The Hyper-Sensitive Hippie as Cuckolding Antagonist

As I mentioned, I recently saw “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. It followed a plot trend that I’ve observed over the past decade in movies: average guy gets dumped for a long-haired, flouncy-shirt-wearing musician (or music lover).

Consider these three examples. They’re slightly variations, but they amount to the same thing. I’ll use the actor’s names for the sake of brevity:

  • In “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, Kirsten Bell dumps Jason Segal for Russell Brand (who steals every scene he’s in). Brand plays a foppish, tattoed, new-agey singer styled after Bono. He frequently wears tight leather trousers and see-through shirts. In an argument, Ms. Bell criticizes the cultural diversity of his tattoos.
  • In “High Fidelity”, Iben Hjejle leaves John Cusack for Tim Robbins, the pony-tailed world music lover who lives upstairs. At one point Cusack imagines telling Robbins to “get your patchouli stink out of my store”.
  • In “Serendipity”, John Cusack fails to score Kate Beckinsale. Subsequently, she becomes engaged to John Corbett (his character has the very musical name of “Lars Hammond”). Corbet is a famous shenai (a kind of Indian oboe) player, and prances about in his psychedelic music videos to sitar riffs and Bollywood beats.

So what does this tell us about men, women and the movies? First, that a consistent fault of average guys is that they’re insensitive. And that the tonic for this insensitivity is to find a feminine dude with long hair and a love of foreign music. The movie love interest coos over her new man “he’s so sensitive, he loves ethnic food and all these weird kinds of music”.

Also, this character type seems to satisfy a particular plot requirement: the other man needs to be somebody that females might like, but that most men would disdain. Apparently the flaky hippie dude satisfies that need.


  1. Total stereotype…

    That said we all have our own Hollywood cross to bare when it comes to film.

    Fat females only exist as comedy relief,or pity friends.

    Females when confronted with bloody footprints/or weird noises in the house they are in, don’t call the cop’s and/or get the hell out. No… they investigate.

    Older men leave their wives for younger women,or buy themselves a Porsche.

    stereotypes are everywhere,and they aren’t leaving anytime soon.

  2. Along Came Polly is another example – Ben Stiller’s new bride leaves him on their honeymoon for a long-haired sea faring bum.

  3. Also… the “other guy” or the “wrong guy” needs to be a source of comedy… because generally the lead in a rom com isn’t (funny things happen to him but he isn’t funny himself)… and ultimately a rom com is supposed to be funny even though so many of them aren’t …Also the girl almost always picks the regular guy (even if he is only regular in his own crazy world) in the end… if he was weird funny he wouldn’t get the girl. I also agree that “the other guy” needs to be someone regular guys can despise… because men are forced to watch rom coms too… they might as well have something to laugh at.

    Side note: Though there are exceptions, any rom com with John Cusack usually rocks. He is MADE for the genre or, maybe, he makes the genre work. I am not a fan of the genre myself, but some of my favourites have Mr. Cusack in them: Grosse Point Blank… as well as the two you named above.

  4. The next time Someone said a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me just as a lot as this. Come on, man, I know it was my choice to read, but When i thought youd have some thing intriguing to say. All I hear is actually a handful of whining about something you could fix in the event you werent too busy looking for attention.

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