Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dear imdb...

After looking up Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things tonight on imdb.com, and then looking to kill a little time by reading one of the comments at the bottom of the page, I finally got a much-lusted-after window into the everyday lives of the average imdb poster.

For those of you who have not seen the movie, this is all you need to know:

Paul Rudd (34) plays a schlub in college who has trouble talking to girls and doesn't really date. Enter sexy Rachel Weisz (32), who goes after him, slowly changes him, manipulates him, and ends up fucking him over in a super embarrassing, extremely public way (it is, after all, a Neil LaBute movie).

For those of you who might think I'm being insensitive, I haven't attached his user name and I doubt he reads my blog. Although I hope he does; sadly, I need his support and, sadder, he needs my help.

Here goes:

"Okay, could anybody else really relate to the main character in certain ways?

It really touched me on a personal level because, to be brutally honest, if a girl showed enough attention in me I think I would succumb to changing myself if she wanted me to. And obviously the movie presents the idea that this really isn’t a good thing.

I have a pretty good social life and have friends I’m very close to, both male friends and female friends. But I’m now in my freshman year of college and I’ve never had a girlfriend and have only gone out on one date (where the girl said yes at first and later specified we would just go out “as friends”, although I can understand why she said that b/c we didn’t know each other that well at all).

I’m not a complete slob or copy of Adam, though.
I’m very concerned about eating healthy, I actually wear (hopefully) fashionable clothes and try to dress nicely (partially, I realize, as a crutch for my insecurity), and I think I’m at least average looking. I am pretty skinny and I’m insecure about how thin my arms are, and I’m slightly hunched over from scoliosis, but overall I’m not this “Comic Book Guy”-type loser with no style or sense of hygiene.

I’ve had my guy friends tell me I should be more confident when it comes to girls, but they’ve all had girlfriends before. And I truly don’t think they understand where I’m coming from. Even if they made the first move on their g.fs, that’s still positive feedback. I tell them,
I’ve never had a girl - express interest in me before –
– at least, not to my knowledge. Sometimes I wonder if a girl HAS had a crush on me before but hasn’t told me to my face + I’ve never known about it.
But I’ve never had a mutual friend come up to me and say “so-and-so thinks you’re cute and she wants you to ask her out”, and I’ve never been asked out by a girl directly.

I had a really big crush on a girl last year but she was shy and withdrawn and a little icy. I haven’t really developed any big crushes on any girls here at college, but I have been interested in a few whom I don’t know that well. The first two girls here turned down my advances and the last girl said yes, but like I said earlier, she wanted to go to the movies as friends. Still, the fact that I could successfully ask a girl out (and I later found out she said yes b/c she thought I was a really nice guy and fun to hang out with) was a great boost to my self-esteem. But we really didn’t have a “gf-bf” connection so I think we’ll just stay friends, which I’m totally okay + cool with.

I agree with a poster in another thread that girls can be too cruel sometimes, seem to prefer those “super-confident, outgoing” guys (who are often complete jerks/a-holes as well).

I’m sorry but some of us guys are just not outgoing extroverts. It’s just a NATURAL part of our personalities, it’s cruel to expect us to change something that’s fundamentally part of who we are (see Myers-Briggs four personality characteristics, like INFP).
Although part of me really envies cool, laidback, outgoing guys and I wish I could be more like them. And I can understand Adam’s though processes: If only I was better looking or more confident, girls would be interested in me, etc.

Girls need to take the initiative and ask guys out too, luckily society is evolving and this is becoming more commonplace.

But yeah…I’ve received compliments on my personality and my clothes from girls, and I’ve even been flirted with by random chicks a few times, but I’ve never had any direct, positive feedback. I’ve never had a girl, to my knowledge, crush on me or be really interested in me or even “like” like me…maybe they have. But I can’t tell you how crippling it is to a person’s self-esteem and ego to ALWAYS be the ones doing the initiating with very little validation.

I could see myself in Adam’s position and that’s what is kind of scary. Could anyone else relate? I’m only 18, so I truly believe I’ll find someone eventually…I mean, I’ve only asked out girls 4 times, 2 of those times it was on “group dates”. And 1 of those times was kind of a yes!
But yeah, I’m really grateful for this film and play b/c I know I’m not the only one struggling with this self-esteem/need for validation.

If you’ve received validation from other people you may not realize how important it is to those who don’t have that much of it."

Wow. You might not believe this, but I actually posted the same movie review on rottentomatoes! Something about this movie just causes guys like us to pour it out, I guess. We like to vent about how we hate that sexy girls always seem to like guys who are more attractive, more entertaining, more confident, more experienced, and more adventurous than us. It doesn't make any sense! Why do all the sexy, cool girls like all the sexy, cool guys?!?! UGH!!

Okay. Gimme a minute. Sorry--I got a little carried away. Too close to home. Breathe.

My official advice for Forlorn in Fresno:
Lower your standards. Go after the not-so-attractive, super-mousy girls that scatter when they hear a loud noise. Corner one in the library, place a copy of Jane Eyre on her head, and tell her if she can hold it there for 60 seconds you'll give her a dollar. Then kiss her while she's thinking about balancing the book. Then date her until you graduate and marry her in a small ceremony at the local Olive Garden--but make sure you get a table big enough for six! You don't want any of your friends to miss out...

I didn't realize that psychiatrists respond to postings on the imdb page of The Shape of the Things. But, evidently, they do. Here is a less-helpful response to Forlorn in Fresno, posted three days ago, before I could help:

"Wow, rarely do I meet people who are in a situation like I've been.

You're 18, so okay - you'll get things going soon enough. You're aware of your situation, and that's a huge advantage. If I should give you one piece of advice to get something going, it would be to be positive about everything in your life; think positively about yourself and everyone around you, assume that people think positively about you. This will make you more relaxed and less insecure, which is important.

My own story;
I was 22 before I even kissed a girl. And I had the huge advantage of having been a participant in the Danish version of Beauty and the Geek. 4 or 5 months after the first kiss, I lost my virginity in an act of what I would now call 'pitty sex'. Once I had tried it, it got a lot easier, and now, three years later, I'm honestly looking for something that can last my lifetime. So I think that I'm proof that good guys can remain good, even though they improve 'the shape' of themselves ;)

AND: I can really relate to what that other guy said about a 'late bloomer'. They really are the best kind of friends!"

Wow. You really figured it out, buddy. You are one of the lucky ones...

Really? Three years later you "are honestly looking for something that can last a lifetime?" Isn't that what you were looking for in the first place? You're not exactly a reformed ladies man...

It doesn't sound like your time on Denmark's Beauty and the Geek changed you for the better or worse. You lost your virginity because of it, but shit, just because you fucked a girl once--or got fucked is probably a better way of phrasing it--doesn't mean you're any good at it. Or any closer at making it happen again. Or any more confident--or does humiliation as a geek on a national television show, followed by one-off pity sex with a random chick, make you feel better about yourself and more likely to approach a girl you find attractive?

It doesn't. Try eharmony.com instead. That creepy dude invented that site just for you. Go out on as many dates as it takes for a girl to kiss you, then marry her. You'll be happy forever. You won't know the difference.

You're welcome, boys. All in a day's work for the imdb.

1 comment:

Darwin said...

Your blog is sexy.