trailer break: ‘I Love You, Man’

Take a break from work: watch a movie trailer…

Yeah, why is it weird that a guy has mainly had girlfriends? Why is it weird that someone’s “best friend” would be the person you’re about to marry? What’s wrong with a guy who loves The Devil Wears Prada?

Ahh, now I see: guys like that get mistaken for gay! And that’s the worst thing evar.

*grinding teeth* I really, really, really hate this crap.

God forbid a man in today’s America deviate even slightly from the approved image of what a man is. It’s not enough to be straight. It’s not enough to have secured the love of a beautiful woman. It’s not enough to — obviously — have proven to be such a consummate lover that she’s bragging to her friends about your mad bedroom skillz.

That’s not what a real man is.

A real man lets his dog shit in a public place and doesn’t clean it up.

A real man eats junk food, dresses like a third-grader, and spends seven hours rocking out in his garage.

The thing I really hate about movies like this — or at least, in this case, about how movies are marketed (because I’m still willing to be open to the possibility that this trailer is not a fair representation of the film, and that the film will be smart and, you know, good) — is that they make me rail against things I actually believe in. People should have their own lives, and if this Paul Rudd character doesn’t have his own life, that’s obviously a lack that needs to be addressed.

And, you know, I like junk food sometimes. Sometimes I dress like a third-grader. I don’t have a garage, but if I did, I might want to rock out in it sometimes. It’s not that those things in themselves are the problem.

It’s the absolutism about these movies that drive me crazy. Real men are always only this and never ever that. Be original and be yourself, but Jesus Christ, don’t be too original or too yourself. Or someone might think you’re gay.

And the really annoying thing is, even if the movie turns out to be more nuanced than that, these are the ideas that are being used to sell the movie. I’m not sure which is worse: that Hollywood thinks mainstream America is this stupid and this narrow-minded, or that mainstream American actually is this stupid and this narrow-minded.

Of course, women aren’t supposed to deviate even slightly from the approved image of what a woman is. But it ain’t progress to start subjecting men to the same nonsense.

I Love You, Man opens in the U.S. on March 20, and in the U.K. on April 10.

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