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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Art of the Fictional Crush


It's Valentine's Day! Time to celebrate love in its many wonderful forms... but especially that crushy, blushy, gooey, roses-and-hearts kind of love. But let's face it, real-life love can be complicated. The good news is that whatever your relationship status is, fictional characters are always there, mostly unchanging and often extremely appealing. Who cares if they're not real? They're still completely crush-worthy. In honor of Valentine's Day, here's a few of my favorites.

Who: Steve Rogers AKA Captain America
Why: He's quite literally the perfect human man—by design. He starts out as the underdog, a brave weakling who really, really wants to help stand up to the Nazis, but just physically can't. An army medical experiment goes perfectly, and he's transformed into a perfect physical specimen. So now he literally has it all. And after a lifetime of being rejected by the ladies in favor of his handsome best friend (who, of course, he'd do anything for because that's the kind of stand-up guy Captain America is), you'd think this would make him jump at the chance to have any and every woman he could get his brand-new rippling biceps around, right? Nope! He's loyal and gentlemanly to the core. Of course. Who could resist a guy like this?

Who: Elizabeth Bennett
Why
: I’m going to defy convention and name not Mr. Darcy, but Miss Bennett as the most lovable character in Jane Austen's
Pride and Prejudice. She's clever, well-read, honest, and practical. She has a grace and ease with people and situations that anybody could envy. She's really the whole package. This is a woman who makes a proud, arrogant man want to change his ways to win her love. She is unfazed by snobby ladies, creepy cousins, and she even tolerates her inane and gossipy mother with the best of restraint. She’s absolutely timeless and lovable.

Who
: Faramir of Gondor
Why
: In Middle-Earth, the world of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, where evil is constantly looming and kingdoms are falling, Faramir is one of the only men who does not crave power above all other things. More than anything, he wants peace and prosperity for his homeland. Tolkien himself really says it best:

He read the hearts of men as shrewdly as his father, but what he read moved him sooner to pity than to scorn. He was gentle in bearing, and a lover of lore and of music, and therefore by many in those days his courage was judged less than his brother's. But it was not so, except that he did not seek glory in danger without a purpose.” (Return of the King, Appendix A)

I could (and admittedly have, for my undergrad) written pages upon pages about Faramir's pacifist and scholarly nature, but it suffices to say that he's just plain wonderful. This (unfortunately) fictional man is definitely boyfriend/husband material.

Who: Amélie Poulain
Why: The star of the French film Amélie (French: Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain), She's another quiet loner with a heart of gold. She makes it her mission in life to make the world a better place by making people just a little happier. But she isn't sickly-saccharine-- she's still got playful mischief up her sleeve. She's adorable, creative, and downright quixotic.

Who: The Doctor
Why: It seems like in the British TV series Doctor Who, women can't help but fall for The Doctor. Why would people keep falling in love with a 900 year old alien who seems to attract death and chaos? To be honest, before watching it, I thought it sounded like a cheap plot device. And then I got it. The Doctor is just this amazing, old soul who deplores violence and is always, always willing and wanting to help anyone and everyone he can, even the most despicable of creatures. And through all the death and chaos that surrounds him, he keeps his cool and is delightfully witty. He is the apotheosis of Keep Calm and Carry On. And it doesn't hurt that lately he keeps regenerating into completely gorgeous British men.

This is, of course, just a tiny sampling of the completely lovable fictional characters there are out there. What are some of your favorites? Who, if they magically came to life, would you be totally unable to resist?

6 comments:

Roberta said...

Captain "Lucky Jack" Aubrey from the Master and Commander series by Patrick O'Brian. Tall, bluff, honorable, and he plays the violin. *sigh*

HeatherI said...

Bridget Jones. Cause she makes it seem OK to drink bottles of wine, on one's own, whilst singing sappy songs at top of my (I mean her) lungs! And HER guy thinks it's adorable.

Laura A. said...

Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre (although I never quite forgave him for pretending to be in love with the superficial and callous Blanche Ingram to make Jane jealous).

Linda K. said...

As heroes go he's not exactly romantic, but Jack Reacher gets my vote. He's Mr Macho, doesn't have much baggage to cart around (actually just a toothbrush)and I'd never be afraid of the bad guys with Reacher around. Although I might want to ask him to buy a new t-shirt more often.

Actually Reacher's creator, Lee Child, doesn't seem too bad either.

HeatherI said...

Oh, and I forgot to add: my #1 fictional crush: Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series!

Gus said...

Admiring him from a male perspective, I'm sure Captain Mal Reynolds from the "Firefly" TV series (lots of Captains on this list) would garner his fair share of crushes and then some. Beyond being a roguish scoundrel who, on the surface, is only out for a buck, he's truly a good man, willing to get himself and his ship and crew into harm's way to protect the innocent.

Plus, I understand he's not bad looking, so says my wife. I suppose he might be, if you go for that tall, strapping, chiseled type... ;-)

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