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November 24, 2010


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I know, I know. But Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal are apparently naked a lot in this so... I don't know. I'm torn.


Don't you mean blatant wish fulfillment for female audiences? ("See ladies you can change a man!") How is this wish fulfillment for male audiences? (other than the fact that it's Anne Hathaway)


I think it actually functions as both, Ben. For men, there's the fantasy that you can, essentially, "get" a woman who is far better than you, and it doesn't have anything to do with her lack of self-esteem, but rather that she sees something in you, the real you beneath the asshole (or the schlub or the slacker or the hipster douchebag, depending on the film) and that you will be saved by her love. While, of course, still getting to act like an asshole/schlub/slacker/hipsterdouchebag for as long as possible. You only have to stop having and eating your cake simultaneously in the last ten or so minutes of the film. And that part, the part where you actuall yhave to change is relatively brief compared to all the other "fun" stuff, so (a) you don't have to think about it very much and (b) you get to feel good about yourself for reforming and turning into a decent guy.

And let's not forget that you never, ever actually lose something valuable or have to suffer much pain for more than about 15 minutes. And that the redemption is always super easy, and looks more like fun than work.

This fantasy works on a whole bunch of levels, but to take one, it reassures the 26 year old playboy jerkwad that when he feels like abruptly turning from Tucker Max into the husband from Julie and Julia, he'll be able to do so while still enjoying the fruits of douchebaggery for as long as possible, and the change will be basically painless and easy and won't involve any fundamental changes in his personality, because a (totally hot and successful and awesome and not at all down on herself for even thinking about dating him) woman will do most of the work involved.


My mind goes in interesting directions over at my blog

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