Monday, February 23, 2009

Hero Archetype: The Charmer

The Charmer

The Charmer is the ultimate playboy, irresistible and unreliable, the guy who can’t commit. He is sexy and charismatic. He’s the man whose heart-melting smile and charm have you fanning your over-heated face. Hard work is not his mantra, and he tries to get by on his looks and sense of humor. He believes he can talk his way out of anything. He knows how to play people. His parents and friends are just as enthralled with him as he is with himself. Charmers are the life of the parties and appear to have their life together. People are attracted to charmers and are easily persuaded to their viewpoints. Charmers tend to run away if the conversation turns to anything with emotional depth, and they rarely show their true feelings.

In Failure to Launch, MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY plays a thirty-five year old who enjoys rock climbing and surfing and suffers from a fear of intimacy. He also happens to live with his parents. He uses them to protect him from developing serious relationships. He always seems to be clever enough to stay ahead of the women he dates. When he realizes they’re getting serious, he breaks the news that he’s not interested in a permanent relationship with anyone. He’s a boat salesman; a perfect occupation for a charmer where a smile can make him a fortune without hard work. He can sell anything, and his customers walk away believing they made the perfect purchase.

JAMES GARNER played Bret Maverick, TV's most reluctant hero. He’d rather talk his way out of trouble by buying a fella a drink, or offering up a cigar. He played his cards close to his chest and always seemed to know the cards in the other guy’s hand. Not a cheater but not afraid to bend the rules either. He was a keeper of secrets with the ability to bluff his way through the worst of situations. While not a fighter by nature, he was never afraid to fight if there was no other way. Afterwards, he’d dust off his jacket, resettle his hat, and walk away the winner. Too often, though, he found himself rescuing a damsel in distress. Gambler by trade, Maverick travelled the West in search of good times and the easy way.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO as Jack Dawson, a devil-may-care artist in the Titanic, is a perfect example of a Charmer. He’s a free spirit and knows how to have a good time. After winning two tickets in a poker game he boards the doomed ship moments before it sails. Rose finds his carefree life alluring. She’s a deeply romantic dreamer and Jack’s life represents freedom and all that she’s never had the courage to live; as seen in the following dialogue from the movie.

Rose: “Teach me to ride like a man.”
Jack: “And chew tobacco like a man.”
Rose: “And spit like a man.”
Jack: “What they didn’t teach you at finishing school?”

How could Rose possibly resist his charm?

CARY GRANT was the quintessential handsome charmer who often played the role of wealthy, privileged man who never had to work to maintain his hedonistic lifestyle. He had technique and charm. He was the suave-about-town man who could punctuate a joke with the lift of his brow. He was quick-witted and won the hearts of women without trying. He was not a womanizer, but he loved women. He was a man of natural intelligence and style who could wear a tux better than any man in Hollywood.

Who’s your favorite charmer? It might be a character in a movie or a book, or a real-life guy who has charmed the beegeebees out of you! Give us a shout back and let us know.

Happy Reading!

Posted By: Katherine Lowry Logan


Magdalena Scott said...

How about Gregory Peck in ROMAN HOLIDAY?

Taryn Raye said...

I have to say Matthew McConaughy has to be one of my favorites. He could charm me till the cows come home cause just the mention of him makes me want to smile.

But then I love all the ones who have been mentioned on here.

From a television show though- I'd have to go with Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester. He could charm my socks off!

Devon Matthews said...

For fun, I love the more modern Maverick character played by Mel Gibson. But my all-time favorite charmer would have to be Johnny Depp as Don Juan DeMarco. Yes, it turned out that he was a disturbed young man who invented a life story, but he was so convincing with his wildly romantic tale, he even charmed Marlon Brandon (who played the part of his therapist) into believing.

Minx Malone said...

Will Smith's character in the movie "Hitch" was such a charmer. And Kevin James' character was the "anti-charmer". That's what made him so cute :)


Teresa Reasor said...

Very Good Blog!!!
What about Simon Baker in The Mentalist.(The only blonde I've ever lost my heart to since I usually prefer dark haired men.) McDreamy and McSteamy in Grey's Anatomy.Tony in NCIS. And my all time favorite, Gerard Butler in P.S. I Love You.
I'm still thinking.
Teresa R.

Julie Robinson said...

I'm probably the odd one here, but I have never liked charmers! They're too full of themselves.

lainey bancroft said...

Who doesn't love Mathew? =)

For old-school charm, we can't forget Rhett Butler and James Bond.

Charm-wise in the movies (although it was far from a romance) I thought Matt Damon nailed it in The Talented Mr. Riply. Creepy.

For romance, hmm. Honestly, I'm having a difficult time coming up with a modern romance hero charmer who 'did' it for me??? Suggestions?

Tracy Preston - Romance Writer said...

I don't know if anybody still watches soap operas, but as an admitted General Hospital-aholic, I submit Jasper Jax into the mix. He is suave, sophisticated, ridiculously wealthy, and speaks with a rich Aussie accent that will curl your toes.

As for movie characters, besides Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crown Affair, I'm still trying to come up with some. It seems the Charmer archetype has been in cinematic short-supply lately...

It seems to me like Denzel Washington used to play Charmer parts, but I can't think of the characters right offhand. Does Harrison Ford in Sabrina count?

Charlene said...

What about Tom Cruise in Top Gun? I'm trying to think of some more but it's difficult lol.

Charlene said...

Kevin Costner can play the cocky and charming romantic lead very well.

Claire0803 said...

Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" fits your description of a charmer to almost to a tee.
His picture should be beside the word in the dictionary.

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