I tell ya what, there’s nothing quite like sweet-but-dumb. I am a complete sucker for sweet-but-dumb. In movies, TV shows, books, wherever. If there is a well-intentioned, good-hearted, but thick-headed character, male or female, I am almost always rooting for them. Hard. I’m not entirely sure why, and it’s not at the cost of rooting for anyone else—and I’m not saying that it’s my favourite character type or anything like that—but I just love sweet-but-dumb. Perhaps ‘dumb’ is the wrong word to use here. ‘Simple’ might be better. The world is such a nefariously complicated maze chock full of ambiguity and moral hazard that the sight of a good-hearted soul stumbling through it clumsily, always trying to do right by everyone but not necessarily always managing to pull it off just kills me.
Now, the thing is, I’m aware that sweet-but-dumb can take on a slightly different dynamic when it comes to real life inter-gender relations. We all know at least several stories of truly remarkable women who have had to deal with men who might well be well-intentioned but who in terms of competence definitely push the boundaries of, ‘Yes I’m sure you love each other, but… Damn.’ Personally I’m the stupid romantic type who believes that love is usually enough, and that it’s often impossible to see into the inner workings of other people’s relationships so it can be presumptuous and fallacious to project ideas of relative worth onto other couples. BUT. Still. Sometimes you can’t help but think it. Of course this can go both ways, but society being structured along such bullshit lines so as to disproportionately reward men for lesser efforts and results than it does women *COUGH*GameofThrones*COUGH* further complicates the picture and adds a wealth of context.
On a somewhat related note, I came across this thread on Reddit, asking the question: ‘Women of Reddit, what’s the worst well-intentioned romantic gesture a partner has done for you?’ You can check out the aforementioned Reddit thread in full here, but below are some (often cringy, sometimes definitely making it hard not to shout ‘Get out of there!’, and one actual real red flag situation) highlights:
(Header image is from Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child. Not for any real reason linked to the post. I’ve just been thinking about it since the horrific, inhumane crime of a decision in Alabama. It’s a gem of a movie.)
Header Image Source: A24