Hokay. So. The awesome, awesome Gerard Butler fans (I tip my hat and snap my stocking to these ladies) recently did this interview with the man himself.
Putting aside the general issues of hotness, Hollywood, and historical accuracy, Gerry Butler had this to say about the way in which the film “300” may appeal to women:
“…I think that there is something about the unfeigning masculinity of these characters, both the way they act and the way they are and the way they look. I can’t help thinking it’s going to be more attractive to women. I don’t just simply mean the physical shape, but in the way they are. It feels like because we haven’t tried to look in terms of the…there is something there that is kind of honest and unapologetic about the Spartans… by the end of the film you kind of love and respect them all the more for that because we never bet for anybody including the audience. There is something simple and masculine and honorable about that and I think, to me, I’m not a woman, but I can’t help think that would really appeal to them. That’s what I’m hearing. And that’s right from the top dog. Hilary Clinton herself.”
– Interview hosted on GerardButler.net
What he may be on to is the reason for which women like me love epic action films (sometimes even more so than our male partners) – they present a chiseled (both inwardly and outwardly) version of masculine heroism – men that use their power NOT to slap their wives around, for example.
I’ve been lucky to have a great man by my side for a number of years now (and hopefully will get to keep him for many more) – while he doesn’t run around in a loincloth, throwing spears and giving inspirational speeches with words like “honour” and “glory” featuring prominently, his presence in my life has helped me reflect on my desires (especially the desires I had as an adolescent) and see them in a whole new light. You want someone who can and will support you, especially when you yourself are at your most vulnerable. And you don’t want this vulnerability to be an excuse for any sort of abuse or degradation.
There is something horribly violent and banal about human nature and our own perceptions of masculinity in this context – and epic action brings these attributes to the surface as well, if you happen to read them closely (and sometimes you don’t even have to do that). But what they can ultimately offer is a kind of absolution – the idea that something magnificent does occasionally grow on poisoned soil.
Which all goes to say, of course:
Is it March yet? 😉