I Like ‘Em Big & Stupid! Aren’t Dim, Vulnerable Guys Kinda Appealing?
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.
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? ;>)
Then 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.
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.
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.
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.