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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Top 10 Guy's Guy Movies

Robert Manni - Thursday, March 28, 2013

Films and Guy’s Guys go hand-in-hand.

Men like cutting to the chase and although at times we come across as blunt instruments, men everywhere love the power of story to make their point.  Story can live in a documentary as well as a fictional tale, and as each decade in film has evolved, so have men. Films for Guy’s Guys hold great meaning as they reflect aspects of their life, love and the pursuit of happiness. If you are a woman and you often ask yourself why guys like certain movies, you might find that they probablyokay, hopefully have a few themes in common regardless of the genre. They are truth, integrity, and courage. These are traits that most men aspire to, but are challenged to achieve regardless of the time frame.  Other criteriagreat dialogue, humor, positivity.

So without further ado, in no particular order, here are ten of my favorite Guy’s Guy movies.

10. Point Break: Dirty Dancing aside, arguably the underrated Patrick Swayze’s best performance as a surfer, Svengali, surfer-crook, Bodhi, who squares off against Keanu Reeves’s undercover FBI agent, Jonny Utah. Amazing Guy’s Guy dialogue: "If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love."

9. SwingersThe introduction of Vince Vaughn as Trent, a flawed friend and womanizer to Jon Favreau’s Mikey.  Mikey is the Guy’s Guy who learns how to let go so the right things can enter his life. Brilliant script, on-point dialogue and a positive, yet non-sanctimonious message that leaves guys uplifted. "You’re so money and you don’t even know it."

8. Rocky: The original is a masterpiece. Each overlooked character (Rocky, Mickey, Adrian, Paulie) has the same challengegetting their long, overdue opportunity. What most viewers fail to remember is that Rocky lost the fight, despite going the distance. But that’s what countsa true Guy’s Guy message.  "And if I can go that distance, ya see, and that bell rings, ya know, and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, ya see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood."

7. Jerry McGuireLet’s admit it. Tom Cruise can act. In this tale of maintaining integrity in a disingenuous business, Jerry takes his one client and finds a way to keep rolling while learning how to be a better man. Wonderful Guy’s Guy stuff.  "I hated myself.... No, I hated my place in the world."

6. The Pope of Greenwich VillageA pre-The Wrestler Mickey Rourke stars as, Charlie, an Italian-American who lives on the fringes of the mob and is at a crossroads. Yes, life is all about the choices we make. This one takes a deep dive on the meaning of friendship. Eric Roberts’ over-the-top performance as Paulie steals the show. An underrated Guy’s Guy classic. "Outgrow him? I dunno Diane, Maybe WASP's outgrow people. I'm Italian. We outgrow pants, not people." 

5. Silver Linings Playbook: In a movie culture built around superheroes, violence, franchises and sequels SLP shatters the usual boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, rom-com template. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence shine in the adaptation from Matthew Quick’s excellent, yet under-the-radar 2008 novel about love and the power of positive thinking.  This is the Guy’s Guy rom-com…for now. Just wait. "I am practicing being kind over being right."

4. Groundhog DayBill Murray stares in this comedy classic that tackles the theme of creating our own reality in a non-preachy way. This is one of those movies that you can jump right into and watch whenever it pops on the screen when you’re surfing the dial. It’s that good. "I told you. I wake up every day, right here, right in Punxsutawney, and it's always February 2nd, and there's nothing I can do about it."

3. Wall StreetCome on. You like this movie. It captures the late eighties culture as well as anything has, maybe with the exception of Flock of Seagulls. Charlie Sheen’s Bud Fox takes on Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko in a high-stakes game of money manipulation and perception.  They battle to a draw, but Sheen keeps his soul in tact. "The main thing about money, Bud, is that it makes you do things you don't want to do."

2. On the WaterfrontYeah, this is real old school, but it gets right into man’s moral fiber and how decisions define one man from another. Brando is at his finest as he takes on the mob, love, and morality. Heavy-duty Guy’s Guy themes abound. Yeah, he could have been a contender. "Conscience... that stuff can drive you nuts!"

1. The Good, The Bad and The UglyThe ultimate western features Clint and Eli Wallach’s classic Tuco in a three-way battle over a chest of gold and a game of life and death that’s full of tasty twists. This sprawling film is underscored by a deep anti-war theme. Eastwood is only referred to as Blondie and only has fifty-seven bits of dialogue, but they all hit the mark. "You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."

Yes, I omitted Scarface, The Dirty Dozen, Walk The Line and so many other great Guy’s Guy films. The point is there are so many wonderful pieces of celluloid that help interpret and define men. Thanks to all these great movies for the quotes.

Do you have a favorite Guy’s Guy film?

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Sly Stallone for writing Rocky, and having the cajones to insist on the starring role.

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