J is for JERK!


J is for Jerk

Chick Lit is full of them, right? Those guys we love to hate. The type who start out driving us nuts with their self-absorbed attitudes, love of sport and women, and who give little or nothing to the females they 'conquer', other than a bit of shenanigan’s when the mood takes them.

But why do we love to hate them so much? And more importantly why do we love to see them evolve and change into the kind of men that we love to love?

In Bridget Jones’s Diary, it is of course, Hugh Grant (AKA Daniel Cleaver) who drives us crazy, but steals a little piece of our heart - and Bridget's. Daniel is the handsome playboy type who likes to have a bit of fun and is up for anything.

He wants to be better, and we see that potential in him, but somehow he always just falls back to what he knows and that is putting himself and his own needs first. He's not a bad guy though, and maybe that's what makes him so attractive and lovable. If only he could get it together!

In Love Actually, one of my all-time favourites, we have several JERKS to choose from (but secretly still love). We've got Colin, who heads off to America in search of girls that might be a little more inclined to favour his English good looks, and of course, Harry (played by the late Alan Rickman) who finds himself so pathetically easily seduced by a younger woman from work. Not to mention Mark, the best man who is secretly in love with his best friends new wife and plays out an elaborate (but gorgeous) scene to tell her.

All of these characters were total JERKS in their own ways, but my favourite out of all the relationships portrayed in this movie was definitely between Billy Mac and Joe. Billy Mac was the poster boy of JERKS. He was insensitive, self-absorbed and a terrible friend/client to Joe (and that rotten song he played over and over was stuck in my head every night for months). BUT, the moment when Joe is sitting at home and Billy blows off Elton John's party to be with him instead, left me in a blubbering mess, lost in a tissue mountain.

In Crazy, Stupid, Love we see Ryan Gosling who is the absolute epitome of the bad boy that we love to hate. He is handsome, rugged, confident, a man who not only goes after what he wants, but he takes what he wants. Women flock to him, want to be with him and at times, throw themselves at him (myself included given the chance!). But as the story plays out, he starts to fall for the girl and this brings about change and a willingness to give up the bad boy behaviour. I have to admit, he was totally hot and sexy as the bad boy, but when he decided to become a better man for the woman he loved, my heart fell in love with him just a little bit more (if that was at all possible).

So, do we like them more when they’re the classic bad boy, treating them mean and keeping them keen? Or does our interest and desire for them grow as they evolve and change and begin to become the kind of men we want to be with, stay with and father our children?

I guess every answer depends on the individual and what floats their particular style of boat, but without the bad boy, ChickLit would be limited to sweet stories without too much tension or grit. I definitely had a few bad boys thrown into the mix in my 'Confetti Confidential' series. The truth is that we need the bad boys and their terrible ways to make us really appreciate the good and to be able to feel satisfaction in the beautiful sacrifices they make for their love.

At the end of the day, we all need a little bit of bad boy.

GRAND PRIZE - Want to win a Kindle Paperwhite + a $100 Amazon gift card?

Visit each of the 26 stops on the #ChickLitMay A to Z Scavenger Hunt and collect the alphabet word at each stop (A, B, C, D, etc.), then submit the A-Z list of words via e-mail (to traciebanister@gmail.com) with the subject line "A to Z Scavenger Hunt Entry." Entries will be accepted until Sunday, May 22nd at midnight E.D.T. A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 23rd. Good luck!

The next stop on the Scavenger Hunt (the letter K) is here. http://www.jennygardiner.net/jenny-gardiner-blog/

If you'd like to start back at the beginning of the Scavenger Hunt (the letter A), go here. http://katieoliver.com/ko/2016/05/chick-lit-a-to-z-scavenger-hunt/

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AUTHOR AND CELEBRANT

Susan Murphy