Tom Hansen, 500 Days of Summer
He loves The Smiths, he wears sweater vests, and he does a mean karaoke rendition of “Here Comes Your Man.” What’s not to like? The thing I love most about Tom is that he’s an unabashed romantic; macho stereotypes be damned, he’s in love and he’s going to shout it from the rooftops! Or at least do a choreographed dance to a Hall and Oates song with strangers on the street and an animated bluebird. How did Summer not love him? It was totally her loss.
Rick Blaine, Casablanca
Much like Ilsa, I have a fondness for older men who are strong, silent types. Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, Ilsa walks into his, and though he tries to play it cool and tough, it’s obvious his heart is still all aflutter at the sight of her after all those years. Even though Rick would have you believe that he won’t stick his neck out for anyone, he has an undeniable soft spot for the underdog and goes to great lengths to help Ilsa’s husband flee Casablanca, with Ilsa, because it’s the right thing to do. We owe our thanks to Rick for helping bring World War II to an end, and that’s not nothing!
Duckie Dale, Pretty In Pink
Andrew McCarthy’s richie rich Blaine is technically the babely leading man in this film, but Duckie steals the show with his stylish get-ups, his Otis Redding impression, and his undying devotion to Andie (Molly Ringwald). He’s the steadfast best friend, who, even though he knows he doesn’t have much of a chance, is full of earnest compliments (“May I admire you again today?”) and is perpetually waiting in the wings for the chance to be the boyfriend. You can be my boyfriend, Duck Man!
Will Hunting, Good Will Hunting
Not only is Will a babe, he’s also, in the words of his friend, WICKED SMART; dude can solve the most complex math equations in his sleep without breaking a sweat, basically. He may be a little rough around the edges, but he’s a genius who doesn’t brag, and whose loyalty to his friends runs deep. That counts for a lot. Also, his Boston accent makes me melt a little. How do I like them apples? I like them very much, thank you.
George Bailey, It’s A Wonderful Life
George is like the perfect boy-next-door: he knows everyone in town, and what’s more, he’s kind to everyone in town; he has a huge heart and is generous to the point of self-sacrifice; he’s adventurous and enthusiastic and romantic without even trying very hard. Not only is he a great husband to the delightful Mary, but he’s also a great son and brother and father and friend. He’s the whole package. I dream of someday loving someone as wonderful as George Bailey and if he were real, I’d have married him by now.
Patrick Verona, 10 Things I Hate About You
Patrick is one of the few “bad boys” I’ve ever been attracted to. He smokes and hangs out in pool halls and is generally an ill-tempered social outcast who initially accepts payment from the icky Joey Donner to date Kat (Julia Stiles), but the instant he belts out a marching band-backed rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” in front of the entire girls’ soccer team to get her attention, you know he has a heart of gold. In the end, he turns out to be a pretty great guy who also has great taste in I’m Sorry gifts.
Lloyd Dobler, Say Anything
I once found a t-shirt at Goodwill with Lloyd Dobler’s face and the words “To know Lloyd Dobler is to love him” emblazoned on it, and I’ve always found this to be true. Yes, he wears a trench coat and has that nervous talking thing and is reeeeeally into kick-boxing (it’s the sport of the future, you know), but he’s so kind and so open and he’ll be the keymaster at parties who keeps drunk people from driving home and he’ll keep you from stepping in broken glass when you’re not paying attention and he’ll hold up a really heavy boombox blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” as a way of saying he misses you. Lloyd Dobler is perfection.