Quick aside: Please check out my new friend Kristen’s blog! If you like this blog, you’ll like hers as well: http://stolensentiments.blogspot.com/
A bit of a change of pace, since Y & R is not really capturing me right now…
So today while the boys and wife were sleep, I was in the Mancave and got to watch Netflix on my Wii for once. It’s been a while since I had a chance to watch, and I didn’t know they added so many choices. I notice on there a movie called Lemon Popsicle, which I remembered reading about as the original version of The Last American Virgin. The Last American Virgin was virtually a scene for scene remake of Lemon Popsicle, except it was set in ’50s Israel versus ’80s US. I mean, down to shots, facial expressions, dress, etc. There were two crucial differences:
1. The Last American Virgin captured the 80s like few others could with their soundtrack. I didn’t realize how much the soundtrack made the movie for me.
2. Lemon Popsicle’s main love interest was much more obviously not interested in the main character. Karen (the main love interest from the Last American Virgin), on the other hand, led Gary (the main character)on HARD!
For those who’ve never seen the movie, I highly advise you to get it off netflix or your local video store if it still exists…it was so different than most other teen movies ever made. Brief synopsis: Gary, Rick, and David are best friends in search of their elusive first sexual experience. Hilarity (not unlike American Pie) ensues in their pursuit. Gary sees a new girl in town named Karen and he’s instantly in love with her. She’s polite and friendly, but doesn’t seem particularly interested. Instead, she falls for Rick (aka the Worst Wingman Ever) and Rick goes about trying to smash off Karen. I can’t remember if Rick knew that Gary liked her or not, but based on Rick’s personality, I don’t think he would have cared. Rick tries to borrow the keys to Gary’s dead grandmother’s house in order to de-flower Karen there (grimy as hell!), and Gary does some passive aggressive stuff, leading Rick to take Karen’s virginity at the football field. Karen turns up pregnant, Rick denies responsibility and breaks up with her. Gary confronts Rick about being a jerk, they fight, and Gary tells Karen he’s going to help. He sells stuff and borrows money to pay for an abortion and they stay in his grandmother’s house under the guise of going on a ski trip. He reveals his feelings, they sleep together, act like a couple, and she invites him to her birthday party. He borrows more money to get a necklace inscribed “To Karen with love.” He arrives at the party, only to find: (spoiler alert)
And that was the end of the freaking movie….have you EVER seen a movie that ended on more of a downer than that?
Fast forward 25 years to Karen’s obvious daughter, Summer as in (500) Days of Summer. I love/hated this movie because I lived it. Brief synopsis: Tom Hansen meets Summer Finn, a free-spirited type of chick and over the course of 500 days, they go from strangers to acquaintences to friends to pretend couple to Summer breaking Tom’s heart. At the beginning of their “non-relationship,” she says she doesn’t want a boyfriend, then proceeds to act like someone in a relationship headed towards the aisle. Tell me….does this look like “just friends” to you?
The movie is presented in non-linear fashion, so it by nature is disjointed, but essentially Summer feels crowded in the non-relationship, ends it, sending Tom into a deep depression, they see each other on the train on the way to a wedding, act like everything’s back to normal, with Summer neglecting to tell Tom that she not only is over her “not wanting a boyfriend” thing, but she’s engaged. Instead, she invites him to a party at her apartment, which he finds out is her engagement party. At least this one ends on a hopeful note….Tom goes for an interview and meets (wait for it) Fall!
Where do I start? My biggest problem with Karen (Last American Virgin) is that she led Gary on, knowing that he was into her. You don’t let anyone, let alone a high school kid, pay $300 for an abortion without thinking “Man, this guy cares about me.”
At least with Karen, I can write it off to her being young. Summer was a grown ass woman. You know how whenever someone says “no offense” or “With all due respect” they’re about to say something either really offensive or really disrespectful? Same principle at play here….just because Summer told Tom she didn’t want a boyfriend doesn’t give her license to act contrary to that and then get upset when he responds to that stimuli like a boyfriend. It wouldn’t have been quite as bad if she just ended it and moved on…but to re-kindle the relationship and not tell him that she’s engaged was just plain evil. How the hell is Tom supposed to feel when she didn’t even want him as a boyfriend, but marries the next guy she deals with?
Gary was more at fault than Tom was. Here’s a list of Gary’s sins:
- Gary fell too hard too fast for a chick who didn’t deserve it.
- Gary didn’t tell his best friend how he felt.
- Gary assumed they were together rather than talking about it with Karen
All forgivable crimes for a high school kid who is still figuring out his identity. Gary probably became Barney Stinson after being scarred in this incident. And he was probably much better at picking friends after having the worst wingman ever. And he most certainly was not a “nice guy” any more.
I put “nice guy” in quotes because I really think that the mentality of a “nice guy” is different than that of a guy that’s nice. A “nice guy” is a boring doormat. I’ve come to realize that women don’t necessarily like bad boys (only girls do), but they don’t want “nice guys” either. There’s no challenge there, and more importantly, they don’t feel protected. I really didn’t find myself as a man until I got in touch with my inner asshole and shed the “nice guy” thing. I’m still nice, don’t get me wrong, but you have to earn my niceness…and I can be ornery at times.
They say women are the emotional ones; my theory is that both genders are emotional, but women are more demonstrative with their emotion. As men, we’re taught to suck it up. That repression makes the inevitable release of that energy have a much deeper impact. Gary was at the least changed forever. Tom, it’s hard to tell because he was a little older, but at the very least, he’ll be wary moving forward.
I say all this to say to the ladies out there….you have a power you don’t realize. You can ruin a guy forever. So if you’re ever in a Summer-like situation, Clarity is your friend. If you’re ever in a Karen-like situation, don’t lead a guy on. Not that I watch that kind of thing….