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Monday, April 15, 2024

Filming recently began on a big-screen adaptation to the wildly successful HBO sitcom "Sex and the City." And because I own all seven DVDs, watch the Season Two finale religiously after a breakup and use Samantha quotes as pickup lines, it pains me to admit this, but I think the fairy tale is over.

As a young 20-something, I have fervently held onto the belief that my own Mr. Big, my very special Mr. Right, was just right around the corner. But maybe my Jane Austen-loving self has been misled by Hallmark-fueled holidays and "happily ever after" messages.

If pop culture truly is the barometer of mass culture, perhaps we're now being force-fed a new message.

The anti-heroes of cinema (think loser Ben in this summer's hit "Knocked Up") and television (the lovable dorks of "The Pick Up Artist") have all replaced the traditional white knights.

Chances are you probably know - or are - an anti-hero. You know the type: He spends too many hours playing World of Warcraft, quotes Will Ferrell movies constantly and is probably in need of cleaning up his bedroom.

Story time: I saw "Knocked Up" in the movie theater and left feeling horribly disappointed. Sure, it was hysterical, but Katherine Heigl's character seemed far too put-together to actually like a slacker such as Ben. A drunken one-night stand seemed plausible enough, but for her to then fall for Seth Rogen's character seemed the kind of stuff produced only in male fantasyland.

Fast forward to last night, when I watched the DVD with my boyfriend. I found myself glancing at him continuously out of the corner of my eye, "oh, my god" repeating in my head. My boyfriend was of the Ben mold.

Thing is, I couldn't be happier.

The anti-hero may not look like Brad Pitt, but his sweet, self-deprecating soul is incredibly more worthwhile and endearing than a six-pack.

My larger point: These movies and television shows work because they're honest.

I've spent a large majority of my life looking for what I thought Prince Charming should be only to end up depressed and disillusioned.

I'm not advocating lowering your standards. I am advising, however, that you alter them. It's not about what these men lack. It's about their undiscovered depth and their earnest desire to just make someone else happy. Besides, often it's our flaws that make us both beautiful and lovable.

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Let's face it - the anti-hero is pretty hot.

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