The Male Slacker • Late 20s to Early 30s • A sweats, shorts, t-shirt kinda guy • Underachiever • Favorite Pasttimes: smokin’ Pot, Drinkin’ beer, surfin’ the web, Hangin’ with the Guys • Turn offs: responsibility, commitment, selling out, breaking a sweat
Usually the same age, but appears older Ambitous Professional: Works hard, often as a corporate exec or in TV/Public relations Honest, Serious, and Beautiful Her future: settle down, get married, maybe have children The Female Striver
The Relationship “When she breaks up with him, he talks his situation over with his hopeless pals, who give him bits of misogynist advice. Suddenly, it’s the end of youth for him. It’s a crisis for her, too, and they can get back together only if both undertake some drastic alteration: he must act responsibility (get a job, take care of a kid), and she has to do something crazy (run across a baseball field during a game, tell a joke). He has to shape up, and she has to loosen up” (Denby, 2007).
Knocked Up (2007) • Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) - • unemployed, aspires to launch • fleshofthestars.com • Alison Scot (Katherine Heigl) - • E! Television Network reporter • High Fidelity (2000) • Rob Gordon (John Cusack) - owns a • floundering used-record store • Laura (Iben Hjejle) - lawyer • The Break-Up (2006) Gary Grobowski (Vince Vaughn) - Chicago tourbus guide • Brooke Meyers (Jennifer • Aniston) - art dealer Meet the Other Slacker-Strivers
Shaun of the Dead (2004) Shaun (Simon Pegg) -appliance salesman Kate Ashfield (Liz) - ? • Dodgeball (2004) Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaugn) - owner of failing gym Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor) - accountant who is assessing the gym • Say Anything (1989) Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) - underachiever/aspiring kickboxer (maybe) Diane Court (Ione Skye) - class valedictorian, on her way to college
And… • Aurora Borealis (2005) Duncan (Josh Jackson) - unemployed Kate (Juliette Lewis) - Nurse (And let’s not forget all those other slackers in movies like Wedding Crashers, Old School, 50 First Dates, Big Daddy, and pretty much any Kevin Smith film).
Setting/Worlds • Contemporary • Western-American/British • Caucasion • Middle-class
Value Assumptions • juvenile male bonding is hilarious! • Men are unable to commit • Growing up means getting boring • Women mature faster than men • Woman want to settle down, get married, have children
Problematic Nature of the Genre • There is little room for 3-D female characters • The relationships in these movies are inherently unequal • “Reduces the role of women to vehicles; their only real function is to make men grow up” (Denby).
references A Fine Romance by David Denby the New Yorker - July 23, 2007