Sandra Bullock in All About Steve"Mary, why do you wear those stupid red boots all the time? You wanna know why? Because it makes my toes feel like ten friends on a camping trip, that's why."
All About Steve is a Razzie Award winning film (yes, film) about a woman who's convinced a CCN (which, for legal purposes is NOT CNN) cameraman is the love of her life. She's a weirdo who is, for some reason, allowed to walk around in public amongst children, the elderly and other people who aren't a detriment to humanity.
Mary Horowitz is the kind of quirky that not too long ago got you treated with institutionalization and electroshock therapy. After one blind date, Mary is inexplicably drawn to the aloof charms of the uninterested Steve.
In fact, despite his rebuffs of her advances, Mary is unable to stop thinking about Steve long enough even to do her job. Her resulting unemployment gives her the perfect opportunity to hitchhike around the country, stalking Steve and terrorizing the handicapped.
When she finally gets Steve's attention, she inadvertently falls into a mine, rescuing a deaf child who was trapped there after the mine collapsed. She gives credit to a guy who throughout the movie is kind of a scumbag so he can get a promotion. Because of her actions, Steve realizes she's a beautiful person afterall. Unfortunately Mary also realizes this and then decides she doesn't need Steve to be happy.
"If you love someone, set him free; if you have to stalk him, he probably wasn't yours in the first place."
What This Teaches Us: No matter how hard someone doesn't respond positively to your romantic and sexual advances, you should by all means quit your job and follow them across state lines because if you're attractive enough, criminal behavior is *perfectly* acceptable.
Also, you should endanger handicapped children, other people, and your own life in the pursuit of self discovery.
Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner"I can treat that jackass like any other faceless groom! And that's just what I'm gonna do! Why? Because he's nothing. Because I love a challenge! And because I am a goddamn professional!"
Another rom-com, another Steve, another Mary. I'm serious. These are the names of the main characters in this movie.
This time it's J-Lo playing Mary Fiore, the titular wedding planner. Mary is a career girl with no time to think about her own love life. That is, until the handsome Steve (which, by the way, most Steves look nothing like Matthew McConaughey or Bradley Cooper) scoops the damsel out of the way of a distressing dumpster, saving her from sure doom.
They have a romantic night hanging out in a part of Golden Gate park where they would probably get mugged at that time of night which is, in the movie, filled with delightful, safe and well-dressed white models watching a classic film. They dance for some reason and almost kiss until it suddenly starts raining (which would make the grass everyone's sitting on unbearable, by the way).
When Steve turns out to be the groom in the wedding she's planning, Mary doesn't take the wise or professional course of action and recuse herself from the wedding. She continues to spend time with her crush, not actually inciting cheating but generally being a wrecktease.
And just because Mary can't be with the guy she wants is no reason she can't give up the career she has worked so hard for and get married. She just has to agree to marry the next guy who comes along, a childhood friend of hers (who looks like a more great-looking Antonio Banderas) whom she hasn't seen in years but who apparently loves her unconditionally.
She proceeds to treat this guy like crap and he goes on to not only "understand" about her leaving him at the altar, but helps Matthew McConaughey set up a date with her so they can dance at the place where he almost cheated on his fiancee. THIS IS THE HAPPY ENDING.
What This Teaches Us: If you're having a moral dilemma, go with the wrong decision juuuuuust far enough so that you can ruin a few lives, and then the men who you've been lying to and betraying for weeks/months will solve your problems for you.
Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up"I hope your apartment's big enough for the three of us."
Alison (Katherine Heigl), while celebrating a recent promotion with copious amounts of alcohol, meets pothead slacker Ben (Seth Rogen) in a nightclub. During a one night stand that includes farcical unprotected sex, Alison becomes pregnant, decides to keep it and ropes Ben into a relationship for which he clearly wasn't prepared. Hilarity ensues.
A lot of people make poor life decisions when drunk. But what lands Alison on this list are the choices she makes in
the harsh light of sobriety.
For reasons that she never explains, Alison decides to keep Ben's progeny, even knowing that it will be half-Canadian (and even though having a child with someone who looks like Seth Rogen should be considered an exception to a pro-life stance by both sides of the political aisle).
But why does Alison continue to date Ben??
Alison has a loving family and a bright career ahead of her. Ben is an unemployed, unsophisticated lackwit with a substance abuse problem he can't afford. She can't expect him to help raise a child; he is too lazy to learn the first thing about parenting and too selfish to put forth the slightest effort.
Moreover, Ben's a selfish guy. Despite Alison meeting him more than halfway, he treats her with the kind of disdain one normally reserves for a high school principal. And yet she stays with him. Is the allure of a nuclear family really worth an inevitably unhappy marriage? Only in the world of an Apatow comedy is ending up with such a worthless schlub not considered tragic, but serendipitous.
What This Teaches Us:
Stay with your baby daddy no matter what, even if he's lazy, he's mean, he's stupid, he's Canadian, you can do better, you don't find him attractive, and you hate him.
Shannyn Sossamon in 40 Days and 40 Nights"If I told you, 'Don't think about the color red,' what would you think about?"
When Erica (Shannyn Sossamon) first meets Matt, he seems like a cute, nice, somewhat awkward guy. As they begin to date, his awkwardness increases to the point of lunacy. But Erica doesn't see the red flags as she should because 40 Days and 40 Nights is not her story.
You see, just before meeting her, Matt has decided to give up sex of all kinds for Lent (that thing Christians do where they give up stuff like chocolate, swearing or other things you need in every day life), all in an effort to get over a recent breakup. Do not question this logic.
The idea of a guy actually giving up orgasms for 40 days is so outlandish that no one believes he can actually achieve it. His dot-com startup co-workers even create an office pool, betting on when he'll give in (showing you once and for all exactly why all the dot-coms failed in the late 90s).
Because plotwise Erica is more a roadblock to Matt's success than a fully formed character, her reaction to all of this is completely unrealistic. Erica is so hip and laid-back, she ignores Matt's building jitteriness and overall erratic behavior that would drive away any normal, self-respecting woman. Because c'mon, this is 2002 Josh Hartnett here.
And once Matt does finally clue her into his situation, Erica doesn't back off to a more platonic state and she doesn't refrain from sexually frustrating activities to make things easier, even just for 40 days. No. She teases and taunts him. She pushes Matt's envelope with massages and tickling. She can't give the guy a month in deference to his (admittedly absolutely absurd and unnecessary) sacrifice.
The experiment finally ends with an ill-timed rape (seriously, that's how the movie ends, but you've got to hand it to whichever character put their money on that in the office pool).
Erica, of course, is furious with Matt. For being raped. Well, to be fair, she's angry at him for being unfaithful to her... by being raped.
What This Teaches Us: If something means a lot to someone, no matter how intimate, and even if you just got to know them, you probably have free reign over what is and isn't okay. Also, if something horrible happens to someone you've just started dating, you can 100% cut and run, then just wait for them to slide comfortably back into your arms once they get over it.
Ginnifer Goodwin in He's Just Not That Into You"...maybe the happy ending is this: knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up hope."
In yet another of those movies starring a 20-celebrity ensemble of unlikeable characters which shows you that they spent all of the money on the names and none of it on the script, Goodwin stands out as archetypical female romantic comedy lead Gigi.
Gigi is desperate to find a man to complete her existence and constantly mistakes men's aloofness for affection. She just can't understand why no one is falling in love with her, completely missing the fact that she is only defined by her desire for a mate and really never talks about anything else with other people. This character exists for this very purpose and nothing else.
Enter Alex, a friend of her latest potential suitor. Alex pities Gigi and begins coaching her through her dates so that she can more accurately decipher the simple signals men give.
Gigi learns nothing from this advisement, instead misinterpreting Alex's friendship for love. After Alex rejects her, Gigi finally figures out that it might be time for her to take a break from obsessing about men and romance. That is, until
Alex shows up at her door professing his love. Gigi immediately reverts to the lovesick puppy she always was, and they live happily ever after.
The thing that makes this particular performance so insidious is that it was purported to be the antidote to the common rom-com. The entire thesis of the book upon which the film is based is to teach women how to be less occupied with men who treat them badly so they can have time to focus on personal fulfillment. Greg Behrendt himself, co-author of the book upon which the film is based, has said that Gigi should have slammed the door in Alex's face.
What This Teaches Us: If you don't think you need a man in your life, you're wrong, and if you realize that you think you might be able to live without one, guess what? You're wrong.
Also, this was one of the movies that started the horrific trend that this wonderful parody is making fun of..
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