Comparing your romantic style to those of notorious movie characters doesn’t ever work perfectly, as most of us don’t experience the expected happy ending. However, we can learn from watching them trip, strip or flip for their silver screen significant others. Whether you’re the girl next door or the bad boy, real life may not come sealed with a tidy finale, but examining some of Hollywood’s most noteworthy narrators of love may teach us some lessons that are a little more realistic.
Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) – Fatal Attraction
Although she’s creepy and riddled with emotional and mental issues, she’s also passionate and won’t take “no” for an answer. Her one-night stand treats her as a solitary romp in the hay with no repercussions, but Alex can’t let go. She is desperate and crazed and won’t be ignored. This particular situation ends badly, but it doesn’t have to for you.
Fatal forewarning: First, don’t mess with married people, plain and simple. They are emotionally unavailable and unfaithful. Second, ease up when you aren’t wanted. If the other party doesn’t return your attempts for contact, they don’t want you. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out or convince them otherwise. Rabbits around the world will thank you.
Yes, the martini millionaire playboy that loves her and leaves her is sexy. While leading a life of mystery and intrigue, the stud drinks, smokes and sexes up the many beautiful women in his path, discarding them as soon as they disturb the jet setting. Perhaps you crave the unchained life of lovin’ and leavin’, or maybe you are attracted to this suave snake. Remember that a drunk guy who works 24/7 and has a hacking cough isn’t so attractive in the morning.
Bond’s Bum Steer: The slick guy may get the beautiful girls, but not the real relationship. As the apprentice JB, you may have a hot date every night, but no one will truly know you as you really are. In addition, hoity-toity bravado is irksome and shallow to most, so get off the “I’m hot stuff” train. You don’t have to advertise; let her realize your appeal on her own.
Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) – Pretty Woman
Being a member of the world’s oldest profession forces Vivian to be emotionally turned off. However, not so deep down, she dreams of the fairy tale knight on a white horse. In this predictable happy ending, she gets her Rapunzel rescue, changing her man into a sappy savior.
Viv’s Section: Don’t expect to transform someone. Ultimately, everyone must change on their own, so don’t presume to set the blueprint. Additionally, fairy tales are unfair expectations and set you up for disappointment. Notice that when given an opportunity at the end, Vivian chose to better her life (beauty school and geographic relocation), without the man. Okay, so perhaps the prostitute moving on to makeup is a stretch, but you get the point.
Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) – Forrest Gump
Forrest is an innocent, slow-witted chap who also proves to be incredibly kind, decent and quite lucky. His uncomplicated spirit and honest, childlike sincerity manage to highlight the imperfections in the world around him.
Gump Guidance: Dedication, flexibility and sincerity are the nuts and chews of success. Some might find you silly for loving what you love, doing what you do or questioning the way things are, but ultimately you have to live with yourself. Like chocolates, life’s unpredictability should encourage you to roll with it.
Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
An early example of the morally laden choice between love and money, Holly Golightly is a free-spirited and naive young woman who is not so keen on commitment. Making her living as a trophy, she lives superficially on the charity of wealthy older men. Upon discovering that good times are free, Holly, like most gold diggers, is faced with a quandary: feed the soul or stabilize the pocketbook.
Golightly for the Gold: Gold diggers value the easy path more than the reward. Ultimately, money doesn’t make you happy; it just provides a smoother ride. But, really, who cares how you get there? Take the less-traveled path and trust your instincts. A fully stocked bank account does not ensure an invested mate, or a kiss goodnight.
The Girl Next Door
Many movies highlight the proverbial “girl next door” – the imperfect, attainable plain Jane who is a great listener and cute as a button. Typically, the guy overlooks this woman and treats her as the best friend or someone to listen to his lady friend woes. She’s not glamorous or exotic, but instead comfortable and underappreciated. News from the Neighbor: Great chemistry comes in all forms, so look beyond your normal prerequisite list. You might just find that those freckles on the considerate pal sit atop fantastic cheekbones.
John Bender (Judd Nelson) – The Breakfast Club
Bender is the definitive bad boy, on the fast track to nowhere. He’s a sexy loner with a smart mouth; he’s aloof and always in trouble. But underneath the grit and dirt lies a heart that just needs the prom queen to unearth it.
Bender Boy Lessons: As his wall of self-preservation, the criminal attitude is his M.O. Although the tough exterior and soft inside may seem engaging at first, the constant struggle to crack this Brazil nut could get arduous. Diamond earrings might relieve some frustration, but ask yourself what happens after detention.
Whether you see yourself as one of these loving leads or you find yourself attracted to the cinema character, lessons on love can be found in the world of make-believe. Feature flicks reflect the players we know and love, but it’s up to you to write your own happy ending.
We want to know what character best describes you. Post your comments below.