Describe your ideal significant other. Someone smart and charming, obviously, with a great sense of humor and perfect hair, right? Basically, Ryan Gosling in “Crazy Stupid Love.” Or Mila Kunis in every movie ever. Or Jon Hamm in real life.
Sadly, perfect people only exist in the magical dream world of romantic comedies (except for Jon Hamm, obviously). At least, that’s what they want us to think. Most of those characters are pretty freaking terrible, and dating them in real life would be a nightmare. Let’s be real, no one wants to wake up next to Katherine Heigl or Gerard Butler.
Now that another Valentine’s Day is behind us, we’re getting back to our usual nasty selves by sharing a selection of movie characters we find so undateable, we’d rather die alone than spend time with them. Let’s begin.
Matthew McConaughey in general | Nikki Lanka
Matthew McConaughey seems like a swell enough guy. He’s got that charming Texan/chill surfer-bro lure that makes wearing a cowboy hat while listing his location on Twitter as “Earth, Universe” totally acceptable, if not outright expected. He has adorable kids. And God, is he pretty.
But come on. “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past?” “Fool’s Gold?” “Failure to Launch?” Christ, man, what are you doing?
It’s not like McConaughey sucks as an actor, either. He pulls off roles in films like “Lincoln Lawyer” that don’t reduce him to a stock character existing solely to satisfy the weirdly maternal “let me bang you and then fix you” complex some lady moviegoers allegedly have. I’ll even give you “Dazed and Confused.” At least in “Magic Mike” we didn’t have to feign interest in anything that wasn’t garnished with skin-tight leather.
Yet, his repeated role as Hot Stupid Man Who Treats Women Like Shit is sadly one that will always live on, if only in our wincing memories. Maybe he and Katherine Heigl’s famed role of Hot Stupid Woman Who Needs Hot Stupid Man To Save Her From Her Own Tightly Clenched Ass can get together and make a film about how hot and stupid they are, and have hot and stupid babies, and live hotly and stupidly together forever. It’ll end with McConaughey riding off into the sunset on a turtle or something. He’ll be shirtless.
Judith Fessbeggler, “Saving Silverman” | Isaac Noland
Okay, “Saving Silverman” is more comedy than romantic. But it contains important life lessons. J.D. McNugent (Jack Black) teaches us that if the chips are connected, it’s one big nacho. Wayne Lefessier (Steve Zahn) showcases the dangers of a career in animal control. And Darren Silverman (Jason Biggs) warns us to never date Amanda Peet, ever.
Admittedly, the characters’ names are the best part of the movie. The plot is a childish romp of kidnappings and male butt-implants, and Jack Black gets tazed while his head is in a toilet and eventually gets convinced that he’s gay. You know, Oscar stuff.
That being said, Amanda Peet as the domineering and nearly sadistic Judith Fassbeggler is worse than all the stupid gags combined. She forces Silverman to watch her change clothes and leaves him with only a sore jaw and bruised ego after sexual relations. She is such a bad girlfriend, Wayne and J.D. feel the need to kidnap her, tranquilize her and generally engage in fisticuffs in order to save their friend.
The key to defeating Judith lies with the fact that she broke up the guys’ tribute band “Diamonds in the Rough.” So J.D. and Wayne also kidnap Neil Diamond, because, you know, that makes sense.
So remember: Never date Amanda Peet, and it’s all one big nacho.
Wally Mars, “The Switch” | Ross Dickerhoof
Some of the other bad romantic comedy love interests out there might just be boring or a bit douche-y… but Wally Mars? He makes my skin crawl. And that’s just because of the one thing he does to kick off the plot: While drunk at his best friend’s “insemination party” (don’t ask), he “accidentally” dumps the sperm sample that her main squeeze has donated down the sink. No, wait. It gets worse. To make sure she won’t notice, he then replaces that sample with his own sperm. And then she gets pregnant from it.
Mommy, I’m scared.
Did the writers not realize that that’s the plot to a thriller? If he can’t have her, then… he’ll have her anyway, even if she doesn’t know it. He sounds like a male version of Alex Forrest from “Fatal Attraction,” and I half-expected him to turn up in Jennifer Aniston’s bedroom with a knife in the third act. “Oh, but he was drunk,” you say. Not an excuse. Being drunk doesn’t make you do things you’d never do otherwise, it simply removes inhibitions, which lays bare all of Wally’s creepy, creepy intentions. It doesn’t help that he’s played by Jason Bateman, he of the most smug, punchable face in Hollywood.
Hide yo sperm samples. He’s switchin’ everybody out there.
Everyone in “Garden State” | Carina Belles
“Garden State,” a.k.a. “White People Problems: The Movie” is just the worst. I won’t even go into how overdone the cinematography is, the nausea-incuding soundtrack or the complete lack of a worthwhile plot. It’s the characters, man. I’m not saying fictional characters have to be as real as possible, but “Garden State’s” are flat-out dishonest, clichéd, boring and lazy.
Zach Braff, I don’t care how cute and chill and likable you are in real life. I will never forgive you for this movie. Or for splitting up Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody, thus destroying the sanctity of “The OC,” but that’s another story. Anyway, his character, Andrew, is the last person on the planet girls want to be with. First of all, his shirts are hideous. And way to pander to everyone who’s actually struggled with depression, like it can really be cured by some delightfully quirky romance time and a little Death Cab. Good job sending that message, Braff. Newsflash, rando indie dudes: Girls can’t solve your problems or cure your BS ennui. Not even Natalie Portman.
Poor Natalie. I respect the hell out of her career, and she’s so beautiful, but every time I see her all I can hear is Sam blathering on about The Shins, being whimsical and wearing a trash bag. No, just stop. She actually needs to be institutionalized. No one cares about your hamster, Natalie. Actually, “Garden State” would have been great if Zach Braff slowly realized her character didn’t exist. Because she doesn’t. She’s just a projection of the ideal “quirky” girl, who only exists to help the male protagonist realize how brilliant he is. Smells like sexism if you ask me, Braff.