A buddy of mine called a few weeks ago to tell me about a life-altering experience he had over the weekend.
"You bumped your head and suddenly you can talk to animals?" I asked.
As it turned out, he'd spent the whole weekend watching videos. A famous Korean drama called "Autumn in My Heart." For those of you not familiar with Korean dramas, it's always about someone young and attractive falling in love someone young and attractive who's suffering from a terminal, yet non-disfiguring, illness. But despite what the title says, the person in "Autumn in My Heart" doesn't die from her arteries suddenly filling up with red and brown foliage.
Apparently my buddy's girlfriend had been trying to find subtitled copies for a year, so that he could watch the series. When she was out of town, he figured he'd plunk in a tape (there are around 20 episodes) and check it out. He never left his living room for two straight days. And although he won't admit it, I bet you he cried man bitch tears, because I've been told it's impossible not to watch that show without weeping and snotting profusely.
Anyway, he called me up on Sunday; and for an hour, he couldn't stop raving about that show. In the end, I think he was just profoundly affected by the girl. She was so selfless, he gushed. Even while she was dying, she couldn't stop thinking about the happiness and well-being of those around her.
This got me thinking about fictional characters that men tend to fall for. Now this is a pretty tough category, because when you ask a guy to name his favorite female movie or TV character, you usually get someone who's very selfless - selfless about taking off her clothes and giving up her hot, succulent body. Actresses like Jessica Alba, Monica Bellucci, Katie Holmes, Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Biel, Jaime Pressley, Charlize Theron, etc.
But if you ask them to go beyond just physical appearance and throw personality, intelligence and other non-breast-related attributes into the mix, they have a much harder time coming up with names.
One can blame this on Hollywood's inability to create more substantial roles for actresses that don't require them to be tight, perky and nubile. Or one can blame the actresses for being so damn hot that it blinds us from noticing anything else about them, or other humans, or the rest of the galaxy for that matter. Or one can just blame men for being horny skankhounds.
In either case, I've managed to scrounge up the following list. Unlike the previous actors entry, I'm not doing the Fantasy/Reality thing, because the reality is the same for all of them. And the reality is regardless of how perfect the woman is, guys never really appreciate what they have anyway. For instance, my buddy above who was pining for the "Autumn" chick dated someone just like her in the past, but eventually lost interest and moved onto someone else.
But onto the list:
Cameron Diaz from "There's Something About Mary."
This character's almost unanimous with the boys in terms of girlfriend material. When I brought up the word "wife material," they beat me with chairs. Of course she's great on paper: successful surgeon, avid golfer, "Sportscenter" lover (I'm always suspicious of girls who claim to religiously watch "Sportcenter." But that's another topic.) But Cameron really pulled off being bubbly without being insincere, and being down-to-earth without being boring. I know I'm supposed to stay away from physical features, but her smile was fucking killer.
Kristin Kreuk from "Smallville."
Guys who like Kristin also like Natalie Portman. These precocious girls exude a cute sexuality, and a wisdom well beyond their barely legal years. If you dig these chicks, you're obviously a pervy bastard and should be closely monitered by law enforcement in underage chatrooms.
Audrey Tautou from "Amelie."
She's a shy, lonely girl whose soul is as deep and sweet as her impossibly big, brown eyes. Artsy dudes especially seem drawn to her. I'm not an artsy dude, but my girlfriend almost kicked my ass when I was watching the Audrey Tautou outtakes in the "Amelie" DVD. Apparently I said something really dumb, for which a more sensitive and homicidal girlfriend would've gutted me with a soup spoon.
Meg Ryan from "When Harry Met Sally."
This is initially perplexing because her character is far from perfect - even annoying, and borderline neurotic (Which makes sense given she's a New York girl.) By themselves those quirks are bad, but combined with her irresistable cuteness, they somehow enhance the overall flavor. Or as Harry put it: "I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out, I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich, I love when you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts, I love that after I've spent the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night."
Elizabeth McGovern from "She's Having A Baby."
I know, you're saying, "Who the hell is Elizabeth McGovern?" This one is all me. She came to mind - and not because she plays the supporting wife of a copywriter who really wants to be a novel writer. It's because I remember watching this movie on cable many years ago and thinking "Wow, I could marry a girl like her." I can count on one hand these incidents. It's hard to explain in writing, but if you know me and how much I don't believe in marriage, you'd realize how truly inexplicable that moment was. You'd just have to make yourself watch it one of these days, and maybe even then you'd never get it.
As with my actor list, I know I missed a ton of actresses. It's close to my bed time, and I only have so many females to write about. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sleep now and will promptly dream about Charlize Theron.