Today I was watching 27 Dresses. I love that movie, in fact I’m a sucker for a good rom-com, but lately…
After the first movie, The Proposal came on. Now, I’ve been told by many people that I “had to see it”. And I did. Well, most of it. But honestly, it’s not my favorite. Not by a long shot. I didn’t even finish it. Why? Because I like an alpha hero. And The Proposal didn’t provide me with a guy that I knew could take care of me, himself and take on the world without blinking an eye.
That started me thinking…about alpha males, beta men, and the guys who are somewhere in between. And romantic comedies. Of course, I also had to deliberate about how our world has changed and how romance and popular culture has also changed with the times.
Romances are not the same as they were back in the 60’s and 70’s. The sexual revolution and women’s lib saw to that. But that’s a post for another rant…. I mean, day, another day. But the men, though borderline donkey butts, were all alphas–enigmatic, rich, often brooding, but all alpha.
Back in the early 90’s when I first started writing, learning the craft and the message that I wanted to say, the alpha hero was mandatory. But the heroines had changed, they were more sassy and a little more in-tune with themselves. They held jobs other than governess, nurse, and teacher. And they weren’t afraid to kiss first. So I guess you could say that the men had (for the most part) stayed the same, but the heroines were different.
Then we ushered in a new millennium and the heroes and heroines became equally self-assured and powerful. Since then, women have gained more and more independence. They hold practically every job that men do right down to locker room reporter with the NFL. Yet somehow along the way we have lost out alpha hero. Where is he? Where has he gone and more importantly why?
Could it be that the women of the 21st century for all their laurels and accomplishments feel threatened by the alphas and therefore don’t want him in their romances? What a cryin’ shame! Or is it that these educated strong women can’t understand the alpha male and don’t want to feel weak around him? (Another crock).
I for one LOVE the alpha hero but not The Proposal. Sandra Bullock’s character emasculates Ryan Reynolds’s character. The basic story is a perfect rom-com…if the roles were reversed. So what happened to the alphas? Well, I know one thing for certain, you’ll find them in my books. With smart, educated, funny, strong, independent women right by their side!
Note: while researching for this post, I found a site with a Top 10 List of the best romantic comedies. One of the reasons of their success with both genders? Maybe because the guy was still allowed to be a guy. (And I shrug).