You’re a married man who shares a secret loft with your buddies. There, you bed your mistresses and party to your heart’s content. But then some stupid dead woman messes everything up for you, placing you at the scene of the crime, making you mistrust your bros. Erik Van Looy’s The Loft, which opens this weekend, gets the biggest bunch of eyerolls from us. Currently holding a whopping 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Loft sadly isn’t alone when it comes to male fantasy wish-fulfillment movies. Here are a few of the worst offenders, all in good fun.
Your jealous (still-gorgeous wife) hires a doe-eyed call girl to uncover your possible infidelities. In the process, the sexy young woman with a wayward streak becomes infatuated with the Mrs., who listens intently to the escort’s reports about your goings-on. They have a passionate affair, which you forgive (because obviously), but the troubled sex worker conveniently offs herself when things in your marriage get too tense. We love you Atom Egoyan, but there’s no hiding this midlife crisis of a movie.
You’re a broke artist who can’t hold a job, but you land a gig assembling mannequins and wind up creating the perfect plastic woman, falling in love with her. After getting fired, you run into her one day at a department store. Imagine your luck when you get a job there and the leggy, blonde bombshell comes to life at night — but only when the two of you are alone together. She also happens to be an Egyptian princess, you lucky schlub!
That mermaid you formed a childhood bond with after she saved you from drowning to death returns as an oft naked, goddess-like merwoman who can’t speak a lick of English. You fall in love and save her from becoming fish food for a creepy military operation. She thanks you by inviting you to her underwater world, helping you escape your miserable life selling fruits and vegetables to cranky New Yorkers.
You’re a swinging bachelor who has it all, but your life finds new meaning when you fall in love with an exotic woman. Since you’re so goddamn amazing, your ex-girlfriend — who could totally be a model — kills herself in a car crash. It’s mostly a bummer because you were in the car, too, and she permanently disfigured your face. But wait! This is a movie, so… just kidding. It was all a dream. (Somehow this movie seemed less smarmy when it was Alejandro Amenábar’s Abre los ojos.)
Is she the woman of your dreams or an angel? She was a manic pixie dream girl to writer Nathan Rabin who invented the term when he described Kirsten Dunst’s character in Elizabethtown as “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.”
We’ll let Rabin explain how Garden State appeals to the millennial male fantasy. He described Natalie Portman’s character in Zach Braff’s 2004 film as a “carefree nymphet who is the accessory to Zach Braff’s character development. It’s an archetype, I realized, that taps into a particular male fantasy: of being saved from depression and ennui by a fantasy woman who sweeps in like a glittery breeze to save you from yourself, then disappears once her work is done.” Bonus: she loves vinyl, but won’t steal yours when you break up since she appreciates how sacred your collection is.
The James Bond Series
Men want to be him, women want to have sex with him. Secret agent James Bond is every bit a male fantasy figure as the women he surrounds himself with, known simply as “Bond girls.” Every now and then a resourceful woman with an independent streak who helps save Bond’s life pops up in a 007 movie (Grace Jones’ May Day in A View to a Kill, for example), but Bond always knows best and gets the satisfaction of saving the day. He also gets to play around with the hottest cars, the biggest guns, and the coolest gadgets while offing people left and right.
Have the most incredible f*ck of your life with an untamable alien babe who possesses superhuman strength and just wants to mate with men and leave ’em. When she becomes too wild to deal with, blow her up with a grenade launcher.