Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Ideal Husband, circa 1989

Let's face it, all women are trying to find that ideal man. Or woman. Depending on how you swing. However, that's not where I'm going with this. Women collect this dossier of information in their heads about their perfect other. He has to be tall, or he has to be an astronaut. It doesn't matter how unrealistic or how unattainable these qualifications are. We still hold them in our mind and judge every man who we meet against them. When we go out on a date with someone and we say, "You know, I don't feel that connection," it really means, "Sorry, you don't meet at least one or two of my standards." It's shallow to some extent, but everyone does it.

Films have a lot to do with building my dossier. Which is probably a bad thing. I'm completely buying into this unrealistic image of a man. But at least I know it. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Every since my dad showed me Indiana Jones, I've had this obsession with rugged men like that, as I'm sure every straight woman has had. But the one man that I constantly try to find in the real world is Lloyd Dobler.

Say Anything is hands down, the pinnacle of 80s teen cinema. Which is funny, because it comes at the end of the 80s. Maybe it's so good because it's actually realistic. Don't get me wrong, I love The Breakfast Club and all those Molly Ringwald, John Hughes movies. But at the end of the day, is that really going to happen? I wish. I prayed that on my sixteenth birthday the attractive jock would realize I was the girl for him and not that bimbo cheerleader he always fucked around with. But Say Anything is a realistic story. The end of high school is the end of innocence. You're now being thrown into the real world, where the decisions you make will affect what happens when you graduate and get a job (hopefully). And Lloyd Dobler isn't like that. He just wants a "dare to be great" situation. That's what he wants after he graduates. College is meaningless unless you've done something meaningful. What fucking high school did he go to!? I want to go there! My high school just stressed being successful.
He's the perfect man. Good musical taste (he listens to RHCP in the car, awesome), sensitive, funny, respectful. And what does his "dare to be great" situation turn out to be? Loving Diane! And she's so fucking stupid! How does Lloyd Dobler, the perfect man, end up with a twat? She has no idea that all of us are on the other side of the screen cursing her name. Why would you ever consider giving up a man like Lloyd Dobler? I seriously think every man should watch this movie and learn one thing from it and apply it to everyday life. It could be that women can't resist "In Your Eyes." It could be that phone calls are overrated and letters are the real deal. I don't care. I hope Cameron Crowe is actually a real life Lloyd Dobler. I hope he seriously wrote this movie about himself. That would give me a little hope for my romantic life.
At this point I may be coming off like some angry single woman who eats Oreos constantly and stalks Jude Law. I'm not, although I do like Oreos in moderation. I've dated fantastic men, and I've dated the scum of the Earth. I think everyone can say that about their romantic life. I'm just saying that this film showed me that men can be mature after high school and I shouldn't deal with juvenile bullshit. It's a great thing to realize, and if you haven't done so I urge you to try. So every time you hear Peter Gabriel on the radio, nod your head in appreciation. Because the light, the heat is in your eyes Lloyd Dobler. Wear that ridiculous trench coat proudly.

Sidenote: I never realized until my last viewing that Jeremy Piven is totally in Say Anything! God, that man is amazing.

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