Distaste for the”Nice Guy”

Distaste for theNice Guy

After years of being spoon-fed Adam Sandler movies , it’s official. Audiences are sick of the “nice guy.”  

Of course, audiences are not sick of actual nice guys, but they are definitely sick of seeing this tired trope: An average man mistreating the spectacularly beautiful woman, and no matter the circumstances, he ends up with her at the end of the movie. This “nice guy” trope has been a staple in decades of romantic comedies, so why is it finally (possibly permanently) being retired? 

Gone Girl (2014), was a major turning point for movie audiences’ newfound distaste for the “nice guy” trope. Its most notable monologue in the movie was deemed the “cool girl monologue.” It gives a name to the two-dimensional beautiful women who act as accessories to the much less successful, less attractive, less intimidating male leads. And she spits at it.  

In fact, titular character Amy Dunne kills off her “cool girl” persona in a more literal way. She cuts her hair, clears her credit cards, throws away her phone, and fakes her death, leaving her absent husband Nick to pick up the pieces.

Amy Dunne gives audiences insight on the effects that the idea of a “nice guy” can do to a person; she brings dimension to the character. Of course, the image may be hyperbolized, but relevant nonetheless. 

The release of Gone Girl has led to the creation of more movies that explore the idea of the “cool girl” and “nice guy” tropes. Most recently, for example, the Netflix original series You. 

You picks apart the guise of the “nice guy” by exposing the potential dangers that women face when dealing with men such as main character Joe. He has an ego so fragile that the slightest hint of rejection sets him off in a rage-filled, murderous rampage. 

Bigger than just the movies and shows, the “nice guy” has real life implications too. The constant media consumption of the trope conditions men to have a sense of entitlement over women. Putting a partner on an impossible pedestals prevents them making real connections.

You cannot be in a relationship with an idea of a person; you have to take them for everything that comes with them. Treating people like that is inhumane, and it is not fair to anyone in a relationship. 

The final consensus today is that people no longer are falling for the tricks of this overused trope. With the wave of the “Me Too” movement, there has been immense awareness to sexual misconduct, particularly in Hollywood. We are able to see the “nice guy” for who he is: a man who feels so entitled to a woman that he will go to uncomfortable extremes in the name of romance. 

And that is the biggest problem with the trope: entitlement. These “nice guys” feel as if they are owed romance, or affection, or anything of the sort because of his kindness. That is not kindness. Kindness does not have strings attached.