Five Movie Characters I Want To Be Like In Real Life
Movies, baby. Love watching them, but not really in a critical sense. I don’t like to evaluate performances, plots, and production values. If the movie sucks, it sucks and I just go watch another one. The reason I watch movies is to escape in them. I enjoy being in a theater, turning off my phone and being entertained for 90 or so minutes without the distractions of the oustide world.
The movies I especially like are the ones with strong male characters who I can relate to or aspire to be like in some way or another. When I was growing up, watching Jean Claude Van Damme movies made me want to take karate classes (Bloodsport anyone?). Larenz Tate’s character in Love Jones made me feel like being a writer was cool. I even remember how watching Turner & Hooch, staring Tom Hanks as a cop who has a dog for a partner, moved my Pop so much, he ended up bringing home a dog of his own.
And so it is with that thought I present a list of five movie characters I want to be like in real life.
NOAH from THE NOTEBOOK (played by Ryan Gosling)
Like many men who have been in a relationship in the years after 2004, I was once required by an ex-girlfriend of mine to watch The Notebook. Surprisingly, the experience was not unbearable. Boring at times? Yes. Sappy? There were definitely moments. But I must admit, the way Noah takes to building that house from the ground up with his own two hands after his woman leaves him (I think that’s how it happened), definitely stuck with me. Even men have a tendency to mope around in the days and weeks immediately following a difficult break-up, but not Noah. And I decided then, if I ever went through some heartbreak again, not me either.
BRYAN MILLS from TAKEN (played by Liam Neeson)
When the end credits started rolling in this film, the one thought I had was, “There is no way I’m ready to be a father.” The lengths Bryan Mills goes to to save his daughter’s life were definitely something you would only see in the movies (dude should have died three times at least), but that was beside the point. The fact is, unlike the guy who played the step-father and attempted to throw money at the problem. What did Mills do? He got on the phone with those jokers who kidnapped his girl and said:
I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s fatherhood.
BLEEK GILLIAM from MO’ BETTER BLUES (played by Denzel Washington)
Spike Lee’s 1990 film did something no film has been able to do since: Make the modern day jazz musician look as cool as he really is. When I was in high school, I played in the jazz band, and of course in high school, playing in the jazz band was never really the coolest thing to do, but Bleek made that life look like a life worth living. Fast forward to today, and I definitely can relate to the woman woes he goes through in the film. An ex of mine actually once said I reminded her of Bleek. I took it as a compliment, she meant it as a diss.
JERRY MAGUIRE from JERRY MAGUIRE (played by Tom Cruise)
This movie is always on television and no matter where it’s at in the film, I always watch it until the end. There’s something about Maguire’s rebuilding process I admire, especially regarding his career. I took a similar stand at my last gig — basically said I can’t work under the given conditions, so I’m out — and like Maguire, I go through those moments when I’m scared and uncertain about the future. I also have a tendency to kind of use women as a support system the way Maguire used Renee Zelwegger’s character. When I finally get all of it together, I often wonder what woman is going to be there at the end of it. Maybe I don’t want to be like Jerry Maguire so much as I feel like I’m Jerry Maguire these days. Someone show me the money!
RUSTY RYAN from OCEAN’S ELEVEN, TWELVE, and THIRTEEN (played by Brad Pitt)
Danny Ocean may have been boss, but Rusty Ryan was all style and the main reason why every heist they pulled off was successful. Ocean had the power to whoop to hire people to whoop someone’s a**, Rusty would have whooped someone’s a** himself. While Danny was busy chasing around Tess, Rusty stayed focused on the task at hand. Oh, and his clothes. One day I will have the means to dress like Rusty Ryan every day and the ability to wear a suit in a city as hot as Las Vegas without sweating.
The Process: Got back on my workout grind this morning after taking the week off to recover from that cold, and yeah, I threw up after running this morning. But I feel great!