The five kinds of men you meet in romantic comedies

Dudes, bein' dudes.

Mindy Kaling’s great New Yorker article about the seven types of ridiculous women in romantic comedies is blowing up the Internet! In tribute to Kaling, Metro presents our own counter-list, the five men who only exist in romantic comedies:

The rough and tumble hunk with a heart of gold

Sure, this guy seems gruff at first. He plays pool with his buddies! He drinks beer! He goes a few days without shaving! This dude comes in many flavors, from lovably immature to rogueishly misogynistic, but either way, he’s there in order to give a little Alpha Male fantasy “for the guys.” He’ll eventually turn into boyfriend material with the love of a Good Woman, so ladies, remember — if you’re dating a guy who doesn’t respect you, it’s because you’re not good enough.

The high-society fiance

The polar opposite of the rough and tumble hunk, the rich fiance will often compete with him for our heroine’s affections. He’s handsome in a generic way and he wears a tie in almost every situation, but still, there’s something missing. Most likely it’s that he’s never made his girl ever really laugh, because people have years-long relationships with people who have never made them laugh all the time in real life. He’s there to show that stability and commitment are boring.

The “Mister Wickham”

The younger, smoother cousin to the hunk with a heart of gold, this dude at first seems to be a charming sort of cad. However! Unlike his rough counterpart, whose flaws are vulgar enough that they need to be overcome, the Mister Wickham’s ugliness is so attractive that it throws him into Too Good to Be True territory. His love affair with the heroine is fast and loose, and he’s generally dumped by the middle of act III. The lesson for ladies: Make sure you know where you’re at in your narrative before you start dating someone. If you’re only in act I, he’s not going to stick around!

The most patient friend in the world

You know that childhood friend you were pretty sure had a thing for you, but you didn’t have time for because you were always fixated on the “bad boys”? Well, now he’s back, with that same “aw shucks” charm! Has he moved on from his juvenile crush? Of course not: Decades-long obsessions are romantic. We get the appeal; this guy plays into the subconscious fantasy of falling in love with someone who knew you before you ever threw up in a barroom bathroom, which isn’t a bad thing. But he also should answer for the countless destruction he’s caused to the love lives of innocent teenage boys the world over. Have an unrequited crush on your friend? Don’t worry, just wait it out, even if it takes decades! It’s true love, it really is.

The cardboard man

Our heroine is an aspiring career woman with a thankless job and a crazy boss! This provides enough drama to fill out 90% of a movie, but what to do with the other 10%? Easy, give her a blandly affable male friend — or even an acquaintance — to complain to and then kiss at the end! Does he need a job, or a hobby, or a personality of his own? Eh, not really. It’s only important that he shows the girls in the audience that you really can Have It All. (And shows the old-timers that not all women with jobs are lesbians!) In the future, this character won’t even have a name because he will be played by a cardboard cut-out.


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