I got this letter from a reader a few days ago and it made me smile:
My point here is the movie put me in a funk and then reading your take on the possible existence of that type of guy made it worse. I think guys like that can and do exist, and maybe you find yourself disappointed in discovering that the 20 something kind of nerdy guys that you meet just don’t measure up to the J G-L standard because you’ve been misidentifying them in the first place. Where they actually good at something? Did they have dimples (you can’t undervalue the pleasantness of face with dimples, that shit works)? I felt like I had more to say but now I’m just tired. I hate Zooey Deschanel this week, and that’s hard to do to a person with such nice eyes. He never should have taken her to The Graduate, that shit makes everyone sad. Don’t give up hope and stop falling for rocker guys.”
This prompted my friend Dave to re-read my piece on types of guys and (500) Days Of Summer on thisrecording.com (which you can read here: In Which There Are Two Types Of Guys if the mood strikes you, I don’t recommend it) which lead to a heated and friendly discussion about Lloyd Dobler vs. Tom/JGL:
DAVE: Tom from 500 Days is really that adorable? I mean, Lloyd Dobler-esque? I saw that movie, and sister, he aint no Lloyd. I think you’re confusing a well planned vest/tie combo with inner cute.
ME: Yeah, Tom is better than Lloyd, buddy. Welcome to 2010. The John Cusack thing is getting old.
DAVE: Holy shit.
ME: John Cusack is old. We want someone new.
DAVE: Is this the end of our friendship?
ME: Boomboxes are old. “In Your Eyes” is a shitty song.
DAVE: No it’s not, and it’s more recent than “This Charming Man.” [Note: Dave I don't think anyone sang that Smiths song in (500 ) Days but whatever.] ALSO Lloyd is more proactive than Tom because he went out and got Diane.
ME: Wait it’s not Tom’s fault that Zooey Deschanel is a bitchface. Diane Court is better than Summer.
DAVE: What did Tom do [to win her over]? Sing a Pixies song at a bar?
ME: Oh please. If you’re going to go there, “Here Comes Your Man” is better than “In Your Eyes.” And have you seen Say Anything lately? I mean actually watched it? It’s not that awesome. It’s kind of boring. Frasier’s dad goes to jail. It’s a weird movie.
DAVE: I watched it a month ago. Also, I watched an Oscar screener of (500) Days and wanted to throw a brick through my TV.
ME: Oh excuse me Dave, I’m so sorry that your Oscar screener wasn’t up to par.
DAVE: It was my roommate’s!
Then Dave had to leave because he needed to video chat with his dad or something. I know, right? Whatever dude.
Anyway. My point is that this idealized vision of love as John Cusack personified needs to stop. Actually that’s not my main point. But it’s one of them. I think my real point is that I watch too many movies and I need to stop before something dangerous happens. (500) Days Of Summer may have been praised for being a “real” look at love in the same way “Annie Hall” was but they’re both highly stylized films and their depictions of love aren’t any more realistic than a Disney film’s.
Or something, I don’t know. Ask your mom.
Ooh You Hurt Me So — Clare and the Reasons
That’s All (Genesis cover) — Clare and the Reasons
Photograph — Clare and the Reasons