Lloyd Dobler. He casts a long shadow for such a young man, doesn’t he? This is an iconic romantic movie moment and made a smash hit out of “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. Lloyd’s earnestness, his absolute certainty that his place is with Diane Cort, his ease and gentleness with his platonic female friends (!) and the warm, nurturing way he is with his single parent sister and her young son. Oh, Lloyd….we just love you.
Just to catch up, in case you’ve missed any of the previous dream men:
Young Mr. Dobler is quite a contrast to Mr. Grey, isn’t he? Lloyd is all about feelings, all about being open, honest and giving. It comes as quite a surprise from a teenage boy, doesn’t it? Surprising enough to inspire me to talk about some other surprisingly romantic leading men, unintentionally romantic,even.
Jean Valjean – Les Miserables
A good man doesn’t necessarily have to be one that is purposefully written as a romantic hero. For example, take Monsieur Jean Valjean. Victor Hugo created a timeless epic centered around one man, imprisoned from his youth for stealing food because his sister’s children were starving, He is made hard in jail, and after he is given parole, Valjean escapes, given the means to start a new life by the kind Bishop of Digne.
This is far from romantic, you say.
Wait…Valjean works his way up to being the mayor of a small town, and through the quirks of fate, takes responsibility for a young woman who has fallen to the lowest possible strata of her society. It is Valjean’s selflessness, his gentleness, the profound compassion that he shows, even to putting his life and freedom at risk that elevate him to the group of fictional men I’m talking about this week. His redemption, fueled by the power of love, the honest, transformative kind. We don’t read a heart pounding love scene, but isn’t Valjean a man worth yearning for? I think so. The fact that he was played by Hugh Jackman is entirely beside the point – I fell in love with Jean Valjean when I was sixteen years old.
Arthur Dent, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
I admit, sci fi seems like a weird place to find a romantic hero and yet I’ve offered you two so far with one yet to come. Poor Arthur Dent. One minute, he’s keeping his house from being demolished and the next, he’s hitchhiking his way through space with his friend, Ford Prefect. Imagine his surprise when he comes face to face with the girl he fell in love with at party a few weeks before. Hitchhiker’s Guide is a hilarious romp through a universe filled with absurd and eccentric characters, but it’s sweet, cranky, lovestruck Arthur Dent that sums up the ultimate answer to the ultimate question to life, the universe and everything when put to the life and death test:
Arthur Dent: Fine. Fine, take it. Because my head is filled with questions and I can assure you no answer to any one of them has ever brought me one iota of happiness. Except for one. The one. The only question I’ve ever wanted an answer to – is she the one? The answer bloody well isn’t forty-two, it’s yes. Undoubtedly, unequivocally, unabashedly yes. And for one week, one week in my sad little blip of an existence, it made me happy.
Okay…three more days to go!