Thursday, June 09, 2005

Deathmatch: Jake Ryan vs. Lloyd Dobler

For some reason, IMDb decided to link to an old column by Hank Stuever of the Washington Post talking about women's undying passion for Jake Ryan.

If you anything like me (and there's no reason to assume you are), your first thought was, "Jake who?"

He's the hunky senior in "Sixteen Candles" who dumps his bitchy cheerleader girlfriend to start dating the Molly Ringwald character, according to Stuever.

And still, I'm thinking, "Jake who?"

This is probably because, despite having seen it in first run at the movie theater, I've only seen "Sixteen Candles" once. I know -- heresy. And I'll dig myself in even deeper: I was never that into John Hughes' movies. I saw them all: "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club," "Pretty in Pink," "Some Kind of Wonderful," etc. They were okay. They were entertaining for an evening, I guess. But they didn't do much for me.

Every girl I know -- every right-thinking girl, that is -- had an enormous crush not on Jake Ryan, the Ken doll of "Sixteen Candles," but Lloyd Dobler.

Do I even have to tell you what movie has Lloyd Dobler as the main character? Or did I say his name and you immediately thought, "I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen."

Lloyd Dobler is, of course, just as much of a fantasy man as Jake Ryan. But to me, he's a better, richer fantasy: a fantasy of a sweet and caring guy whose main concern is not himself, but his girl.

We don't all get to date the handsome quarterback. Even when we do, we find out how shallow and vain and self-centered the quarterback usually is.

But if we keep our eyes open, we can find a Lloyd Dobler. He might be a little geeky -- heck, it's pretty much required. He's not going to be a pretty boy. He's not going to pick us up in a Porsche and turn us into Cinderella.

But he will hold our hand through the panic attack we know we're going to have on the airplane ride to our new life together. And that's better than a Porsche any day.

UPDATE: My own personal Lloyd Dobler has insisted I include a link to Chuck Klosterman's essay, "This Is Emo", which explains how that fucking Lloyd Dobler has ruined Klosterman's life.

Done and done.

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