I’m a dude. Straight off the bat I’m gunna let you guyses know I like dude things.
I like standing up peeing, Judd Apatow movies and wearing sunglasses on the train so I can check out girls without them knowing. Then seeing if they are checking me out. Then feeling a bit sad if they don’t look at least once-
Okay that last one is an eency bit fruity.
And I just said ‘eency’.
Let me start again…
I’m a red blooded male.
But I’m going to make a controversial statement. Most guys will object to this statement. But I’m going there anyway. Cos I like to cause controversy. And it is this:
Dudes kinda don’t mind romantic films.
Now before you go grab your nearest guy friend and try to drag him along to a special advanced-screening of Kate Hudson’s next abomination, let me explain further…
There is a certain type of romance movie that guys can stand. It has to fit a certain criteria, or else the whole production flies straight over our heads and all interest in the cause is lost. All of a sudden you got your boy falling asleep, texting his friends, texting a girl he knows wouldn’t ever take him to such a shit movie, etc.
I can see the controversy already. Sides are split. Some people are agreeing, some aren’t. (wtf am I talking about?)
So I shall break it down…
For a male human being to tolerate a romance film it has to have:
A guy will be more receptive to a romantic comedy than a straight-up romance film.
That’s just the way it is.
A romance film is like Corn Flakes* to a dude. Corn Flakes are bland, boring, tasteless morsels of flakey nothingness. There’s only a certain type of person that eats plain Corn Flakes with milk. They love it. They think it’s awesome, and they can not see why anyone else would hate plain Corn Flakes.
However, if you add sugar to Corn Flakes (read: add comedy to romance) it all of a sudden becomes bearable for everyone else.
But you can still only have so much before you feel full and bloated.
If you have too much you become sick and vomit up an orangey, yoghurtesque amalgamation. Not nice.
2. A Relatable Actor Playing the Male Lead
Most often, a girl’s idea of the perfect man, or what producers think a girl’s idea of the perfect man is, completely conflicts with what a guy thinks is a decent relatable male leading man.
Sometimes though, the film makers get it right.
Actors men can relate to in romantic roles:
John Cusack (check out the picture… I love him), Humphrey Bogart, Tim Robbins, Kurt Russell, Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant.
Actors men can not relate to in romantic roles:
Richard Gere, Matthew McConaghey, Matthew Perry, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant.
There are also some actors who play characters men can relate to such as Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, but quickly lose all respect by being complete nut-bags and subsequently guys are more reluctant to see their films in a positive light.
Also, as shown in my list, when it comes to Hugh Grant, guys are divided on the issue.
Love Actually and About a Boy: good.
Notting Hill and Two Weeks Notice: urgk.
Not that I like Hugh Grant films.
3. An Adorable, Relatable (Hot) Leading Lady
It shits me to the core when I find myself in a situation where viewing of a romance film is inevitable, and I find out that I have no warmth for the female protagonist at all.
And by warmth I mean boner.
Unfortunately for guys, for some unknown reason, most romantic films have a shitty leading lady.
Obviously just like how guys’ and girls’ ideas of a good leading man conflict, so to do their ideas of a good leading lady.
Guys don’t want to see Cameron Diaz’s loud-mouthed, ultra girl-power, ladychild, tomboy, completely rude smart-arse bitch of a character succeed in getting her man.
There is absolutely no way a male audience is going to relate to any character Julia Roberts has ever played.
Actresses men want to see in romantic roles:
Kate Beckinsale, Keira Knightly, Rachel McAdams, Natalie Portman, Andie MacDowell.
Actresses men do not want to see in romantic roles:
Julia Roberts, Renee Zelwegger, Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker.
The female lead of a romantic film has to be able to make the male audience fall in love with her.
As well as being cute, she has to play a character that isn’t a complete and utter bitch.
This could explain why after I watched The Notebook I promptly went onto Youtube and watched thousands of clips of Rachel McAdams in films, doing interviews and getting chased by paparazzi all the way through til the next morning, before crying myself to sleep in the feotal position.
Not that I like The Notebook.
Which brings me to my final point…
4. The Male Character Can’t be a Desperate Arsehole
“Oh no, oh gee, I just realised the error of my ways. I guess I was wrong all along! I have to go chase the girl of my dreams before she is out of my life forever!”
This scenario will not play out in any romantic film that a guy will tolerate.
The male character has to be the underdog.
That means more often than not, the girl has to realize she was in the wrong.
This is why we hate Julia Roberts films. We can sense that snooty bitch is expecting guys to fall at her feet.
I’d fall at her feet if I was behind her and someone was pushing her backwards over my body. That would be funny. But that’s the only time I’d be even close to falling at her feet.
However, Kate Beckinsale in Serendipity. I would lick the polish of her shoes if she asked me to. And enjoy it.
For a guy to get at least an iota of satisfaction out of a boy-chases-girl scenario, he has to feel like the male character wants to drop everything and chase a woman that’s actually worth it.
But what’s better is when the girl is after the guy. That’s pretty much an ego-boost for dudes, thinking that a gorgeous woman would actually go to the effort for a regular guy.
If a dude in a romance film is chasing a girl, it should be because he knows she’s heartbroken and she reciprocates his feelings for her back to him, not just because he’s in love with her and decides it’s fate. Fuck off with that shit, that’s crap. Write a real story line. This is why we have no respect for romantic films.
In the long run, they are just plain shit.
So basically what I’m saying is that for a romantic movie to hold a dude’s interest, it has to have humour, but not be too light-hearted, the guy’s got to have dignity and be the underdog, while the girl has to have class, be cute, and not be a complete diva.
But on the whole we’d rather you just take us to see Pineapple Express.
*This reminds me, have you ever noticed how after you have a bowl of cereal, then decide to have seconds in the same bowl straight after, the cereal is always heaps crunchier the second time around? That’s bizarre.