I Like ‘Em Big & Stupid! Aren’t Dim, Vulnerable Guys Kinda Appealing?


"I want a moron with talented hands..." sings Julie Brown in her song I LIKE EM BIG & STUPID

“I want a moron with talented hands…” sings Julie Brown in her song I LIKE EM BIG & STUPID

I know what you’re going to say. “No, I don’t like them big and stupid.  Not at all.  Never.  Pttoooeee!”  I know, I know.

But then I would have to remind you of Jason from True Blood.

Not the brightest bulb in the box, fo’ sure, but so sweet, so simple hearted.  And cute.  And…let’s face it ladies…hawt.  He’s what I’m talking about.  Not the complete package, but the almost complete package.  A good guy.  A nice guy.  A sweet guy.

Would you cozy up to a guy if all other things considered, he wasn’t the next Mr. Einstein?  What if he was the next Mr. Einstein, but remained extremely naive about everything else? In one of my favorite classic films THE LADY EVE, Henry Fonda is a killingly cute amateur snake expert who knows next to nothing about women. Totally adorbs.

Igon--You know you want him.

Igon–You know you want him.

What about some GHOSTBUSTERS? You know you want Igon–you know you do. He’s another single-minded scientist of the a-complete-idiot-except-for-in-this-one-area-type.  I’d argue that the extreme science geek is just a girl’s version of the ditzy blonde.  He’s so clueless he’s to die for.

By now you’ve cottoned onto the fact that along with a lack of worldliness comes a lot of vulnerability.  If you have to shave a few IQ points off a guy to make him sweetly vulnerable, well, so be it.

Then you have your classic stereotypes of the un-brainy. What about jocks? (Raphael Nadal, Ryan Lochte, Tom Brady come to mind)  What about strippers? (I know what you’re thinking.  “Channing Tatum’s iconic character Mike could also design weird furniture, btw. He wasn’t JUST a stripper.” Defensive, aren’t we? ;>)

PeckThen there’s the issue of a guy who’s maybe not born super-stupid, it’s just that he’s got a special disease.  Wait, that sounds bad.  No, he’s wounded.  In the head.  Just a little.  Yeah–that’s it.  He’s got–to name a very popular movie trope–amnesia.  He might even be a mentally ill.  Anything so that you can just mother him and make his big boo-boo all better.

I myself DO like a guy who’s vulnerable and yeah, sure, a tad tortured. Who doesn’t?

You might prefer Guy Pierce in MOMENTO, but I prefer Gregory Peck all freaked out in SPELLBOUND.  The wrinkles in his forehead just floor me as he wonders if he, you know, perhaps killed someone and should go to jail for it.

Why Hugh Jackman bothers taking on other roles, I can't figure out.

Why Hugh Jackman bothers taking on other roles, I can’t figure out.

Meanwhile, for those of you who like the whole sci-fi/fantasy scene there’s Wolverine.  Amnesia, AND constant painful boo-boos.  He’s got that wounded, snarling, hurt  and yet very sexy thing going on.  Why Hugh Jackson bothers playing any other role, I simply cannot fathom.  No other character he can play will ever match Wolverine in terms of hotness or massive charisma.

Maybe your dumb goofy guy just hasn’t grown up yet?  The Peter Pan’s of this world–those who’ve deliberately turned off most of their grey matter for whatever reason–can still be fascinating, tantalizing, and if he’s sexy, then he’s probably also all too tempting.

Nadal

Raphael Nadal–he may be a dumb jock, but he’s a sensitive dumb jock.

And last but not least, there’s that cute guy who couldn’t hurt a bunny.  Hunter Parrish playing Silas, son of Nancy on WEEDS is an example of this type.  He’s the kind of actor who could play a serial killer and you’d still want him on your eighth grade math folder with stickers of unicorns and rainbows dotted around his handsome face.

Finally, I think that we could have a contest on google to discover who comes up most as the biggest cutest, hottest, dumbest guy in popular culture.  While there are some front runners for sure, (Colin Farrell, Gerard Butler–I’m looking at you boys) ultimately, for sheer genius when it comes to playing dumb really well in almost every category I listed above there is the one–there is the only–Keanu Reeves.  Big and stupid? Check.  Naive scientist? Well, not so much.  But he’s vulnerable, and he’s a Peter Pan type who’s not into flexing his cranium.  I mean, his acting makes it seem like he could be a brain-trauma victim, and he’s cute like a bunny.  He is/was the ultimate dim-but-cute icon of his generation.

Keanu baby

Keanu baby

The great thing about dumb guys is that they are content to let the woman be in charge.  Which is something that most of us do very well, and so all feels right with the world when you’re dreaming about a very cute if somewhat dim sweet man.

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6 Comments

  • Kemberlee Shortland
    May 30, 2013 at 5:33 am

    All excellent points. Being a woman in charge can be very sexy. The problem with ‘dumb’ or dim guys is that you will always be the one in charge of the relationship. And let’s face it. Even ‘in charge’ women like to be taken or let the man be in charge sometimes. The sweet, sensitive, passive guy will always be like that. After a while, they become just ‘whipped’, and that’s no fun. My hubs is an Einstein type. He spends a lot of time in that empty box at the back of his brain, thinking man things. I’m naturally very outgoing to have to be the aggressor a lot. Tiring, and boring.

    For me, it’s Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon in Hell on Wheels that does it for me. He’s one tough guy, but he’s a teddy bear inside. Anyone who doesn’t get a squidgy inside watching that love scene between him and Lily last season is plain dim themselves. And all that long hair and the deep voice . . . {swoon} But the, I always went for the biker type. Odd that I married an Einstein.

    May I’m just into oldies nowadays since I’m getting old. The young guys these days are old enough/young enough to be my kid, and I just don’t get into the cougar thing.

    Let’s not disparage Keanu though. He took the right colored pill and saved the world 😉

  • madelineiva
    May 30, 2013 at 7:07 am

    “He took the right colored pill and saved the world” — you are so right!

    Mostly Keanu Reeves is this challenge for me. What’s behind his neutral expression? What is he thinking? I can rarely tell. Also guys who are very shy are a challenge. I like a challenge.

    I appreciate what you say about being always in charge being a bore. Very True.

    I’m not familiar with Hell on Wheels –but it sounds like the exact opposite of yr hubby, so I can see why it would be *very* appealing.

    • Kemberlee Shortland
      May 30, 2013 at 7:36 am

      Back home at the University of Santa Cruz, they offered a Keanu Reeves course in their acting dept. He’s starred in so many different roles, from Bill and Ted, to the Lake House, to the Matrix (though that’s been since the course), that they wanted their students to see that they could stretch beyond what they thought they were capable of. What better actor than Keanu? That does make him a challenge for fans.

      You haven’t seen Hell on Wheels? {faints} OK, it’s about a man called Cullen Bohannon (played by Anson Mount) who was a small plantation owner before the Civil War who’s wife is brutally murdered while he’s working. He goes on a mission to find those responsible, becoming an outlaw in the process. His quest takes him to a project known as Hell on Wheels . . . the building of the Continental Railway. Colm Meany is the foreman and rapper Common plays an ex slave who makes his way up in the ranks to become a sort of outlaw in his own right. Mount and Common are sort of frienemies, either having each others back or trying to shoot each other in it. Lots of intrigue each episode, lots of Mount stomping around being broody and sexy. Lots of insight into the time. Having been watching episodes on repeat over where of the PBS special, The West, the series makes more sense to me know, and about the forming of the American West.

      Go to Youtube.com and search hell on wheels annabelle for the love scene. You can get clips from the program by just searching hell on wheels. I’m anxiously awaiting season three to start over here. I think they’ve only made three episodes now which haven’t aired yet. The station over here got the series and played them all back to back over a few weeks. Now we’re all chomping on the proverbial for season three. At least Castle has started at last . . . 6 months behind the US as usual. {sigh}

      • madelineiva
        May 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm

        Well, obviously now I have to check it out. It’s true that Keanu stretched — let us not forget he was in Much Ado About Nothing as well. And he didn’t absolutely stink either!

  • julie
    May 30, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Excellent piece, its quite thought provoking. How about Brendan Fraser in George in the Jungle. Accident prone but gets the job done. I think a lot of women would pick brawn over brain

    • madelineiva
      May 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Yes–exactly, Julie. (Now I have that George of the Jungle theme going through my head.) 😉

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