Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In the Brood

Does the name Michael Schoeffling ring a bell? No? Trust know who he is.

Look familiar?

He's only made a handful of films, yet he's in three of my all-time favorites. And he's perfectly cast in each of them, which makes sense, since the characters he plays are not entirely unique to each other.

In Sixteen Candles, he plays hunky Jake Ryan, the desirable high school dude every girl loves, yet he doesn't realize how desired and beautiful he is...he's quiet and unassuming. He's brooding, he's waiting for something, he's unfulfilled and sensitive and anxious. And he's adorable.

In Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, he plays a young man named Al Carver, who assists his father with a diving horse show during the Depression. His father is abusive, yet Al seeks his approval every day. Al's a tortured soul who never feels he can do anything right in the eyes of his dad. He needs rescuing, he's pensive, and he's brooding again...he's broodiful.

And then there's Mermaids. Michael plays Joe, the quiet outsider who works at the town convent. He's the victim of small-town gossip; he's misunderstood, he's a loner, he's brooding, and again, he's so cute.

These characters make me think that it wasn't just acting, but that Michael--or as I like to call him, Mikey--was kind of an emo dude. These days, he's keeping it real in Pennsylvania, where he sells handmade furniture. I hope it makes him smile more than acting did.

But seriously...what it is about brooding men? Mr. Darcy, Heathcliffe from Wuthering Heights, Luke from Gilmore Girls, Jack from LOST, Spock, Ryan from The O.C., and of course Twilight's Edward Cullen...they're unfailingly attractive. (One of my favorite brooding musicians? Jakob Dylan.) Is it the mystery? The intrigue? That touch of a tortured soul about them?

I don't know. I don't get it. But it works.

(Oh, one more thing: If you haven't seen these movies, please do. They're all so, so great!!)


Jessica Jenkins said...

Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken!!! My sister and I must have watched that movie dozens of times when we were growing up, it was our go-to rental for years! And yes, I had a crush on Al Carver... didn't we all??

Alli Hibb said...

Oh, I have such a crush on Jake Ryan.
So, so handsome...