So, basically, without knowing it, I’ve watched at lot of Richard Gere films over my long literary silence (apologies for that) and I realised he is a total bastard in at least three films. There could be more Gere related bastardness, if so, let me know. I just feel that the world should know that the following ‘romantic’ films display that the cliché ‘treat ‘em mean keep ‘em keen’ thing is actually true when it comes to good old Richard, he treats his women like crap and they come back for more of the D. I’ve seen enough sex scenes to know he isn’t portrayed as a freak in the bed, so I can’t work out why he’s typecast to be a, holding all the cards, swagger master, ladies man – allow me to demonstrate with a few examples.
Example the first: Pretty Woman
If you don’t know the premise to Pretty Woman, where have you been? On Neptune? Anyway, some successful, mercenary, legal business man called, Edward Lewis (Richard I’m A Dick Gere) finds himself a hooker on called Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts).
Sorry, I just realised her name is Vivian Ward, I’m laughing hysterically. J.F Ward (oh look, same last name…Maybe he’s Vivian on weekends?) actually sat down and said: “What’s a convincing name for a prostitute? Vivian? Vivian Ward?” and his mind clearly replied: “Indubitably old chap! Spiffing character name.”
I digress, yeah, so he meets a whore fresh out of Gomorrah judging by her name, he dresses her up in nice clothes and pays her loads of money while Roy Orbison growls in his song, I forget what it’s called… He should have just got an escort, would have cost him less. And shock horror he falls in love with her, and she falls in love with him but he’s a business man and she’s a trashy wench, I see a complication.
I know that the whole point of this film is that he’s a bit of an idiot when it comes to women because he is too career driven, and also, I don’t care that it’s Julia Roberts, she’s a hooker Richard. Hello?! Have some pride for yourself. I wouldn’t think it was charming that some dried up hooker was flossing her teeth in my bathroom rather than doing drugs; I would take an American Psycho approach and tell her to wash her vagina while she was in there.
Regardless of this, he literally treats her like shit but because us women watch these films and think ‘aww I wish I could meet a nice man to drag me out the gutter and buy me clothes’, him treating her badly is completely overlooked. The lesson here is get a platinum credit card and you can do whatever you like.
So, he buys her all these nice clothes so she can come on social events with him and look the part, but he then tells his asshole mate that she’s a hooker – which is really stupid. Why pretend to not have a hooker just to tell everyone that she is a hooker so they can all laugh at her and grab at her with their meaty man hands? Not cool Richard. They have this huge blow out row and she attempts to leave but Richard manages to convince her to stay, and then he persistently treats her like crap. She tells him that she loves him because she thinks that he’s asleep, and he’s actually awake! Does he do anything? Nah.
He doesn’t wait till the morning and have the ‘I don’t feel that way’ chat, he just carries on banging her and letting her swan around his hotel room in his shirts. He uses the fact that she is a hooker in arguments, which is true, she is, but why bring that up as a negative Richard? You’re paying to argue with her right now and moan that she’s a hooker while she’s sucking you off and goosing you on a piano (which by the way is the most indiscreet sex in a public place I’ve ever witnessed). Dick move really.
Even when he’s trying to defend her he does it by getting his chauffeur to do all the work. Hey look at his gun, don’t come near me or he’ll straight up murder your ass while I sip on champagne cocktails and salt my quails eggs, also; don’t mess with my cheap ass hooker. Doesn’t really convince me of anything other than this guy can’t fight his own battles and can’t score a normal date in his own high society world, yet he acts as though he’s better than her all the time and fucks like a chicken nugget. She’s doing ALL the work in every sex scene, I know that’s her job, but it wouldn’t hurt to at least move around Richard.
Rant over, Richard Gere as Edward Lewis is a total dick.
Example the second: Runaway Bride
We just entered Dick Town and Richard Gere is a mayor. Julia Roberts does the phrase ‘fool me once…’ ring any bells? This time Gere plays a reporter named Ike Graham who has a regular column in USA Today. He is so desperate for ideas he draws influence from a man in a bar, he tells Ike about Maggie Carpenter aka The Runaway Bride who ditches men at the altar. Upon reading this article Maggie throws the media law book that I never read for my journalism exam, and obviously neither did Ike, at the editor and she fires him. In a total dick quest for vindication he goes down to Maggie’s town so he can report on her forthcoming nuptials in hope that she will run again.
Ok, the first dick move is writing defamatory statements about a woman in a globally read paper just before her wedding, bit tight of you Richard. Even though she is a hanus bitch for leaving all those men, I’m sure she has some deep rooted commitment issues that she hasn’t come to terms with, but it’s nice that you forced her to by slapping her shambles of a love life in a newspaper with a picture and everything.
So you got fired? You should know that there is a law for journalists, especially since you write a regular column for a massive paper. You’ve clearly been taking journalism advice off Rebekah Brooks; at least Murdoch will give you a job. But you didn’t leave it there did you Richard? No, you took your dick campaign on the road with poor; massive lipped Julia Roberts on your dickdar, again.
Ike Graham travels down to Maggie’s home town to harass her some more, he visits her family, gets her alcoholic dad drunk and avidly listens as he regales him with slurred tales of Maggie’s love life and past history. What a total dick. She is being shadowed by a shabby reporter who is pissed about losing his job because HE messed up! This guy is relentless.
He goes to all her ex fiancées knowing full well they have a tiny spot of revengenda against Maggie for ditching them at the altar, which is fair enough, but Ike gives them licence to pursue that and dish all the dirty. He also stirs the pot and causes a lot of upset in the sleepy town of Hale, Maryland between the three alter loners, her current fiancé, Bob (Christopher Meloni) and Maggie’s best friend Peggy Flemming (Joan Cusack).
That’s a lot of collateral damage just so you can get your job back that you couldn’t do properly in the first place Richard. But guess what guys? He gets the girl! After completely destroying her soul and free will, she gets Stockholm syndrome for her social life captor and takes the ‘oh fuck it’ road, literally.
But seriously, why is he behaving like this? And why is this deemed appropriate for a romantic film?
Example the last: an Officer and a Gentleman
Title is so wrong, he isn’t a gentleman in this film, he’s an asshole. Gere plays Zack Mayo who joins the Navy Flight School to be an aviator and get away from his drunken dad. While he’s giving sass to his sergeant and amusing his comrades with his asshole behaviour, he meets Paula (Debra Winger) and proceeds to treat her with the same kind of chauvinistic prat behaviour that he displays over the last two films. He has sex with her and then pushes all of his angst about his life onto her while then retracting any and all emotions and doing the ‘I’m so troubled I can’t talk about it’ routine. I’m not moaning about this film, I love this film. Its way better than Top Gun which by the way is so wet I nearly drowned when I watched it, but it does have similar themes. Any time something bad happens he ditches Paula, meets back up with Paula, has bad sex with Paula and then has a go at Paula and then runs around the obstacle course for a while. He makes her cry so many times during that film and none of it is romantic, it’s only at the end of each of these films that he swoops in with a mild romantic gesture that appears amazing because he’s been a total shit beforehand.
Richard Gere, I love you, you’re an awesome guy, you’re attractive, but holy shit you play some real ass holes. Am I the only one that’s noticed this? Am I asking for too much here? Answers on a postcard.
Published work and other reviews can be found on www.zarwil.com