The 5 Types of Guys In Every Romantic Comedy

1. Fast Talkin’ High Trousers


With a conversational flair modeled after this riveting 1940’s comedy, Fast-Talking High Trousers has only one motive–to convince the woman of his desire to be completely and fully charmed by the end of this super steamy, silkily slick sentence.

While his semi-douchey, playa-esque intentions will probably catch up to him three-quarters into the movie, his unmatched charisma will help him overcome all odds during his 12-17 minute quest for redemption. His killer combination of dazzling looks and “corny-but-funny-because-he-means-well” jokes will shine through in the end, and the wild beast that was once hellbent on making rando girls melt with just one steely glance will be properly and happily tamed.

Notable Example: Ben Barry in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.

2. Mr. Accidental Coincidence

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It appears that every scene, every action, and every word is a complete and utter misunderstanding.

This sort of perpetual serendipity-man–when not serving as the basis of an entire movie–is a powerful Rom-Com ploy, because his character helps create this Murphy’s Law-inspired world in which each and every situation has a really good chance of going disastrously haywire; thus creating these ridiculous “unfixable” situations that, if triumphed over, will prove that it’s most definitely meant to be.

Notable Example: William Thacker in Notting Hill/everything Hugh Grant has ever been in.

3. Mr. Inexplicably Above All The Shit Screen shot 2013-09-05 at 4.16.21 PM

In real life, girls sometimes commit unfortunate actions that turn their lives into complete trainwrecks. Whenever this happens, the ensuing echo is generally so loud–be it confined solely to our own social circle, or displayed to all of America via #ViralGossip–that the epic level of the fuck up poses a permanent risk to our eardrums.

EXCEPT if you’re in a romantic comedy, and have got an incredibly attractive, well-mannered, and clearly somewhat misguided dude who, for some decent stretch of a reason, completely ignores that minor hiccup very loud belch when evaluating his girl’s overall character.

In all honestly these dudes are  pretty refreshing–I’m a big time believer in people fucking up being an inevitable occurrence. But sadly, the silver screen versions are 74-79% unrealistic.

Example: Todd in Easy A.

4. The Listless, Woe-Is-Me SlackerGoogle ChromeScreenSnapz001

You’ll tend to find these in the Rom-Coms that also try and lure in the dudes. Ben Stone in Knocked Up, for example, is the glaring epitome of this guy–well meaning, but has trouble getting out of his own way via doing things that give him terrible standing in the world (a lot of pot, not having a job), which are oftentimes metaphors for his inability to “commit” to anything in life.

These men are not your typical hunky-dudes, and a lot of them are the “awkward, I’m weirdly proud that I have trouble getting girls in the first place” types. But they have this good-guy pull that has an incredibly magnetic potential. They’re the underdogs that everyone wants to root for.

In the romantic comedy setting, these guys usually have three distinct arcs–they can fail to overcome their fatal flaw until its too late (resulting in breakup), they can somewhat overcome their fatal flaw and somewhat get back together with the girl who’s been waiting on him (ending on a “we’ll see how it goes from here” note), or they can completely overcome their flaw, but realize that part of their own growth is moving on from the relationship.

These guys do have one constant however–when observed in theaters, the popcorn will cost more than half of your most recent furniture order from IKEA.

Notable Example: Tom in 500 Days of Summer.

5. Hole Digging Hal

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He’s the male equivalent of the girl that Mr. Inexplicably Above All The Shit tends to go for. Ben Stiller is incredibly good at playing this sort of character–the guy who seems like he’s a good person, but keeps being a terrible person by adhering to a small lie, and letting that small lie snowball into a giant one that eventually unlocks the key to Pandora (Internet Radio)’s Box. In other words, damage control gone terribly wrong.

These characters are sometimes unlikeable, but the enduring sympathy arises from the fact that they’re constantly trying to make things right. Of course these guys would be spectacularly terrible fathers and should probably be avoided at all costs, but the lesson HDH attempts to teach us is that our intentions are what matters–even if those intentions are executed in beyond horrendous fashion, and ruthlessly decimate a few lives along the way.

In conclusion, just fade out on the couple holding hands. All fixed.

Notable Example: Ben Stiller in The Heartbreak KidThought Catalog Logo Mark

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