth! He gave her his heart and she gave him a pen! He got the shakes from fear and pleasure while losing his virginity! He’ll follow you to the end of the earth and never stray! HE LIKES THAT PETER GABRIEL SONG.
The Reality: Lloyd Dobbler is probably the most deceptive and dangerous boyfriend in pop culture history. Let’s look at the facts: he’s a creepy guy in a trench coat who likes kickboxing. Who is this guy in the real world? One thing is for sure: he does not look like John Cusack. Probably, he’s a fat, pimply, creepy World of Warcraft/ WWE fan. Or he’s one of the Columbine shooters. And he’s been obsessed with a girl for years that he doesn’t know and has nothing in common with. NOTHING. And let me remind you of reality: sweetness does not actually override having nothing intellectually stimulating to discuss, especially when he’s a skinny little nerd and not some raging hunk of cro-mag hot. As for following you to your prestigious college, yeah, good luck with that. Ladies, if you want something destructive waiting for you at home that doesn’t work, is always happy to see you, follows you around lovingly, and shits all over the house, get a dog. Trust me, it’ll be less awkward when your friends meet your awesome dog than your dumb boyfriend who has nothing to contribute to your Ivy League conversation.
The Myth: Everyone under ten has a crush on Peter Pan. He’s the thin green line between childhood and the stress and expectations of becoming an adult, something particularly meaningful to young girls, bred to be much more accepting of our quickly fleeting adolescence. He’s brave, handsome, quick-witted, and underneath it all, *WARNING: HOOK SPOILER* he can eventually be persuaded to grow up.
The Reality: Okay, to start with, before we get into HIM, he already comes with the worst baggage of all time: Tinkerbell, a psychotically obsessed, pathetically enamored platonic friend who is hellbent on destroying you, despite knowing he will never want her. If you find a way around her, keep in mind that he’s a guy who only abandoned his perpetual adolescence because he was henpecked by that nag Wendy, who appealed to him because he’s essentially looking for a mother. The reality of an adult Pan is not a cheeky, charming, adventurous man-boy, but rather, that guy who you’re engaged to for ten years who has filled a majority of your house with ‘collector figures’ and video game systems. You will resent him your entire relationship, and after years of accumulating a growing hatred for him as you clean up after him and his equally emotionally stunted friends, and desperately pleading with him to stop spending every penny on Star Wars toys instead of rent, you’ll leave him and he won’t even notice. Also, he is quite possibly actually a woman.
The Myth: Robin Hood is dashing, witty, brave, and generous. He cares about the downtrodden. He’s politically subversive and not contented by armchair politics. He believes strongly in women’s rights and finds the more independent you are, the more he adores you. He’s not jealous or judgmental, but he will FUCK UP any guy who disrespects you.
The Reality: Yes, he is great, provided you don’t mind having your kids visiting their dad in jail most of their lifetime.
Jordan Catalano, My So-Called Life
The Myth: He’s like, so dreamy and cool. He’s in a band. And he went for a nobody like Angela Chase, who seemed devoid of any interesting traits besides an ability to always chew on her hair without it appearing wet. He’s like, the slacker poet idiot savant. He’ll write a song about you breaking his heart and you’ll know he loves you.
The Reality: He seems more like a matchup for your best friend Rayanne, and in fact, he will fuck your best friend. And some of your other friends. And when you get HPV from him, he’ll stare blankly and say, ‘What’s HPV?’ And when you explain what it is, he’ll blink a few times and accuse you of getting it elsewhere, despite proudly writing a song about taking your virginity. Oh, and he’ll write an even more embarrassing song about you breaking his heart, play it at a party, and some crazy chick will try to fight you for causing him emotional pain. And you’ll find out he got HPV from her. In ten years, there will be a website dedicated to the girls he gave it to. Most of them will be your friends who never mentioned they were banging him while you were together.
Sid Vicious, Sid and Nancy
The Myth: He’s a doomed, gentle but unstable spirit who desperately seeks nurturing and love. The two of you will enjoy hedonistic dysfunction together. When you’re in pain, he’s in pain, and if he’s not, he will make it happen, literally, by banging his head against the wall. He doesn’t care what his friends think of you. It’s you and him against the world until you go out in a blaze of glory. He’s your punk rock Romeo, the Clyde to your Bonnie.
The Reality: To start with, he might kill you or at least not notice you lying bloody on the floor. He’s a drooling drug addict with little hope of ever getting clean but maintains a persistent, touching desire to do so that makes you stay with him long after it’s beyond sense. His desperation brings out the mother figure in you, but after a while, you wonder why you’re taking care of a vomiting, scrawny stranger who is neither your child nor capable of getting a boner. He has a very limited life span and most likely smells really bad.
Troy, Reality Bites
The Myth: Ethan Hawke’s iconic Troy is the quintessential grunge-rocker poet. He’s like dating Kurt Cobain before Cobain was all confused by those millions of dollars. He’s too intellectual for heroin, and his secret passion for you burns him from the inside out, leading him to publicly claim his love for you in his trademark passive-aggressive manner. He will leave mixed tapes of Magnetic Fields songs on your front step and dedicate multiple spoken-word pieces to you. Pictures he has discreetly snapped of your lipstick and fingernails will make up a majority of his multi-media conceptual art project he’s been working on since dropping out of grad school because it was for ‘capitalist sellouts’.
The Reality: What a fucking miserable asshole. He’ll never compliment you, he won’t pay for jack shit, he’ll constantly being trying to one-up you intellectually, he’ll put you down in front of your friends and then accuse you of being overly sensitive, the one time he does dishes, he does them so badly you never make him do them again, and he hates literally fucking everything. Everything. That movie? Too commercial. That band? Good ten years ago. He is never going to finish any of the novels or video art projects he has started but refuses to get a job because it interferes with his artistic freedom. Seriously, you’d be better off with Matt Dillon’s character in Singles because at least that guy knew how to say bless you without lecturing you on how lame religious references are and belittling your mother for celebrating Christmas earnestly (while accepting the gift she gives him, although making fun of it). One day, you’ll realize his ‘deep songs’ are total garbage.
Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
The Myth: Sure, they’re dumb, but they’re sweet, and some day, they’re going to make the most important music of all time.
The Reality: You don’t live in the future, and currently, Wyld Stallyns suck.
David, The Lost Boys
The Myth: He’s a hot badass who runs with a bunch of much, much lamer dudes, but he’s their leader! And he has a sensitive side: did you not see the tears trickling down his face at the idea of a normal life where the woman he loved could love him out of genuine caring and not terror?
The Reality: Are you stupid? This guy is a vampire. Who kills people. And makes little kids into vampires for god knows what reason. I mean, who wants to be babysitting your boyfriend’s vampire kid for the rest of your life? Lame. And everyone who saw Interview With a Vampire knows that vampire babies don’t cope well with eternal youth. Plus, his feet are DISGUSTING, he’s super jealous of shit and shows off too much, and his friends are a bunch of annoying assholes.
Eric Northman, True Blood
The Myth: Well, to begin with, he is incredibly hot. So, so hot. And insanely funny, smart, runs his own business, has a fierce independent streak, and despite all his cool, sassy claims of utter selfishness, genuinely cares for his BFF Pam. And he can fuck like, all day, like a jackhammer. His greatest weakness is his loyalty to his family.
The Reality: Were you not paying attention? This guy is a fucking vampire. He kills people. Brutally. And he’s also proud of being an arrogant, selfish asshole. But more importantly, he is UNDEAD.
Spike and Angel, Buffy The Vampire Slayer
The Myth: Spike and Angel are both going against everything ingrained in them, loving the enemy, desperately trying to win her heart. For Angel, the task is easier because he’s burdened with the curse of a soul that makes him initially vague and annoyingly stalkerish, and later incredibly emo and boring. But still a hot piece of wood who desperately, tenderly loves. For Spike, he’s so dedicated to proving that he loves Buffy that he endures the seemingly unnecessary agony of regaining his soul, reducing him to a hollow shell of a man. And it really is pointless when you think about how unlike Angel’s Angelous alter-ego, Spike’s soullessness didn’t seem to prevent him from making rational decisions to alter and improve his attitude. And then even though he knew Buffy didn’t love him, he sacrificed himself to save her stupid world anyway. And was rewarded by returning to earth as Angel’s wacky sidekick.
The Reality: Angel sucks. He’s only into Buffy because of a gypsy curse. The minute he’s soulless, he’s a psychotic mass-murderer. And you know what triggers his soullessness? A moment of pure happiness. Which happens to come in the form of any kind of climax. Sure, if you don’t like giving BJs, this is a decent deal, but come on. Do you really want to risk the incredibly flawed arrangement of the curse and have him decapitate you during post-coital bliss? Plus, unlike most vampires, he actually can’t seem to avoid the ravages of age. As for Spike, well, to be honest, pre-getting his soul back, he’s actually kind of okay. Sure, he gets a little rapey from time to time, but he’s trying to quit that. He seems like he could be a changed man and even refrain from murder. But he will write you horrible, sad poems and become a completely depressing Bright Eyes song whenever you fight.
Chris Chambers, Stand By Me
The Myth: Chris is the leader of his motley crew of fifties rejects, all of whom are struggling with their own socially-ostracizing personal problems. He stands up to the bullies even though they’d probably gladly let him stand with them, and he doesn’t let himself get put off by the opportunities his friends will have that he’s left out of thanks to class stature. He even dies a hero, decades down the line, taking a knife for a complete stranger.
The Reality: No matter what, this guy is completely doomed. You wanna be a widow?
Blane, Pretty In Pink
The Myth: Um. Blane is a rich kid with bland good looks and a moderately dorky but endearing personality. He seems blissfully ignorant to the clashing class wars going on in your high school and is moderately computer savvy. He will most likely marry his first girlfriend and never cheat on her because he is too boring to do so.
The Reality: Blane is a gigantic tool who totally dumps Andie before prom because his rich douche friends don’t like her and then has the NERVE to make her feel bad and apologetic for it later. That has to be one of the most appalling scenes in cinema. It’s the eighties equivalent of Irreversible. Seriously, when Andie’s standing there, quietly sobbing, he says he didn’t take her to the prom because SHE never believed in HIM when he gave her no reason to because he totally caved to peer pressure in the first place. What a vile sack of crap. Go fuck Stef and send him the pictures. At least Stef KNOWS he’s a fucker.
Sick Boy, Trainspotting
The Myth: He’s an impossible asshole, a cocky waster who uses and dismisses women, a career addict and criminal who still manages to look sharp. But he does look really good and whatever scent he’s giving off causes women to overlook the track marks and suspiciously fucked-up looking friends.
The Reality: In his own words: “Personality, I mean that’s what counts, right? That’s what keeps a relationship going through the years. Like heroin, I mean heroin’s got a great fucking personality.”
Johnny The Homicidal Maniac
The Myth: Okay, he’s not a movie character. YET. He’s the funniest goth serial killer of all time. He likes tacos and rabbits and is the mastermind behind the oddly endearing, intriguing rambling madness that is Happy Noodle Boy. He really likes The City Of Lost Children.
The Reality: He is a homicidal maniac.
The Myth: Batman is an obsessive vigilante desperately seeking to right the wrong of his parents’ murders with a non-stop, unquenchable thirst for justice against all wrong-doers and perceived wrong-doers. He’s clever, strong, fast, and not above witty banter with his foes. If you are out with him and get mugged, he will rip the arm off the mugger later to avenge you. And his real identity–or is it?–Bruce Wayne is a filthy rich, incredibly handsome playboy with more money than brains who, in order to maintain a beard to cover up his night activities, will pay for you to go on all kinds of awesome trips, buy you stuff to appease you, and attend every public event with you, making you the envy of Gotham.
The Reality: Where to begin. First of all, the vigilante/alter-ego stuff gets old. Sure, Bruce Wayne might love you, but Batman might be in love with some total psycho in a cat costume. And the hours he keeps! Plus he might get you killed, or you might be driven mad by him, and he’ll never be able to get over his crippling emotional problems to really be there for you. Also, if you get pregnant, the baby will constantly be the target of ninjas and crazy murderers.