ByLola, writer at Creators.co
Designer
Lola

Why are there so many "bad boys" in different films? I think it's a peculiar way for viewers to go through relationship with a dangerous character with no real consequences. Antisocial psychopath is actually a very common fantasy that movies and TV series exploit a lot. Main features of this character are vicious behaviour, unwillingness to communicate with other people and artificial image of dangerous mystery. Most likely, there's some mental trauma in his past and he seeks revenge by all means.

Appearance of such a guy is also rather stereotyped. "Bad boys" are usually teenagers or young men whose exhausted by lots of suffering soul is trapped inside of a frail body. They are tall, skinny and often dark-haired. It's also necessary to mention that they are masters of making those "askance looks" and cynical smiles. As well as leaning against the wall and riding a motorcycle.

My So-Called Life, Jordan Catalano
My So-Called Life, Jordan Catalano

And for some reason they get a lot of female attention. This "bad boy" character usually meets another Hollywood cliche: a good girl. Such tandem was created for a reason: this way it's easy to show that this unpleasant guy can actually change. And here comes a hope for salvation. No matter how much it goes against his behaviour (he surely denies that love exists), it's usually a good heart of his beloved one that saves his lost soul. In general, romanticizing of depression often becomes a main feature of a "bad boy" cliche.

And even though he seems to be a doomed man, he comes to a bad end only in very rare cases.

A Walk to Remember
A Walk to Remember

"Bad boy" became even more popular when movie industry was struck by fashion for sexy vampires. Eroticized image of biting became a must. I can't even say how many movies and TV series were made around it. Most famous are, of course, "The Twilight Saga" and "The Vampire Diaries". Damon from TVD is so bad and so good at the same time: none of his bloody and brutal murders affect main character's attraction to him. It turns out that everything can be forgiven if you are so hot and "bad".

And looking at all other movies I can tell the following: you can crash at a party and harass women. You can destroy a house. You can vandalize cars. You can hit a nice guy who is protecting his friend. You can massacre the guy who is having an affair with your mom. You can do drugs. You can be an alcoholic.

You can have no respect for anyone or anything. But you'll ALWAYS have the best "good girl" fallen for you.

True Blood
True Blood

Of course, the degree of "badness" can be different. Sometimes films end with the imminent death of "bad boys" (either because of karmic retribution, or as a reward for making it through all the suffering). Sometimes "a good girl" dies instead like in "The Virgin Suicides" or "The Walk to Remember". There're plenty of examples to name. But the main thing is to keep in mind that if you meet this character in real life — it's better to run away as fast as possible before things get really bad.

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