So I saw Despicable Me 3 last weekend, and while I don’t think it’s as good as the first movie in the series, it was a bit of harmless fun. However, it did get me thinking a bit about the notion of what is sexy and attractive. I mean, let’s be serious here, there is nothing physically attractive about Gru, but I find myself totally and utterly in love with him. Why?
- Protective Father: Yes, sure, when Gru first appears on the screen in the first movie, he’s…well, he’s popping the balloon animal of a small boy. To be fair, he actually made the balloon animal for the boy, but then…because Gru believes he must be evil, he destroys it. But for a brief moment in this opening introduction to the character, we see what his true personality is: a nice guy. The little boy was upset, so Gru made him a balloon animal to cheer him up. That true side of his personality comes through when, despite his best efforts, he emotionally connects with Margo, Agnes and Edith (the three little girls he initially adopts for criminal gain). Once he accepts the girls are in his heart, Gru steps up, becomes a father who will always protective his daughters no matter what.
- Dangerous: Okay, so I’m not saying you need to be dangerous to be sexy, but when Gru does finally accept his life is now about his girls, his testosterone kicks up to a different level, and not even an attacking shark will faze him. I dare anyone who has seen the first movie not to find themselves being even a little bit tingly-impressed with Gru’s assault on Vector after Vector kidnaps Margo, Agnes and Edith. Gru is determined, icy-calm, and not in the least daunted by anything thrown at him to prevent him rescueing his newly formed family. And we know (thanks to events throughout the first film) that Gru can take a licking and be hurt (as much as a character can be hurt in a kids’ movie, that is), but he has a new-found purpose for his aggression: his daughters. I would hazard a guess the idea of a dad doing whatever it takes to ensure the safety of their child/children is up there on the list of What Do I Want In A Partner.
- Don’t Do Wrong By My Family: Gru blows up a carnival game after the carnie jerks Anges around and denies her the prize she rightfully won (a unicorn so fluffy it’s a threat to mortality). This moment is (in my opinion, at least) when it all clilcks for Gru that he can step up and stop life being unfair for someone. It is the moment his true personality wins over the “bad guy” person he’s spent his whole life thinking he must be, and he accepts it. He doesn’t deny it, he doesn’t go all macho and refuse to listen to his heart (sure, he goes all macho when he listens to his heart, but who wouldn’t want someone getting sweet revenge on one of those carnival games, am I right??)
- Supportive Regardless of the Situation: Gru goes to the girls’ ballet classes and he stays for it. Okay, this whole scene was written (I’m sure) purely for comedic effect, but it tugs at my heartstrings so damn much. He goes, he watches, he stays. He doesn’t drop the girls off and leaves to do something else, he doesn’t sit and scroll through his mobile phone, ignoring the girls as they dance. He stays and he watches. I totally understand why the mums there are swooning over him.
- Totally Okay With Doing Something Embarrassing Because of Love: In the sequel, Despicable Me 2, Gru is throwing Anges a birthday party, and he is not holding back. It is everything that Anges could ever want in a birthday party. And then the bad news comes that the fairy Gru arranged to appear can’t make it. So, instead of disappointing his daughter, Gru goes full-fairy. Yes, again, I understand this cross-dressing moment is done to make us all laugh, but it also makes us go oooohhhh. Here is a man, a father, totally okay with making a fool of himself so someone he loves isn’t upset. Now, that is sexy, in my opinion. And when Agnes reveals she knows it’s really Gru under all that pink, the look of love and adoration he gives her is beyond wonderful.
- Not Afraid To Admit He’s Wrong: Gru steps up and owns his mistakes. That is sexy. Full stop, sexy.
So there you have it. My arguements for why Gru defies the normal, traditional embodiment of a sexy hero. Do you agree? What characters out there in movie land do you find unconventionally sexy? Hit me with them in the comments.
(I saw Despicable Me 3 at Hoyts Charlestown, and I gotta say, if you live in my neck of the woods, go check out a movie there. The reclining seats are awesome, and the hot food delivered to your seat is fantastic!)