In this genre, there's supposed to be a turn in the third act in which the girl finally realizes that what she wants/needs is a guy who is as passionate and devoted as JGL. He's the hero of the movie, the leads are both adorable, we all know how this is supposed to end. So many people read this the wrong way that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has publicly stated, "I would encourage anyone who has a crush on my character to watch it again and examine how selfish he is." In reality, it's the portrait of someone who thinks that love doesn't involve caring about what another person wants at all.
Xander Is One Of Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Biggest Heroes ... And Its Biggest Creep
Xander Harris is the geeky everyman of Sunnydale High, and saves the world a few times even though he has no supernatural or magical skills to speak of. And that's why this one hurts, you guys. But I have to admit it: Xander Harris is just relentlessly angry when it comes to women he's attracted to, and we're supposed to just let it slide.
Let's start with how cruel he is to Buffy, one of his best friends and someone he has an unrequited crush on for years. In the episode "Halloween," when Buffy protects him from a bully, Xander yells at her for "humiliating" him instead of thanking her ... and she's the one who ends up apologizing to him, as he is a man-baby. Or see "Revelations" and "Becoming Part 2," in which he manipulates Buffy multiple times for having the gall to be in love with someone who's not him.
But all that might not be as bad as "Entropy," wherein Xander beats the hell out of Spike (if you're a Buffy novice, he's the white-haired vampire with impeccable, ungodly cheekbones) because he had sex with Anya, Xander's ex. Never mind that he left Anya at the altar and they weren't together anymore because of him, or that Anya, being a single woman, could have sex with anyone she wanted to, male, female, or super demon. He even tries to s**t-shame her ("I look at you. I feel sick. Because you had sex with that"), and then turns it right around on Buffy when he finds out that she'd had sex with Spike too.
And no one calls him out on it, because poor nerdy Xander is just too fragile and likable to ever face the repercussions of the shittiest parts of his personality.
Hey, here's an idea: Let's make it a goal to never tell stories this way ever again.
Archie does think a man in love is a beautiful thing -- just when he's not being weird about it. Chat with her on Twitter, or check out her other work on her website.
Get to writing your own sane male love interests with a beginner's guide to Celtx.
Support Cracked's journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.
For more, check out 5 Female Archetypes From Romantic Comedies That It Would Actually Be A Nightmare To Date and The 5 Stages Of A Successful Relationship (In A Romantic Comedy).
Hey. You. Follow us on Facebook.