Something curious happens to me whenever Harrison Ford enters the pop culture lexicon once again. It happened when Morning Glory hit theaters; it happened when he got that god-awful earring for Calista Flockhart; and it’s happening right now as his new movie Ender’s Game kills at the box office. When Harrison Ford enjoys a resurgence of fame, I’m reminded of just how terribly he has ruined my life.
And that’s because Harrison Ford taught me everything I know about what it means to be good, desirable man. Well, at least through his movies. Part of that is my fault. When faced with the choice of Luke or Han Solo while watching Star Wars for the first time, I chose Han like a toddler choosing between carrots and cookies. Gimme a scoundrel with a side of sass over the whiny hero, please. And while Disney princesses got to sing an awful lot, I found that spirited, opinionated women like Princess Leia were more my speed.
The problem is, I always opt for the Han Solos in real life too. This is huge problem because his characters’ real life counterparts make terrible boyfriends. For one, they’re always growling. They like confrontation, because they get to complain about it, and so hanging around with someone like me (a five-foot nothing gal with a penchant for playfully pestering the objects of my affection) is a natural fit. They’re constantly going against the grain, and they’re happy you noticed.
They have a fierceness about them when it comes to everything – love, work, play – but they have multitudes of ambition and loads of hubris, which often means the ladies who love them are left feeling like cheerleading mothers (like Raiders of the Lost Ark’s Marion Ravenwood saying “Indy!” with that motherish tone of hers). In essence, these men are impossible; and because I’m a sick, masochistic woman, they are also absolutely irresistible.
But I brought this plague upon myself. When three movies featuring Han wasn’t enough, I discovered that there was an entire film series dedicated to Ford’s classic hero Indiana Jones and I was sold instantly. I was so sold, that for the entire summer between sixth grade and seventh grade, I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark once a day, every day, melting faces and all.
I got older and found Ford in his other roguish roles – Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, the hot cowboy with a cool car in American Graffiti, Jack Ryan in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, even the sweet, but still rakish Linus Larabee in that remake of Sabrina. I was so entranced by Ford that when he growled “Get off my plane” at Gary Oldman in Air Force One in 1997, 10-year-old me swooned significantly. Now, I’m not saying watching Harrison Ford play the grouchy old anchor in a 2010 Rachel McAdams movie is the hallmark of his appeal, but to this day, I’m unable to shake my affinity for him. Each encounter just reinforces my condition and thanks to years and years of cinematic history, my life-ruining problem is permanent.
To this day, my innate urge is to seek out a man who’d find it endearing if he happened upon me winning a drinking contest against some sweaty guy in Nepal. My wish is to meet someone who’ll make me want to slap him in the face on a daily basis for being such a lovable rogue. My dream is to fall in love with someone I initially find arrogant and obnoxious. This is terrible, because the modern day, realistic equivalent of Ford’s most beloved characters probably looks something like Nick Miller on New Girl. He gave up on being a lawyer because it was too close to being a member of the establishment; he’s allergic to long-term relationships; he loves to bicker; and he growls a lot. (Even I don’t get the growling.) While it always works out onscreen, it’s a bit less likely to pan out in reality.
But, since I’m already ruined, thanks to Mr. Ford and his iconic characters, I may as well accept it. Let the universe bring on the rogues, rakes, and rebels. If this affliction of mine is permanent, there’s got to be at least one of them out there who wants to let me pester him for the rest of his life, right?