Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Studs With Substance - Paul Verrall

I believe the best romantic heroes are much more than his hard muscles and good hair. In fact, I would go so far as to say that an average Joe can be just as sexy as a Brad Pitt clone. This year, I'm exploring this idea by examining men, both fictional and real, who I feel exemplify what makes a good hero.

Today we'll focus on Mr. Paul Verrall, the male lead in the 1950 film Born Yesterday. Paul is a Washington D.C. reporter who is hired by a millionaire junk dealer to make his floozy girlfriend smarter.

I love Paul for many reasons. Foremost, for his wit and intelligence. And who can resist glasses on a man in a suit with a good vocabulary? Okay, and he's William Holden. But also because he truly sees the heroine, Billie. To everyone else, she's just a bimbo girlfriend. People immediately write her off. But Paul has faith in her brains. He's willing to step back and be the catalyst for her intellectual development.

Paul's an almost perfect mix of passion and restraint. He never lets his attraction for Billie take him over until just the right time. He believes in the U.S. government yet is aware that corruption exists and does his best to help fight it. He's an alpha in the sense that he stands up for himself, Billie, and his own convictions. He fights when he needs to. But he doesn't need to control the heroine or their situation. He waits for Billie to make a very important discovery and lets her decide what to do about it. If Paul did it any other way, the happily ever after would have fallen flat.


Savanna Kougar said...

Mel, excellent insight. I vaguely remember seeing this movie, probably when my sis and I would stay up as young teenagers and watch the night black & white movies.

Mel Hiers said...

Hey Sav!

It's one of my faves. There was a remake with Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, but it didn't hold a candle to the original.

Evonne Wareham said...

I don't know the film, but the definition of hero sounds good.

Savanna Kougar said...

Hmmm...I didn't know that about a remake with Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith... course, I've been out of the movie loop for a long time now.
Don Johnson is one of my all-time favorite actors, though.