Have you seen a lot of movies where the protagonist is like you. Maybe the have the same type of personality or situation. For example, I have a friend who, as the oldest sibling, basically raised her siblings because her parents were always working. When I see a movie with this type of character, I think of her, thinking that she will be drawn to the film. I thought it might be interesting to discuss some of these films as well discuss the type of characters you are drawn to—whether you tend to like character that are like yourself or characters that are quite different.
I think we all like to see characters which are similar to us.
I’ve been compared to Elle Woods (Legally Blonde) many times. We are a lot alike, except I don’t know how extensively Elle has researched slasher films.
My life resembles James Bond’s pretty closely, so I’m always drawn to him. Sometimes I think they modeled the character after me.
Bull. Rock and Bull. Dah Na dah na!!
Oh, James Bond. Yeah, it got to the point where I was feeling too narcissistic while watching those movies.
But otherwise I really identify with anyone that Justin Timberlake plays.
I wondered if this were a no-brainer. But I’m having a hard time thinking of characters that are really like me. I often like characters with a young aspiring writer. I’m not a writer, so I’m not sure what’s going on here. I also like the anti-hero, but, again, I’m not sure there is much of a connection. Off the top of my head, the protagonists I like, are not like me.
Honest answer: The two leads in All the Real Girls both had points that I seriously identified with. I went through a similar romantic situation with someone (not telling which end I was on) and I find the movie very painful to watch for this reason.
You hate yourself, Jazz.
The Owen Wilson character in Midnight in Paris reminds me a bit of myself.
Brad S. – So you’re a blonde Woody Allen?
On my good days. ;)
Similar morals, dissimilar behavior.
My inner feelings projected outward, potently.
The characters I dislike the most are the ones that remind me of teenage me. Ghost World in particular.
You hate yourself, Jazz.
But I have aloha for everyone else. ;)
The two leads in All the Real Girls both had points that I seriously identified with. I went through a similar romantic situation with someone (not telling which end I was on) and I find the movie very painful to watch for this reason.
So, did you “like” the movie or not? You bring a good point. Sometimes characters that are similar are not enjoyable because it hits too close to home.
@Jazz – “Enjoy” might not be the right word, but I do believe that it accurately conveys emotional truth. For that I think it’s one of the most important films in my life.
I tend to view for escapism, so situations and characters like my own don’t always appeal.
Also I tend towards cross-gender identification, and like the post Alice/Lara/Katniss wave of kick-ass women.
Stories about dark childhoods and parental validation I do tend to respond to.
Didn’t Metz once say that we respond to (“like”) tales that dovetail with our own fantasies, even those of which we are not consciously aware?
I forgot to add that I have taken to shows on TV about small town cops, like the Jesse Stone series, “Justified” and “Longmire” which all have very different rhythms from standard procedurals. And Longmire has Katee Sackhoff, so I have the gal hero too.
When I was younger, I’d have to say Johnny Depp’s character from “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”.
One of the reasons Gregg Araki’s “Nowhere” is one of my top favorite movies is because I can identify with James Duval’s character so much.
I’m lazy as fuck, like The Dude +or-
“Enjoy” might not be the right word, but I do believe that it accurately conveys emotional truth. For that I think it’s one of the most important films in my life.
Oh, OK. So you basically “liked” it. I was just wondering if you didn’t care for it because it hit too close to home.
Does this depend on the nature of the film? I mean, if the character is like you and the situation is positive, then that might appeal to you?
I loved Angelica Houston’s character Mayrose, from Prizzi’s Honor, because she was so diabolically clever. I like those types of characters, the geniuses who manipulate others for their own agendas. Even better if they are justified in doing so. I’d like to be that way too.
That’s the thing with escapism. The character has to be enough like you to strike a chord, but can’t be so much like you to share your real life limitations. It has to be you, idealized.