Attractiveness Seeks Its Own Level

Do some people-watching inside any cafe or restaurant or semi-exclusive party and you’ll notice that healthy couples (i.e., unions that aren’t based on the guy being rich and the woman being a gold-digger) always seem to be similarly attractive. If a woman is a 7.5 or an 8 she’ll tend to be with a guy who’s a 7.5 or an 8. Birds of a feather, etc. And so I always react negatively when this rule of thumb is ignored by hip filmmakers because of…you tell me, p.c. guidelines or whatever. Because this is not how it is out there.

Case in point: John Ridley‘s Guerilla, a six-part Showtime miniseries set in ’70s London. Because leading costar Freida Pinto is totally choice — anyone’s idea of an 8.5 if not a 9 — there’s no way I’m buying Babou Ceesay as her boyfriend. Too chubby, not good-looking enough, nope. Pinto and Ceesay are roughly equivalent to Grace Kelly and George Gobel being paired off in a 1954 romance of some kind. Or Faye Dunaway and Allen Garfield in a ’70s flick.

If Pinto was with Idris Elba, cool — he’s on her level. Or the equally good looking Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher, Catch A Fire). Remember Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudbury in Mira Nair‘s Mississippi Mesala (’91)? Now, there was a beautiful, nicely matched couple.

I really don’t like seeing hot actresses paired up with unremarkable guys with doughy faces who clearly need to be playing the clerk in a police station or a guy who gets shot during a bank robbery. People don’t want the schlubby guy to fuck the hot girl, period.

  • Bobby Peru

    How many times are you going back to this same well? It’s been at least a dozen in the past decade.

    • gruver1

      Talk to John Ridley — he cast the miniseries. I’m just stting here, taking it all in.

      How many movies and longforms are they gonna make? There have been hundreds and hundreds this decade alone. Enough already!

      • Matt of Sleaford

        You might want to sit down for this. Hollywood Reporter recently did a story on Peak TV, and estimated there could be more than five-HUNDRED scripted series coming to television this year. There were 455 in 2016.

        • Michael Gebert

          TV is now like books. A dozen lifetimes could not take it all in.

          • Matt of Sleaford

            And in that sense, it’s liberating. You no longer feel the need to keep up because you literally can’t.

            • Michael Gebert

              Yet somehow my wife is on the 13th viewing of Game of Thrones.

    • Michael Gebert

      It never gets old, hearing that all people follow precisely the same rules of attractiveness and romantic interest.

      The funny thing is, half of the people Wells thinks are California-gorgeous would be freak-show-worked-on in Chicago.

      Major props for the George Gobel reference, though. That’s perfect.

      https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/find-a-grave-prod/photos/2007/191/4189_118415977152.jpg

      • gruver1

        Listen again: Birds seek out other birds with a similar plumage. It’s a fucking LAW except when it comes to gold diggers and rich guys.

        • Michael Gebert

          Truly, tuxedos do not go out with brown shoes.

    • Pete Miesel

      Is this based off a true story? If so, it could be that Ridley was casting based off of how similar the actors looked to the actual people?

      • gruver1

        That NEVER happens.

        • Pete Miesel

          City of God for instance had the actors cast almost exactly right.

  • Dr. New Jersey
    • MrRogerThornhill

      Status trumps looks for women. She married the lead singer/songwriter of a major rock band. Notice that she didn’t marry the drummer.

      Don’t delude yourself. Ever seen Stephanie Seymour’s husband? She didn’t marry him for his looks. But he happens to be a billionaire. Ever seen Salma Hayek’s husband? Oh, let me stop there.

  • Grampappy Amos

    Jeff, just (t)roll with it, will you?

    • gruver1

      You roll with it. I’m a man of the world. I get out there, I notice things, I take notes, I’m observant.

  • Muldoon

    I would love to see a film version of Rob Leininger’s funny, violent Killing Suki Flood in which a beautiful 18-year-old has hot sex with a 5-8, 230 lb., bald, 54-year-old hero.

  • Pete Miesel

    That actually looks pretty interesting, and the racial violence in 70’s London was pretty off the chain so a good subject for Ridley to explore. See, that’s an easy way to react to this instead of a hot take that damn near borders on eugenics?

  • SJR

    “People don’t want the schlubby guy to fuck the hot girl, period”

    Schlubby guys do, and yeah relatively, people date to their levels but anomalies happen enough times to where it isn’t unrealistic for Pinto to be pair with Ceesay.

    Have you seen Christina Hendricks’ husband?

    • gruver1

      Yes, I have. Curious. There are always exceptions to the rule.

    • Jeff

      People always cite this one. Like its the go to reference. It is worth mentioning but it’s also worth noting outside of Mad Men on camera, Henricks was an actress who foundered for a decade and was a few pounds over Actor weight. If you view the two of them together around when they met and she isn’t glammed up it doesn’t seem nearly as ridiculous. Your point still holds since she stayed with him after Mad Men but it makes a little more sense in the prism of 06-08 where he was an almost popular working comic actor and in shape.

  • chris land

    Jeff, I’m sorry, but part of the Trump experience horror is ultra-sensitivity
    to people rating atractiveness on a 10 scale. I’m serious, I just had a knee-jerk nauseous moment seeing this even though I never had any problem with the scale in the past and still don’t rationally object to it.

    I agree with your point,but really wish you’d stuck to descriptive adjectives to make it. The trailer looks mildly interesting though, this show’s probably going to be a good candidate for binge-ing on a Sunday after it’s all aired.

    • Bite The Dust

      That whole post could have been written by Trump anyway…Wells hates Trump with a vengeance but at heart they come from a very similar place….

  • otto

    “you’ll notice that healthy couples (i.e., unions that aren’t based on the guy being rich and the woman being a gold-digger) always seem to be similarly attractive”

    Not really. To generalize, very attractive women traditionally go for the guy who is less attractive – the guy who is safe, funny, but who falls within what women generally describe as “normal.” She will not go for the pretty boy, because she knows that the pretty boy’s options will remain relatively plentiful even as he ages.

    • gruver1

      Maybe, but hot women on Freida Pinto’s level NEVER fuck or marry chubby schlubby guys like Babou Ceesay . They just don’t. One big exception in the H’wood realm was Shirley Jones marrying Marty Ingels, but Ingels said time and again “I’m lucky, not on her level, look at my homely face…and yet she married me…woo-hoo!”

      • Anna Karina and Godard, Antonioni and Monica Vitti, Polanski and just about everybody he was with….admittedly, they’re examples of powerful directors, but those kinds of asymmetrical relationships do happen in real life more frequently than you’re allowing for. Women’s tastes aren’t always as shallow or visually orientated as men’s, and men can often get a long way on charisma, humor, intelligence, and so forth.

  • Marty McKee

    Wells has never watched an 8-season CBS sitcom.

    • qdpsteve

      Did this unnamed sitcom star Kevin James and Leah Remini, by any chance? 😉

  • Mr. F.

    Corrected the first line for you:

    “Do some people-watching inside any West Hollywood or Beverly Hills Starbucks or Golden Globes viewing party…”

    • gruver1

      Attractiveness seeks out its own level everywhere.

  • roland1824

    This sounds like fair rule of thumb, but you generally don’t really see ladies of the 8-10 tier paired up with guys who don’t have at least some money, do you?

    • gruver1

      Upper-tier women are always with guys who have money, power, connectivity or at least opportunity. They don’t mess with pikers and wannabes.

      • pmn

        I feel like there are some women out there who like to hold all the cards in a relationship, and are willing to go down scale a bit in order for that to be the case.

  • Gurney Halleck

    Jeff dropping some brutal red pills.

  • Luke Holley

    How about Elizabeth Banks and her husband or Julia Roberts and her husband or Peirce Brosnan and his wife, Aaron Taylor Johnson and Sam Taylor-Wood, Clive Owen and his wife, I could keep going …… a simple google search rips your argument to shreds.

    • Exceptions are out there, sure, but they don’t constitute the general birds-of-a-feather rule. And you KNOW IT.

  • Raygo

    Huge fan of Ridley’s AMERICAN CRIME series. I expect the writing and performances to render these superficial observations moot.

  • Gary Springer

    Freida’s former fiancee http://tinyurl.com/zky65sp

    • paediz

      I can’t but should stop laughing since he absolutely matches Freidas “8.5 if not a 9”.