Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Three Ordinary Guys with Sex Appeal
Every once in awhile you suddenly find yourself turned on by the most ordinary sorts of guys, men who wouldn’t never stand out in a crowd. Three in particular come to mind to illustrate what I mean—one real, one fictional, and one a hybrid of both.
The Smart Guy – Journalist Carl Cameron
FoxNews viewers know Carl and the boyishly goofy-looking Washington correspondent who typically covers the presidential campaigns, etc. I’ve had a crush on Carl for some years now even though he lacks anchorman good looks. The guy is just so damn smart. When he speaks you can tell he could eloquently discuss any political topic under the sun and back his comments up with countless facts and figures. He has that rare combination of the command of detailed information and the ability to analyze.
Nothing ruffles Carl; he has a ready articulate answer for any question. His face suggests what Mayberry’s Opie would have looked like if he grew up to be a journalist, but there is nothing boy-howdy about this reporter. He is hard as nails, uncompromising, and confident. And it doesn’t hurt that every now and then he exhibits a dry sense of humor punctuated by an amazingly endearing smile.
The Capable Guy – Anthony Hopkins in “The Edge”
In this wonderful 1997 film, Anthony plays Charles Morse, an aging billionaire married to a supermodel (Elle Macpherson), who travels to the Alaskan wilderness for a photo shoot with his wife and a photographer, Bob Green (Alec Baldwin). Bob is young, cocky, good-looking, and apparently having an affair with Charles’s wife. Charles is balding, quiet, unassuming, and brilliant. It also turns out he has a brain full of facts, many of which are eminently useful in survival situations, which comes in handy when he and Bob end up crash landing in man-eating bear territory.
It is the juxtaposition of Charles and Bob that truly calls attention to the older man’s quiet sex appeal. Bob has the looks, the self-confidence, and the macho youthfulness that typically qualify as sexy. But Charles, who has obviously come by his money by wisdom, effort and patience, truly has the qualities that make a man desirable. Bob looks like a buffoon next to him. More fairly, he is pretty much an ordinary guy, whereas Charles is a sort of entrepreneurial shaman who epitomizes masculine ingenuity and resourcefulness. That he does this in such a quiet, self-effacing way only makes him more appealing.
The Dutiful Guy – Peter Sarsgaard as Chuck Lane in “Shattered Glass”
I’m not going to claim Peter Sarsgaard is ordinary-looking, seeing as I find him one of the hottest actors around. But in this 2003 film he does a brilliant job portraying regular guy Chuck Lane, the New Republic editor who ended up exposing the journalistic crimes of Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen). Again, it is the juxtaposition of two characters that brings out the heroism of a guy who could easily be overlooked. In the news room it is Stephen who comes across as exciting and brilliant. He has a way of appearing talented but vulnerable, and this charm wins the hearts of all his co-workers. Only Chuck, a quiet family man dedicated to his principles, stays objective about Stephen.
Chuck is the sort of guy who is so introverted he could potentially be walked all over, and occasionally is. But underneath his passive exterior, Chuck has a basic sense of right and wrong that is unshakable. When faced with injustice, he rises to the occasion with a fervor that would make Braveheart’s William Wallace proud. Peter Sarsgaard plays the role in an understated but heroic manner that makes his character ultimately even more attractive than the flashy and charismatic Stephen. The story is true; it makes a woman wish she could meet the real Chuck Lane.
What do these three men have in common? Their outward appearance and manner belie the fact that they embody key masculine traits that are extremely sexy. At first blush they don’t look like anything special, but in reality, they are uncommonly gifted in ways that make them particularly capable of handling challenge. In other words, they are unassuming heroes. Now I like a self-sure, obviously extraordinary hero as much as the next woman, but there’s something special about finding heroism in hidden places. These three men, and others like them, are buried sexual treasure.