People go to the movies for a variety of reasons. Some go to be taken on an adventure. Others go to escape the mundanity of their lives. Teenagers in the ‘50s went to the movies so they could sit in the back row and “neck.”
Regardless of the reasoning, most of us can agree that we have the best time at the movies when they feature characters we can relate to. Whether we see parts of ourselves in the hero, the villain, the cad or the clown, we invest more into a movie when we can picture ourselves as a part of it.
Unfortunately, for most of us guys, our self-image is…overrated, to say the least. We all want to believe that we’re Captain America, but most of us are probably closer to Forrest Gump. Still, we can dream. And then we can go to the movies. Then we can start dressing like Johnny Depp because we swear we look exactly like him and it’s not weird to wear bracelets when you’re 40 because you like expressing yourself through your accessories.
Sorry, where were we? Oh yes! These are the eight movie characters every man wishes he was.
The Breakfast Club is a beloved John Hughes classic, because it portrayed all of the various “types” of high school kids back in the ’80s. There was the jock, the princess, the outcast, the bad boy, and the brain. Obviously, the coolest character was Judd Nelson’s bad boy character, John Bender.
Bender was the typical ’80s “cool guy,” complete with the plaid, earrings, and ‘devil-may-care’ attitude. But he also had a heart of gold and, in the end, he gave it to Molly Ringwald.
We all want to believe we’re John Bender, the bad boy with the heart of gold. But we’re Brian, the awkward nerd who actually does the assignment given to him by the principal.
The Phantom, just like you, is a dark, mysterious, foreboding creature. At least, that’s what you tell yourself. The Phantom, especially the one portrayed by Gerard Butler in 2008’s The Phantom of The Opera, is all of those things and more. He is a tragic figure, always living in the shadows and loving his muse, Christine, from afar. He is the perfect example of unrequited love and you imagine yourself to be just like him.
But the difference here is that you’re not lurking in the shadows of an opera house. You’re staring from across the bar. Also, you’re not “mysterious or foreboding” just because your Instagram is set to private. And The Phantom wore a mask. You’re wearing a sleeveless Affliction shirt. So the differences are stark.
Admit it: you’ve always wanted to tell a bartender “shaken, not stirred” when ordering your drink. James Bond makes it look like the coolest thing in the world, and you’re desperate to try it.
Unfortunately, the bartender doesn’t need to shake, nor stir, your Bud Light. So, before you start telling people your code name is 007, we recommend trading in the Jäger shots for a martini.
Admittedly, any man would settle for any movie and/or television character that Jason Momoa portrayed. Khal Drogo is a certifiable badass who wears mascara better than most of the female cast of Game of Thrones. But he also sort of sexually assaulted his wife a few times, so he’s not the best role model.
Aquaman, on the other hand, is a perfect combination of heart, style, character, and really, really good looks. He is, in short, everything we hope to be but will never fully realize. In truth, we’d sacrifice all of that heart and character stuff if we could only have his hair.
Speaking of sexual assault under the guise of romance, there’s this douche canoe. Don’t get us wrong, we don’t like Christian Grey. We don’t think he is charming or kind or even that good-looking. In fact, we think he’s sort of terrible.
But it’s not about what we think, it’s about what the ladies think. And the ladies loved Christian Grey, so much so that they envisioned themselves as poor ‘what’s-her-name’ every time he brought her into his sex chamber room. More than anything, we just really want a sex chamber room, without having to explain it to the parents we may or may not still live with.
We’ll never admit it, but we loved The Notebook just as much as women did. It’s a timeless tale of love, loss, regret and reconciliation. Noah Calhoun, the hard-working, harder-loving boy from the wrong side of the tracks is everything we wish we were. He has the house, the beard, and the girl. He has it all, including a romantic streak wider than an abandoned road at midnight. Not only does Noah get the girl in the end, he gets the girl until the end.
Admittedly, this could actually happen. If somebody killed our dog, neither heaven nor hell could spare the life of that person. We just wouldn’t look as good as John Wick while we did it. We don’t even own a suit. Or know martial arts. Or anything about guns, knives, or flame-throwers.
We just really love our dog, that’s all.
Any. Movie. Ever.
Follow Mandatory on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.