Men and women are different. I know this because it was taught it to me in sixth grade sex education class by a balding sixty year old man. However, besides the physiological, there tends to be differences between the psychological and emotional responses of the sexes to various romantic stimuli. Quite often, men and women have different outlooks on things like romance. Any of you that have been in a relationship are sure to have noticed this perplexing conundrum on day’s like today when there are sometimes expectations to be met.
I thought it would be enlightening and a good bit fun to survey some of the male membership of Pajiba to see what makes their hearts go pitter-patter. What resulted is a fairly eclectic group of selections that range from the sultry and expected to the curious and animated. While it’s by no means a comprehensive list, it does give us a topic for discussion on a day where, traditionally, men tend to cock it all up.
For the record: my choice would have been Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator. The scene where she and Howard are playing golf always gets me. She’s so direct, witty and sarcastic while being earnest, honest and “outdoorsy.” Indeed Miss Hepburn, I am indeed wooing you now.
Satanico Pandemonium - From Dusk til Dawn
As a general rule, when Danny Trejo says someone is the “most sinister woman to dance on the face of the Earth” I’m willing to take his word for it. In the ongoing argument that being evil is much more fun than being good, Satanico makes a persuasive case. Will this end well? Most certainly not, but bruised, battered and bloodied you will still enjoy the ride. The movie itself never recovered from Ms. Pandemonium’s untimely exit (how could it) because you can’t have fireworks without combustion and the slow burn here is legendary. This dance has been done many times (I’m looking at you Brittany Spears) but rarely this well.
Consider her final words: “I’m not gonna drain you completely. You’re gonna turn for me. You’ll be my slave. You’ll live for me. You’ll eat bugs because I order it. Why? Because I don’t think you’re worthy of human blood. You’ll feed on the blood of stray dogs. You’ll be my footstool. And at my command, you’ll lick the dog shit from my boot heel. Since you’ll be my dog, your new name will be “Spot”. Welcome to slavery.” There are a lot of people who’d have absolutely no problem with that deal. ~ Mr. Creosote
Ellie Andrews - It Happened One Night
As one of the more “mature” Pajibans, I have a different take on what qualifies as “it” when it comes to the ideal example of one to whom I would gladly offer my heart. Sure, today’s women are amazingly gorgeous, incredibly sexy and worthy of one’s adulation. Still, when I think of the woman upon whom I’d gladly spend some serious romantic capital, my thoughts go back to a young boy’s crush that followed me into adulthood.
I speak of the magnificent Claudette Colbert and her character from It Happened One Night: Ellie Andrews.
Seriously. Smart, sexy, sassy, gorgeous, quick with a one liner and she takes no guff from anyone, not even the great Clark Gable.
She’s the daughter of a millionaire who just wants a simple life with a regular Joe. She’s the kind of woman that you seriously respect yet know that spending time with her would be pretty damned magical.
And just to show you what I mean: watch this. ~ Spender
Wichita - Zombieland
Imagine you’re socially awkward, dateless young man and you’re suddenly plunged into the most romantic scenario you can imagine: Zombie Wasteland. Unfortunately, the only person you meet for weeks is a rowdy, crude redneck hombre with a thing for snakeskin and Dale Earnhardt. You’re prepared to settle into a sexless post-apocalypse (what’s the difference, right?) when love (and, sure, lust) stumbles into your life in the form of a blue eyed, red haired, beautiful young woman with a voice that sounds like she’s always just waking up. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for, the chance to show a prospective ladylove your zombie killing worth… except that you’ve been conned and now you’re stranded in a parking lot with that redneck, no vehicle and no weaponry against the zombie horde. Bitch! your mind shouts, but you’re also turned on, because there is only one thing sexier than a competent woman executing a plan to perfection, and that’s a competent woman executing a plan to perfection while wielding a shotgun. Now you only want to show her that you can be the last man on Earth she deserves. Because a woman who knows how to make you feel needed, while simultaneously not needing you at all, is a woman to savor. Later, when she says, “I’d hit that,” and the “that” refers to you, you know you’ve found someone special. She’s the perfect woman: take charge, drink you under the table, kick ass, knows her way around a gun, and loves Bill Murray. But the best thing about her is the saucy look she gives you after you push her hair back behind her ear and kiss her. Seriously, how can you not love that look? (I know, Columbus, I know.) ~ RobP
Surely the Saints Valentine did not martyr themselves for a quick fondle, poke and splash. Nor was it for some over-wrought fantasy from the mind of someone who should be straightjacket bound. For those if us who reside in reality we like the bitter, sinful honesty of a love that is a tauntingly beautiful and an achingly desirable coke-snorting whore is it.
Diane Court - Say Anything
Yes, all women loved Lloyd and men wanted to be him, but it’s very rare in movies like this that the object of affection is actually worthy of the attention bestowed. Diane Court was no mere show pony, she was warm, fiercely loyal, kind to old people, smarter than anyone you knew and gorgeous. When she looked at you with her crooked smile, bit her lip and said, “I love you”, if you didn’t melt, there was something wrong with your heart. Therefore, she became what I was looking for in a woman. I didn’t find her for a long time, but am happy to say I met my Diane Court several years ago and we are engaged to be wed in the near future. And the framed poster of Say Anything hangs in the hallway of our apartment. ~ Rubble44
Sam - Garden State
I think I fell for Sam because she wasn’t perfect. Women in film are usually portrayed in impossible/improbable lights. They are queens and feminists, powerful and weak, sexual goddesses. Sam was…normal. She was cute and friendly, sad and lonely, quirky and flawed and she caught Largeman with a smile. That’s the kind of girl I want.
I want a girl who is just as comfortable around my friends as she is with me. A girl who has no problem drinking beer and jumping in a pool in her underwear. One who would happily be by my side in the adventures of life. Sam was the kind of girl that can joke and play in one minute and lovingly console you the next. She never judged. She never demanded anything out of Largeman. For fuck’s sake she almost got hit with a flaming arrow! She didn’t really seem to take things too seriously, which is exactly what Largeman needed. Yet, when necessary, she could be as serious as they come. Sam is the great combination of best friend and lover. The perfect/non-prefect girl. ~ Deistbrawler
Little Girl Squirrel - The Sword in the Stone
I realize it is an unconventional pick, but then again aren’t all these fictional women just representations of qualities that resonate with us? Why not an anthropomorphic cartoon rodent? Because for me it all comes back to being seven years old watching Disney’s The Sword in the Stone on betamax at my grandparents house. With just a few minutes of screen time my ideals of romantic love were forged by a frisky girl squirrel’s ardent pursuit of young Arthur in squirrel form. These were the dream girl characteristics: cute, playful, affectionate, daring, confident, funny, and fully committed without reservation or judgment. This was a girl who would see that you are special and make sure you knew it, too. Someone who doesn’t play games, always has your back, and likes you for you. Someone who is sensitive, faithful, and devoted yet also tough enough to jump in a kick some ass if you are in danger. And Art had to go fuck it all up by turning back into a human and breaking her little squirrel heart. The sadness of the ending just made it all the more clear: if your lucky enough to find such a pure and simple love you’ve got to do your part and give it back. Take care of your squirrel mate. What could be more important than that? ~ Yossarian
Pam Beesly - The Office (US)
Oh look, he went with the consummate girl next door. Surprise, surprise. No fire breathing Latina, or elegant ice mistress that will lash you AND YOU SHALL ENJOY IT? Nor a sighing sycophant, just whimsical enough to be true? To be completely honest, I was going to pick Sofia Vergara’s Gloria from “Modern Family”, because the breasts, and the figure (real live Barbie, she is), and the accent, and the biting sense of humor… what was I talking about? Oh. Those things can take you far, but I remembered what really makes me weak in the vestibule; it’s a beautiful heart, and soul, connecting with another as easily as an oiled up Lego pirate ship.
I’ll be more specific; Pam gets me, man. And she gets you, and you, and probably you too. Pam’s radiant, and obviously shapely despite the best efforts of the season one costumers, but unafraid to compromise others’ perception of her if she thinks it’s the right thing to do. For me (and Pam), a great partnership is when you can find someone who knows exactly who they are, and present themselves as such, independent of an external locus. But to find someone who can use that charisma to improve your life and your character, on a daily basis? To make you laugh, to shock you every day with the depth of caring one can have for another, to make you realize how blah and colorless your life looked in comparison before you met them? That’s close to perfection. That’s what we should all be looking for, and striving towards. ~ Ian
Excuse the crap music. Editor’s note: The embedding on this one is disabled but I’m keeping it because literally every other clip I could put in here is even more resplendent with even shittier music.
Celine - Before Sunset
Ah, mon belle dame sans merci. I would preach the benediction of my love for Celine (Julie Delpy) at the very altar of Sacré-Coeur. When she resurfaces in Before Sunset after ten years of wishful thinking, she is a thunderbolt that brings us back to our naive, younger poetic inclinations. Unlike the doe-eyed teenagers that seem to be mass-produced off the Hollywood assembly line, Celine is a real and fleshed out person; self-deprecating, fallible, slightly neurotic, and as independently lonely as us. She is the ultimate “What if?”, a near-extinguished candle in the far recesses of our minds, a piece of ourselves contained in a past perfect day that seems dreamlike and ephemeral in advanced age. Perhaps even an extension of the architecture of Paris, of old-world romanticism and cobblestone alleys and ancient stonework. The improvisational manner that we move through Before Sunset contains the cryptic and spontaneous interactions we recite every day, making our emotional response more grounded in la vérité. Add to that a song, an open-ended finale, and our personal interpretations, and she inspires us to dream just a little bit longer. ~ Dan Saipher
Ned the Piemaker - Pushing Daisies
He’s tall, he’s slightly dorky, and he has an adorable and difficult love for his childhood sweetheart. In short, he’s just perfect and is the walking equivalent of an apple pie. Oh, and he can bring people back to life, even if it means occasionally killing others in the process. His ability to solve crimes and help his friends never fails to entertain me. I like Ned because he’s just such a loving, kind, and probably will always love you. Plus he’s tall, lanky, and has hair you just want to run a hand through while he touches dead strawberries. I’m positive that he’s also really good in the sack. ~ Kamikaze Feminist