Hollywood doesn’t bother with real romance any more, says Alison Willmore in Vulture. It’s sad. The sparkle between Bogart and Hepburn in The African Queen was just as chaste as any Disney movie, but involved characters who we felt had blood running through their veins. That was 70 years ago: in theory, we’re permitted to show so much more on screen now, but “the reality is that we get even less”.
Take Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a rippling leading man who has racked up billions of dollars playing characters who “give no sign of having sensation below the waist”. The ravishing 6ft 5in former WWE wrestler has a fantasy body honed by gruelling 4am workouts and a diet of “enough cod to endanger the species”. But his clean-cut characters “rarely if ever seem to take pleasure in this physicality”. When he snogs Emily Blunt in his new Disney flick, Jungle Cruise, it’s filmed “as though they’re dolls whose heads are being smashed together by a child”. Depressingly, the model he has come to epitomise – charismatic, impossibly fit and as “unobjectionable as a Ken doll” – is proving best for business on a global scale.
Give me stinky cheese, not mild cheddar
Fussy eaters are a “massive turn-off”, says Charlie Gowans-Eglinton in The Times. According to an American study, they’re seen as less sexually attractive and more “prudish” in bed. No wonder. “Someone who wants to share a stinky cheese board is much more shaggable than someone who only likes mild cheddar (although perhaps not directly after said cheeseboard).”
Imagine going on holiday with a picky eater. You’d have to walk around for hours to find a suitable restaurant, then wait while they “google-translate the full menu.” Besides, “a man who doesn’t want to put an oyster in his mouth because it looks weird — well, I’m guessing he’s not much of a giver”.
Staying out of heartbreak hotel
Couples who got married during the pandemic have a good chance of staying together, says Stephen Mihm in Bloomberg. Research shows that marriages embarked on during economic downturns last longer than average, as couples form stronger bonds when “enduring tumultuous times together”. And the cheaper the rings and wedding ceremony, the longer a marriage is likely to last.