Today’s Hollywood film scene is full of hunky heartthrobs who play the most romantic man-of-your-dreams characters – think Ryan Gosling in The Notebook. Although I thoroughly enjoyed watching Gosling hop all over a ferris wheel and build a house with his bare hands for the woman of his dreams, I’d like to take a moment to pay homage to the loveably goofy men who bring a certain quirky, off-beat sensibility to the characters they portray. Join me as I count down the top 5 most loveable leading men.
5. Steve Carrell as Andy Stitzer in The 40-Year-Old Virgin
The 40-Year Old Virgin follows the hilariously awkward character of Andy Stitzer – a man who has many hobbies, including collecting action figures and comic books, but who has never done the “deed.” When his friends find out, they go on a relentless mission to get him laid, and what follows is a series of hilariously awkward predicaments between Andy and the ladies he brings home. Andy’s over-the-top awkwardness is precisely what makes him so charming, and as he works through his initial apprehension with women, what consistently shines through is his heart of gold.
4. Michael Cera as Paulie Bleeker in Juno
Juno follows the roller coaster of emotions that ensue when sixteen year-old Juno MacGuff finds out she’s pregnant with a baby fathered by her best friend Paulie. Faced with the shock of this revelation, Juno initially pushes Paulie away, unsure how to deal with the unexpected pregnancy herself, let alone trying to deal with what it means for their relationship. Despite his age and despite his uncertainties, however, Paulie shows a level of unwavering support that is truly special and makes him impossible not to love.
3. Ben Stiller as Greg Focker in Meet the Parents
There is no film that better portrays that awkward point that nearly anyone who enters a serious relationship has to face; meeting the parents. Faced with his girlfriend Pam’s extremely over-protective, ‘no-one-is-good-enough-for-my-daughter’ father, Jack Burns, Greg Focker is caught in a series of embarrassing moments. Enduring all sorts of interrogation from Jack, including a lie detector test, Greg continuously tries to win Pam’s parents over and you really feel for him every time he fails in an attempt to impress them. While some men might run like hell from the humiliation, Greg firmly stands his ground and maintains his love and dedication to Pam.
2. Seth Rogan as Ben Stone in Knocked Up
When Alison finds out she’s “knocked up” after a drunken night out with Ben, what ensues is a bumpy ride in the relationship between them. Alison Scott is very by the books in terms of her career and personal life, and Ben is much more of free spirit, and a bit of a slacker. However, as different as they are and as much as she initially pushes him away, he shows a consistent dedication to her from the beginning. Despite the circumstances that this development is something he’s pretty much completely unprepared for and was not looking in any way to get into, he firmly stands by her and shows a willingness to do whatever it takes to support her and their baby-to-be.
1. Adam Sandler as Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer
A struggling wedding singer, Robbie Hart, feels like he lacks a sense of direction and passion. Going through the rocky emotions of dealing with the failure of his previous relationship, Robbie manifests his feelings through hilarious expressions, often in the form of song (“Love Stinks” is a notable mention.) When Robbie sets his site on Julia, a waitress at the venue where he performs, he comes to realize that she is the one thing he can be sure about. Things get tricky though, when Robbie finds out Julia is in a serious relationship headed toward the altar. Despite this, Robbie remains persistent in professing his genuine feelings for her, and although he’s full of quirks, he’s undeniably sweet.