MONDAY MUSINGS: ONE-MINUTE ROMANCE NOVEL….
A friend shared this with me some time ago, labeling it “One Minute Romance Novel.” I had no clue this was a commercial when I opened it, let alone what was being advertised, but it didn’t matter. I simply enjoyed the romance story. When I got to the end of the commercial I was surprised, yet not, by the product being sold. It is a creative approach to product placement. But that’s not what my Musings are about today.
Let’s talk about the romantic appeal of this one minute “story”, about expectations and every woman’s dream man. Our heroes.
Don’t we all want to wake up married to a sexy, loving man who lives only to make us happy? Many of us grow up with some version of Prince Charming living at the back of our minds ready to charge in, slay our dragons and hug us close on top of his white charger as he whisks us away to his castle. That doesn’t mean we all want tons of money, rocks on our finger the size of a goose egg, and a man catering to our every whim.
Too much cloying attention screams stalker to this damsel! Just saying…there are limits to my Prince Charming fantasies!
No. It’s the idea that a man loves us so much he’s willing to go that extra mile to give us everything we need and want that appeals to our feminine psyche. We want our men to be attractive and strong and successful at whatever he does for a living. We’re instinctually hardwired to seek the perfect mate. It’s embedded in our DNA.
Heroes are the reason I read and write romance novels. I fall a little in love with each hero I meet. Or not.
This bank commercial brought that dichotomy home to me. As women, we have differing viewpoints on what is important to us. You may want a man with strong protective instincts, while another woman wants a man who can give her the lifestyle to which she’d like to become accustomed. Maybe you want an alpha male and your best friend finds a Beta male more to her liking. A man’s drive for a higher position in the social hierarchy might turn you on, while driving the next woman away because she wants to be the center of her hero’s world. The point is that the individual appeal of a hero is directly connected to what we look for in a man, either consciously or subconsciously.
With this in mind, let’s go back to my reaction to the hero in the commercial. I know millions of women love George Clooney so the producer’s choice of hero makes sense in the grand scheme of things. But, at the risk of being tarred and feathered for even suggesting such blasphemy, Clooney leaves me cold. Oh, he’s handsome enough, I guess. I just don’t like him. He doesn’t do it for me. I wish I could tell you specifically why. I suspect it’s partially wrapped around his playboy good looks. Even before I learned anything about him personally, I somehow knew he was a player and not to be trusted to take anything seriously, especially regarding a woman’s heart. He’s a grown up Peter Pan. Not the type of man that turns me on at all!
Now, throw some of my favorite movie heroes into the same commercial role, I’d be running to that bank barefoot through a blizzard to open an account. Especially if the hero is Jason Statham—actually, at the moment, that man reigns supreme over my feminine psyche—Sean Connery, at just about any age, “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson, Liam Neeson, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Denzel Washington, Tom Selleck, Patrick Swayze (miss him!), and several others…I can go on! 🙂
In analysis, I know I adore all of these men because they play strong heroes, both emotionally and physically, who go above and beyond to protect the people they love. Even to the point of dying for their loved ones. In practicality, dying for me isn’t what I’d want from the man I love. It’s the concept that he’s willing to do whatever’s necessary to protect me that appeals to me.
Knowing what kind of man turns me on, I’m not surprised by the type of hero I find in every book that hits my Keeper Shelf whether it’s a contemporary, suspense, historical, or paranormal. These men are not all classically tall, dark and handsome. They don’t all have millions to keep their heroines in jewelry and classic cars. They may be bad boys or the boy next door. They are, however, all completely invested in their love for their heroine and loved ones. This is what fits my vision of the truly heroic man.
What kind of hero turns you on when you pick up a romance novel? The Greek God? The warrior? The friend? The sexy bad boy? What about movie actors who do it for you? What is it that makes you willing to shell out your hard earned cash just so you can spend two hours with them on a leisurely Sunday afternoon? Who are your favorites? There’s no right or wrong answer to any of these questions but, if you’d like to share, enquiring minds want to know.
Okay, the truth is I want to know! I’m always on the lookout for another hero to place on my Keeper Shelf. 🙂