I just watched a movie titled Murder 101 where Pierce Brosnan played a college professor who gets set up for murder. He’s a little absent minded. A little arrogant. A little driven. Very self-absorbed. And teaches a writing class that focuses on plotting and writing suspense novels. And I have to say even knowing all that, had he been a teacher at my college, I’d have never missed a class.
But he wouldn’t have been my choice for either a boyfriend or a husband. And true to the storyline he had an ex-wife who refused to depend on him or take his promises seriously. He’d left her hanging too many times.
When he’s set up for murder, he has to use his superior intellect to think his way free of the trap into which he’s fallen and learns there may be things that are more important than his own little world inside of academia. I’m not going to spoil the movie for anyone, but the stakes are raised higher and higher for our hero and his intellect serves him well.
The Professor doesn’t deal well with change. Jeff Goldblum’s character, David Levinson, in Independence Day is content to use his brilliant talents in small ways in the public sector and has been left behind by his wife who’s followed her own path and kept her focus on a bigger picture.
But David has given his heart and though they’ve been apart for some time, he still wears his wedding band and still loves his wife passionately. He doesn’t waver in that love, no matter how bad things get and he risks everything to save her. So the moral is, the Professor may be absent minded, analytical, and insular, but once he’s let that special person inside his world, he doesn’t stop loving easily.
The Professor is an expert. He feels he was born to do the one thing at which he excels. He’s an acknowledged authority in his area. He has no hidden agendas. Doesn’t try and take on any disguises or try to be anything or anyone else than who he is. He doesn’t understand deceptions, hypocrisy or lies and is confused when they’re used against him. In January Man, Kevin Kline, plays ex-cop Nick Starkey. He’s been forced out of the police department under the suspicion of accepting bribes. Nick becomes a fireman, but his brother, the chief of police, and the mayor look him up when a particular nasty serial killer leaves a trail of dead bodies throughout the city.
Nick has communication problems with the opposite sex, is quirky, and stays inside his head a great deal of the time. But he’s brilliant at solving puzzles. And he doesn’t stop until he gets his man. Even when no one else believes in him, he knows he’s right.
And the ultimate Professor is compulsively organized and obsessive in his need to think things through logically. He doesn’t trust intuitive thinking. Logic and intellect are what counts. He’ll spend hours seeking a solution and be totally oblivious of the woman standing next to him, eager for his attention. Until she grabs him by his pointy ears and kisses his socks off.
The sexy attractiveness of the Professor Archetype lies in his intellect, and his single mindedness. When the chips are down he’ll go the extra mile to find a solution. And he’ll think outside the box to discover it.
Put him in a situation where he finally discovers his lady love, he’ll take care of her with the same single minded devotion as he does to saving the world, the planet, or just the day.
Tell me about the Professor Archetypes you’ve discovered in books and movies you’ve read or watched. I’m eager to hear about them. I’d really like to discover some books where this character is explored. If you have any suggestions let me know.