What Stace had to say on Thursday, February 15th, 2007
Cliche, Smiche

Okay, I’m not officially doing the Thursday Thirteen (yet), and I certainly don’t want to detract from the strong “GO BUY IT” message below about The Rest Falls Away, but I had occasion last night to think about heroic cliches–in movies more than books, actually–that, no matter how many times I have seen them, still do it for me.

There are some I just love, that make me fall in love with a hero right away, that make me catch my breath. So, in no particular order, here are a few cliches I adore:

1. When the hero, faced with a gang of people who want to beat him or shoot him or whatever, pauses, gets himself ready, then gives them a “Come on” gesture with his hand. (This was especially awesome in Desperado, one of my favorite movies, which turns all the cliches around and is so much fun, plus Antonio Banderas was never sexier, plus the film features a .50-caliber Desert Eagle, a totally illegal firearm that looks cool as hell [it’s listed as a “Destructive Device”. Which, totally want one, because weapons are hot.] But the master of this, of course, is BRUCE LEE. Mmmmmm.)

2. When the hero has only one bullet and must hit a target head on, and he just does it. Example: Chow Yun-Fat in Hard Boiled.

3. Any sort of one-handed gun cocking.

4. Anyone cleaning wounds with whiskey. Especially if they drink the whiskey as well.

5. Two-handed shooting. This is cool whether it’s cocking with one hand, pulling the trigger with the other (like in Westerns–I believe Val Kilmer did this in Tombstone, in which he was sooo hot) or if they’re holding a gun in each hand.

6. Yeah, I still like guys who smoke. And drink.

7. The shot of men walking slowly. It’s a classic for a reason.

8. When the guy grabs the girl and gives her a hard, passionate kiss before leaping into the fray.

9. Any sort of breaking glass.

…and I know there’s more but I can’t think of them right now, so I’ll add them later.

And tomorrow or the next day, I’ll do cliches that leave me cold.

But first tell me your cliches you love!

16 comments to “Cliche, Smiche”

  1. Ann(ie)
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    1
    · February 15th, 2007 at 9:17 pm · Link

    I don’t know if they count as cliches yet, but I’m a sucker for the following plot devices:

    Heroine in man-drag
    My God, I just love when the hero is all freakin’ out because he has FEELINGS for the young page. He’s never been the kind of dude that looks at boys like that, but something about this kid is making him have naughty thoughts. It just cracks me to have a hetero male all worried about his sexual identity.

    Mistaken Identity

    Man, it’s hilarious when a straitlaced spinster gets taken for a whore. Louisa Trent does this beautifully in Bittersweet. I loved American Dreamer for the same reason. Just lovely.

    Boy-whores

    What can I say? I love the tortured heroes that had to sell their virtues for whatever reason.

    Friend-to-lover

    I totally dig when someone labors for a long time with an unrequited crush, then turns around and wows this person who’s known them forever.



  2. littlebirdblue
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    2
    · February 15th, 2007 at 10:59 pm · Link

    Anyone cleaning wounds with whiskey. Especially if they drink the whiskey as well.

    oo-ooo, me too.

    And me too also on ann(ie)’s man-drag heroine.

    I also like the clichéd scenario where it’s a fancy-dress party or event or something and the heroine shows up for the first time in her ‘feminine’ clothes and the hero can’t take his eyes off her and keeps forgetting what he’s saying in the middle of sentences as he watches her across the room, and she knows he’s looking.



  3. Anonymous
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    3
    · February 16th, 2007 at 2:38 am · Link

    I love most clichés, because they’re familiar, because they can be funny.
    But when I’m reading a cliché has to be subtle, because if not it can be aggravating.
    (And I don’t much care for character clichés except when it’s meant to be tongue-in-cheek, like a cowboy cliché or a socialite cliché)

    Sam



  4. crowwoman / rhian
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    4
    · February 16th, 2007 at 4:46 am · Link

    your number 8 – guy grabbing girl and kissing her passionately always was a fav of mine. I think it’s the catalyst that threw me over the edge into agreeing to date my husband. I’d never been grabbed and kissed wildly like that before. I was a total gonner.



  5. Bernita
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    5
    · February 16th, 2007 at 6:58 am · Link

    Yes.
    All of them.
    And went he stands, spread-legged and fires that friggin’ desert eagle at the on-coming hoard, vehicle, etc.



  6. December Quinn
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    6
    · February 16th, 2007 at 8:08 am · Link

    Oooh, yeah, I forgot about that last one, Annie! Otherwide known as Duckie Dale syndrome–and Andie totally should have ended up with Duckie (in the original ending, she did!)

    Ah, yes, lbl. The silent, longing gaze. I am also a fan of the stutter when he tries to talk to her for the first time, or when she’s about to kiss him.



  7. December Quinn
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    7
    · February 16th, 2007 at 8:10 am · Link

    I agree, Sam. Character cliches are a whole different ballgame.

    Rhian, you’re a lucky woman!

    Oooh, yes, Bernita. Especially when he shoots with that look in his eye, you know that look? That cold determination? Aaah.



  8. Robyn
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    8
    · February 16th, 2007 at 2:11 pm · Link

    Did you ever see Silverado? Scott Glenn, who has a yum factor of 187, gets beaten up and dragged across the sagebrush by the villains, and is holed up in a cave to heal. He’s all pained and grunting until he hears that the bad guy has his little nephew. He sits up, steely-eyed, and rips the bandage off his head and you know he’s going to totally kill a lot of people. EEEEE!

    I think any man who just takes care of bidness does me in. And the big I’m-claiming-you kiss before bidness? Heck yeah.



  9. December Quinn
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    9
    · February 17th, 2007 at 2:34 am · Link

    Oooh, I’ve nevr seen that one, Robyn. *makes note*



  10. Jenn on the Island
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    10
    · February 17th, 2007 at 10:45 pm · Link

    Oh, I love the first time in girly clothes one!

    In movies, I love those one liners right before the kiss. For some reason the only one I can think of right now is Ash saying “gimme some sugar baby” in Army of Darkness…



  11. December Quinn
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    11
    · February 18th, 2007 at 1:16 am · Link

    The very best one-liner before a kiss is Dennis Quaid saying “Your luck’s about to change” to Ellen Barkin in The Big Easy.

    I love those too, Jenn!



  12. kis
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    12
    · February 18th, 2007 at 12:23 pm · Link

    Jenn,

    That is one of my favorite movies ever. “Hail to the king, baby.”

    December–You’ve never seen Silverado? Scott Glenn, Danny Glover, Kevin Klein, and that guy from Waterworld and Dances with Wolves and Bull Durham, what was his name again? Awesome movie.

    One of my fave cliches is where the H and h can’t stand each other (best example that comes to mind being TV’s Moonlighting). Nothing like a good fight to get me all hot and bothered.

    Ooh, and when the H rips/slashes (in a totally hot and mutually consenting way) the h’s clothes/panties off (Sea of Love). Works in books and movies. Not so great in real life, though. Ever actually tried to rip panties? Maybe they have a special store somewhere…



  13. Dionne Galace
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    13
    · February 18th, 2007 at 12:36 pm · Link

    Oh, speaking of smoking, I like it when the hero takes a deep drag of his cigarette and as he gives the heroine a measuring glance, slowly releases the smoke out of his nose.

    I’m also a fan of the hero taking a shower and doing a slow slide down the tile to sit on the floor, sobbing his heart out ’cause he feels so, so dirty.

    “COCKING” heh.



  14. Colleen Gleason
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    14
    · February 18th, 2007 at 2:26 pm · Link

    What is it about guys who smoke…in the movies?

    I know what you mean…there’s something about them. I hate the smell of cigarettes in person, but somehow seeing a hot guy holding a cigarette and/or genteelly taking a hit really does get my juices flowing.

    Jus’ sayin’.



  15. December Quinn
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    15
    · February 18th, 2007 at 3:59 pm · Link

    See, Kis and Jenn, I’m actually not a fan of Army of Darkness–but I saw Bruce Campbell in person and he is really, really hot. Very sexy in an adorable boyish way. Mmm-hmm.

    Never seen Silverado, adding it to the top of my must-see list.

    And I am actually the proud owner of several pairs of ripped panties. Apparently the trick is to get them where the little bikini elastic attaches to the actual panty. And to have very thin silky panties, of the sort I wore when I was a young hottie. :-)



  16. December Quinn
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    16
    · February 18th, 2007 at 4:02 pm · Link

    Bam and Colleen, speaking as someone who’s now been quit smoking for just about a month…yeah. The smoking, it is so damn sexy. That’s actually one of the reasons I started smoking–this guy I knew did, and I had a big old crush on him. Sigh.

    Yep, the smoke out the nose, too. Which you really have to be a certain kind of man to pull off.

    And while the shower slide is appealing, I eprsonally like when they throw things. Especially whiskey bottles, when they take that last swig and fling it into a wall…aaaah. Aggression.

    Smell the testosterone!



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