9 movie characters who are undeniably stalkerish

Hollywood is filled with unrealistic characters –- robot killers from the future, vampires, talking dogs, boy wizards, teenwolves, the Kardashians, etc. -– but perhaps nothing is more unrealistic than the lovable stalker. They’re that movie staple that makes girls swoon and cast the ol’ side eye at their boyfriends and wonder why he can’t be more like the sociopaths they fall in love with on the big screen. What they often forget is that if those characters existed in real life, they’d be maced and slapped with restraining orders. We here at Guyism feel that it is important to remind the world –- nay, the universe –- of this, and in it is in that spirit that we out the following movie characters as the stalkers they are. We do this in the service of the public, mostly because we are still working off those community service hours, but also because we love you. You’re welcome, universe.

Photo credit: YouTube/Summit Entertainment

9 Lloyd Dobler – ‘Say Anything’

We’re bringing out the big guns right away. That’s right, Lloyd Dobler, perhaps the quintessential perfect boyfriend to a generation of women, is a stalker. He basically admits, multiple times throughout the movie, that he has no ambitions other than devoting himself to Diane Court. That may sound romantic but let’s face it, that’s a little overwhelming, especially for a relationship which is less than a couple months old. And I haven’t even mentioned the infamous boombox scene yet. If some dude you dumped ended up outside of your window playing music from a giant boombox maniacally held up over his head, I’m guessing that you’d have the local sheriff on the other end of the line before Peter Gabriel could finish moaning about your eyes. Sure, it worked for Lloyd Dobler but that’s because he’s Lloyd Dobler, idealized romanticist, created via a word processor. In real life, Lloyd Dobler is that quiet dude in a trench coat, painfully shy, who you would mace if you ever found him sneaking around your backyard with a giant old fashioned radio. Don’t even try to deny it.

Photo credit: YouTube/20th Century Fox

8 Lewis Skolnick – ‘Revenge of the Nerds’

At the end of Revenge of the Nerds, Lewis Skolnick finally wins over Betty Childs, which is absolutely astonishing when you consider that he engineered a midnight break-in of her sorority house, which involved he and his buddies scaring the shit of a bunch of co-eds, stealing their underwear and planting hidden cameras around their house, and later actually raped Betty inside of the moon room while pretending to be her disguised boyfriend. I mean… what? How did this dude not end up being hauled away in handcuffs as the credits rolled? How unrealistic was it that he took off his mask in the moon room and Betty didn’t freak out and begin screaming for help? Where did Booger get that Elvis jumpsuit for the talent show? So many questions.

Photo credit: YouTube/20th Century Fox

7 Duckie – ‘Pretty in Pink’

Awww, but Duckie’s such a nice, harmless guy. Sure he is. He’s also a dude who rides by Andie’s house because he’s so obsessed with her, hounds her at work and throws a hissy fit when she dares to consider the advances of another guy. I mean, it wouldn’t have surprised anyone if at some point in the movie it was revealed that Duckie stuck a red Molly Ringwald wig on a mannequin that he kept in his closet and brought out to dance with and, uh, do other stuff with late at night when no one was around. Sure, we know that in the end Duckie is ultimately harmless and that all he wants is to be with Andie because that’s the way he is written, but real life ends with Andie telling Duckie never to contact her again. If this movie were made in 2011, Duckie would have hacked Andie’s Facebook page and changed her relationship status to Mrs. Duckie in between checking it 968 times per day. You know it’s true.

Photo credit: YouTube/Paramount Pictures

6 Edward Cullen – ‘Twilight’

Movies are an amazing thing. Somehow they managed to convince a whole generation of girls to go all googly eyed over a wooden pale faced sad sack who is obsessed with a girl technically 100 years or so his junior. I mean, why is it that every vampire out there is always trolling high school for teenage girls? How is that okay? Even crazier is that everyone swoons over a dude who actually breaks into Bella’s house whenever the hell he’s feeling wistful just to, hell, I don’t know, watch her sleep or rifle through her underwear drawer or whatever the hell an immortal bloodsucker likes to do. Sigh… isn’t that romantic? No? Well you try telling that to the legion of insane fan-girls who wish their boyfriend was more like Edward. According to them, if you want to win a girl’s heart, all you have to do is watch her all the time, break into her house every now and again and make her feel like her life is meaningless without you. Sounds healthy to me!

Photo credit: YouTube/Summit Entertainment

5 Ben Braddock – ‘The Graduate’

When he wasn’t busy being seduced by his would-be paramour’s mother, Ben Braddock spent most of his time hounding the hell out of Elaine Robinson, going so far as to follow her to Berkeley when she goes back to school, where he rents a room and then follows her around all the time. And keep in mind that the dude does all this after telling his parents that he plans on marrying her. Of course, she doesn’t know anything about this, but hell, that’s just a minor quibble. He then proceeds to screw up her dates, harasses her boyfriend, and gets warned to stay away from her by her father. Even his own landlord get freaked out and starts muttering about calling the police. Of course, this is all just a prelude to the infamous scene where Ben ruins Elaine’s wedding, showing up and going apeshit, screaming her name like a deranged lunatic until she improbably decides to run off with him. Ben Braddock is damn near the dictionary definition of a stalker. If The Graduate took place in real life, the movie would have been over within the first hour because Ben would have been sent to prison after violating his restraining order where he would have been forced to live with a cellmate who demanded that he call him Mrs. Robinson.

Photo credit: YouTube/Embassy Pictures

4 John Beckwith – ‘Wedding Crashers’

After behaving like a complete sociopath, lying his ass off and adopting a pretend identity just so he could get laid, Owen Wilson’s John Beckwith can’t handle it when Rachel McAdams’ Claire Cleary finds out about all his insane bullshit and quite naturally freaks out on him and tells him to stay the hell away from her. Oh, but he fell in love. Well that changes everything! Instead of recognizing that he carried on like a sociopath, John lets his entire life go to hell because he’s too obsessed with Claire. Naturally, he shows up at Claire’s engagement party disguised as a waiter just so he can lay eyes on her one more time even though she is revolted by him and then he does the stalker thing and shows up to ruin her sister’s wedding (to his fellow sociopath, Vince Vaughn’s Jeremy Grey, because, hey, why not?) and win her back because as we have seen, that is the cardinal rule in the movie stalker’s handbook. Because it’s a movie, she forgives him and realizes that, hey, he’s just a fool in love and what do you know, so is she! Meanwhile, in real life, he would have been roughed up by security and then dumped in the Potomac on the orders of her powerful father. That is if he and Jeremy weren’t “disappeared” as soon as the family found out that they were frauds, which, let’s face it, is probably what would have happened. But hey, they’re just two wild and crazy guys!

Photo credit: YouTube/New Line Cinema

3 Norah Diniro – ‘Pump Up the Volume’

Not every stalker is a guy, as we see in Pump Up the Volume in which Samantha Mathis’ character, Norah Diniro spends the entire movie stalking shock jock Hard Harry, the alter ego of Christian Slater’s shy Mark Hunter. Obsessed with discovering Harry’s true identity, Norah writes him horned up letters that he reads on the air and follows Mark around because, hey, he’s the new kid and he does some of the same things which she has meticulously noted Harry enjoys. Once she discovers that Mark is Harry, she takes to following him around even more, harassing him even though he yells at her and tells her to leave him alone. But since she is a girl and he is at heart a horny teenage boy, he relents because, well hey, she has boobs. But really, Norah is essentially a crazy obsessed fan, in love and lust with the idea of Hard Harry and this is borne out when she encourages Mark to push the whole thing to the point that they both get arrested by the feds rather than, I don’t know, just chilling out for a while and maybe getting to know one another which would just be crazy. Just crazy!

Photo credit: YouTube/New Line Cinema

2 Morpheus – ‘The Matrix’

How would you feel if some weird dude with a weird name started hounding you online all the time, showing up to chat with you at all hours of the day and night, then showed up at your office in a black trench coat and told you that you had to come with him only to then wake up in a tub of goo surrounded by wild eyed zealots dressed in rags who then informed you that this weird dude had been searching for you his whole life and that he was convinced you were the messiah and that he’s going to teach you how to fly and stop bullets but you have to be prepared to let him randomly kung-fu you every once in a while? Well, if you’re Neo, you say sure, why not and dive right into the absurd wonderland that is life with Morpheus aboard his sewer plane, but if you are a normal person, I’m guessing you very quickly get the police on speed dial and maybe see a therapist to try to come to terms with such a horrific ordeal. Call me crazy, but… yeah.

Photo credit: YouTube/Warner Bros. Pictures

1 Superman – ‘Superman Returns’

Everybody knows that Superman is obsessed with Lois Lane, but in Superman Returns, things, uh, get kicked up a notch. Superman returns to Earth and right away it seems like the only thing he cares about in the entire universe is mooning after Lois. He follows her around like a puppy dog as Clark Kent, serves as her guardian angel as Superman and then after he finds out that she’s happily in love with some other dude and has a kid, he decides to do the mature thing and show up outside her house where he uses his x-ray vision to spy on her and her happy little family. Seriously, Lex Luthor probably could have robbed every bank in Metropolis as long as it didn’t end up affecting Lois in any way. Superman wouldn’t have given a rat’s ass. He would have been too busy stealing locks of her hair from her hairbrush after breaking into her house late at night. Lois probably should have teamed up with Lex and asked him to invest in a new form of mace that contains Kryptonite, but hey, he’s Superman. So there you have it, fellas, if you’re desperately in love with a girl who won’t give you the time of day, just show up outside her house in tights and a cape and claim that you can see through her walls. She’ll just melt right into your arms. After all, it’s in the movies so it has to be true. Right? Right???

Photo credit: YouTube/Warner Bros. Pictures

(Previously published on April 12, 2011.)