Hayley Campbell has some advice on how to improve your dating skills. Involves turning into a fly and wearing an eye-patch
Movies set us up for disappointment, because real life is not like movies – this is a thing people have said a billion times. Your real life is dreary compared to the one on that massive screen in the Vue, isn’t it? Is it? Nah, I dunno. I for one am pretty glad I’m not living on the Planet Of The Apes, and that the ebola virus didn’t end up turning into 28 Days Later, so the bleak death I’d resigned myself to never actually happened. I’m happy that I don’t have to go on some painful nine-hour journey, wearing no shoes, to throw a ring into a fire. But there’s one bit where I wish life actually was like the movies, and that is when it comes to real-life men, because real-life men are lame.
The ratio of time I spend watching films vs dating actual human men is about 100:1, because I have a cat and an internet connection, and real-life men just don’t measure up to either of those. Watch as many movies as I do, and you start to wonder why you bother going out anyway, and then one day you realise you’re welded to your pyjamas, Tinder has become a game of Snap, and you only use Happn to spy on your neighbours.
But you can save women like me from ourselves by being less sh*t. Here are some fictional men you should be more like if you want us to come out of our rooms. Just some objects of my ladyboner affection. Please, stitch all these fictional men together like some kind of Frankenstein’s monster until they cancel each other out and you are scientifically impossible to love because ultimately we don’t know what we want anyway.
(Images: AllStar, Kobal, Rex Features)
Snake Plissken in Escape From New York
Kurt Russell is an eyepatch-wearing con who gets flown to Manhattan, which in the near-future (or, “1997”) has been made into a max-security prison. Plissken is sent to rescue the kidnapped US President, and has been injected with some exploding device timed to go off at the deadline of his rescue mission 22 hours later.
My own experience of men with eyepatches is: my uncle. Be not like my uncle, who failed to get a job as a crematorium assistant. Be like Snake Plissken the only guise in which we can unguiltily fancy Kurt Russell, and that’s only because he’s doing a Clint Eastwood impression. He’s living his life like he has a goal, even if that goal is simply not exploding to death. He’s not watching Jeremy Kyle.
Live like you’re going to explode to death in 22 hours. Take me on a last minute weekend break, or something.
Seth Brundle in The Fly
Seth Brundle is the eccentric scientist who figured out how to teleport objects. It’s fine until he gets into a telepod at the same time as a fly, and they merge at a molecular-genetic level wherein he becomes a gross Brundlefly who vomits digestive enzymes onto his food. It’s worth noting that I would still bang Jeff Goldblum worryingly late into this film. Why should you be like Seth Brundle, the mad scientist, whose teeth fall out and fingernails fall off, who subsists solely on his own vomit?
The biggest issue with Tinder is that you can talk forever and if no one suggests a plan you will never meet. Just an infinite, unending window of “how u”, “nice photos, is that your cat?”. Jeff Goldblum is the ideal date before he goes in that machine. When he goes up to Geena Davis and says he has one word for her and that word is “CHEESEBURGER” and then they’re in a diner eating cheeseburgers, my heart melts like a plastic orange square on a slab of mashed cow.
Give us a plan. We are tired of making plans. Say “cheeseburger” and I’m there.
Cameron Poe in Con Air
Nicolas Cage is the highly decorated US Army Ranger who gets in a drunken brawl outside a dive bar while protecting his pregnant wife from some bad guys and ends up doing jail time on manslaughter charges. All he wants to do is sign his parole papers, go home and meet his eight-year-old kid. John Malkovich and his gang hijack the plane instead. Steve Buscemi is in it. You know the deal. You watch this every Christmas.
You get the impression that Cameron Poe would be good when sh*t goes catastrophically wrong. Like when the boiler explodes. Like when there are five pretty fundamental leftover pieces from that flatpack furniture you just attempted to construct. Like when you’re sweaty and crying inside a duvet cover because you tried to do that thing where you put it on inside out and flap around like a ghost.
What do you think he’s gonna do? He’s gonna save the day.
Renton in Trainspotting
OK, so Ewan McGregor as Renton is a junkie whose arse explodes in the worst toilet in Scotland, and sure, he inadvisedly bangs a 16-year-old in her parents’ house, and yes, no one wants to date a junkie because – among many other reasons – everyone knows junkies can’t get it up. But everyone wants to date someone who knows when to tell their bad mates to f*ck off out of their lives. Be like Renton.
Unironically choose life.
Gomez Addams in The Addams Family
Gomez, played by the late, great Raúl Juliá, and Morticia are the ultimate in hashtag relationship goals. What couple hasn’t thrived on a mutual hatred? Isn’t it more fun to talk about things you despise? You hate that person on Twitter? I hate that person, too! Let’s get married, mon cher.
Fast Eddie in The Color of Money
Paul Newman plays a former pool hustler who takes Tom Cruise under his wing. He’s cool, stylish, and when Tom Cruise is in shot you’re never looking at Tom Cruise, because why would you look at Tom Cruise when Paul Newman is right there? He was hot when he ate 50 eggs in Cool Hand Luke, but he’s way hotter as an old guy.
Get better as you age, not fatter. Be good at salad dressings.
Frank in Thief
James Caan in Thief is a jewel thief with a couple of fronts for his criminal enterprise, but there’s one thing he’s missing: a family. He’s got a life plan and “nothin’ and nobody can stop him from makin’ it happen”.
Sure, his life plan is laid out as a weird collage of magazine cut-outs he made in jail, but at least he has one. And I don’t. So it’s exotic. And I respect that in a dude.
Richard Chance in To Live and Die In LA
You’ll know William Petersen as Gil Grissom in CSI, but in the Eighties he was unfeasibly bangworthy. In To Live And Die In LA he plays Secret Service agent Chance on the trail of a counterfeiter. He’s out for revenge, and there’s an incredibly hot sex scene where I’m pretty sure you can see his balls.
Also, he drives a car. No one in London drives a car. Drive a car so we can go on holiday somewhere other than Butlins.
Rocky Balboa in Rocky
Eating eight eggs every morning alone won’t make you Rocky Balboa. Many have tried. You can do your montage videos and chase chickens in your tracksuit all you like, but the specific way you should be more like Rocky is much harder: actually have the balls to ask girls out.
Picture this scene that I have lived 1,000 times over, wherein some hot US woman does not understand British men: “Do they not like me?” I have had to do the monologue about how British men are pussies and you have to make all the moves yourself again and again and again. I’m bored of explaining you to foreigners.
Rocky’s kinda blunt with his intentions towards women. Yes, Tumblr thinks he’s problematically rapey, and maybe getting the object of your affection’s brother to force her out on a rollerskating date with you might not go down so well. But still: at least he did something.