Good Guys Finish Last

It wasn’t until after I watched the movie and began discussing it with my mom that I realized what this character portrayed. The movie was Bedtime Stories. The character in question, a guy I would guess to be in his late twenties/early thirties named “Skeeter”. Played up as a poor, picked-on underdog, I’m sure many people failed to see his true personality. Several times throughout the movie, he displayed rude, selfish behavior as well as a poor work ethic and the opinion that he deserved better just for being a somebody’s son. He is basically what I describe as a “loser”, not to mention “jerk”. Yet in this film, he is portrayed as the protagonist, whom everyone admires and likes, despite his shortcomings. Sure, he was “normal” and could be funny. But his crude behavior honestly ruined any desire of any sort to like this man. When a guy shuts the door in a woman’s face twice purposely in an attempt to prove a point, I lose most of my respect for him. When he asks the same woman to pretend to be his girlfriend in an attempt to make other women jealous, I lose all respect for him. If he deserved respect, he would get it. Of course, in the end, he does one single thing respectable (at his father’s ghost’s prompting), becomes the hero, and gets the girl (the same girl whom he treated so disrespectfully).

Unfortunately, this portrayal of a “normal” guy sets low standards for today’s young men. Maybe I am just overly aware of standards at this point as I am reading Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris. But the point is, I cringe to think of how many younger guys saw how funny and cool Skeeter was depicted as being, in turn deciding it will be funny and cool to be rude, selfish, and even outright obnoxious at times. Hollywood needs to grow up, take responsibility, and give young men (and women, for that matter) role models worth emulating. Why do we complain about irresponsible, disrespectful “losers” and “jerks” when we depict them as “normal”, “funny”, “cool”, and even “heroes”?

Since starting this essay, I have kept my eyes open for any other examples and I found one in an unexpected movie. Supercross, which I do not recommend watching incidentally, is the story of two brothers. Throughout the movie, I described them as “Jerk” and “Loser”. The oldest brother was an arrogant jerk, the younger a good-for-nothing loser. However, during one scene, the younger (nicknamed “Trip”) displays moral good sense, looking away from a woman undressing, even though he should be “used to it” by now. Right there, during the movie, I exclaimed, “The loser is moral!” The guy not portrayed as cool, but as a loser, had some sense of morality. But, as he became “cooler”, he lost this sense of morality.

This does not even scratch the surface of this issue, nor does it address what Hollywood portrays as cool for girls. I do not expect this to be a profound revelation to anybody; therefore, you may take this as a rant and complaint. That is, most likely, what it is.

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~ by neverxxforsaken on January 7, 2009.

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