New release "Easy A" reminds us why we wish John Hughes directed our love life.
It's been a while since I've happily spent 10 dollars on a movie and didn't feel guilty for cheating on my diet for stale, buttery goodness aka popcorn. But Easy A with Emma Stone and Penn Badgley? The "A" most definitely stands for awesomesauce.
Although the movie didn't exactly offer anything we haven't seen before—anonymous high school teenager survives a bad rumor and finds love with her crush—it did offer me something to think about it and that is this: for the bad rap romantic comedies have, women still want a John Hughes love story. The 5 Most Romantic John Hughes Movies
In one scene, Stone's character is in the middle of a webcast talking about her perfect man, specifically noting she wants, in sum, "John Cusack outside my window, Jake Ryan waiting for me outside my church, and Judd Nelson pumping his fist in the air because he got the girl." Why, despite understanding how romantic comedies give us unrealistic expectations for love, do we still look to the box office hits of the 1980s when we envision romance?
I'll tell you why. It's because the character qualities the male protagonists possessed represent men who were manly yet sensitive, confident yet vulnerable. Take John Cusack, for example. He plays Llyod Dobler in Say Anything (though John Hughes-esque, actually directed by Cameron Crowe) and if there's anything to be remembered about this movie, it's the scene where he's standing outside Ione Skye's character's house, raising a boombox blaring Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." What makes this desirable instead of creepy? It's a bold, romantic gesture that says "I like you and I don't care who knows it." There are no games to play, no cryptic messages to uncode. It's real and obvious affection. Mr. Mom And Prince Charming: Can Men Be Both?
How about Michael Schoeffling's character, Jake Ryan, in Sixteen Candles? He's a jock with a pretty but shallow girlfriend who has an epiphany: there's more to life than partying. He pursues Molly Ringwald's character, Sam, after he discovered her crush in a passed note in class. Sam's an awkward, cute stranger, and her innocent charms win him over, even from a distance. It's the same wisdom espoused in He’s Just Not That Into You: if a guy is interested in you, he'll talk to you. He will, regardless of the clothes you wear or the circle you run in, pursue you. He'll drive his red Porsche to your church, buy you a belated birthday cake and return the panties you let Farmer Ted borrow. Top 7 Romantic John Hughes Moment
Then there's John Bender—Judd Nelson's character from The Breakfast Club. He's the misunderstood bad ass who gets the popular girl—in part because they see through each other's shenanigans. As suave as John tries to be, he can't resist pumping his fist in triumph after winning Molly Ringwald's affections. What girl doesn't want to feel like a prize? After all, we are something to be won. And in turn appreciated.
John Hughes (like Say Anything's Cameron Crowe) understood women. He knew a woman's leading man had to be bold, chivalrous, imperfect and a little mysterious. Guys, are you listening? Because the next time you're wondering about the kind of men women want, all you have to do is take a trip to your Netflix queue. Or the movie theatre to see Easy A. Women Really Do Like Nice Guys
Watch the trailer here:
Readers, what do you think? Do you want an '80s film-inspired love story, too?
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