Ok. I have a theory. It’s my theory of subjective handsomeness, and it goes like this. There are, in the world, objectively handsome men. These are your Brad Pitts, your Hemsworths, your male model types with perfect proportions, glowing skin and flowing hair. Your basic Norse Gods. Art pieces. That kind of thing. It would be hard to argue, even if they didn’t particularly ring your own bell, that they were anything other than extremely genetically gifted. Only a fool would think they were less than exquisitely beautiful.
These guys are always nice to look at, but whether you would want to kiss their face off or watch them in an otherwise mediocre film for two hours is a more subjective affair. There are also, in the world, what I like to call subjectively handsome men. Maybe not so sculpted, not perfectly proportionate. Without the steel-hardened muscles of, say, Thor, or the gleaming perfect smile of Taylor Lautner, but sexy as all get out nonetheless. Something about them-the voice or the attitude or the gleam in the subjectively handsome man’s eyes-touches a primal emotion deep in your brain, and whether he’s objectively handsome no longer matters. He’s hot, and that’s that. For me, subjective trumps objective. Every time. Watching a man like that on the silver screen isn’t a chore, you know what I mean?
Obviously, dear friends, this is a highly subjective list. I polled some of my female friends and colleagues to see where their subjectivity takes them when they’re looking to swoon over a dvd. Here’s what they said:
“I first saw Alexander Siddig in an episode of MI-5 (which I was watching because of another subjective favorite of mine, Matthew McFadyen) where he played an Algerian spy trying to save London from a suicide bomb attack. He was captivating. Then I saw him in Cairo Time and found that my initial observations of this fine actor were accurate. Super swoony.” Marilee
“John Krasinski. He’s like the guy-next-door handsome who has an adorable personality while being down-to-earth and fun. Favorite role: Jim from The Office, even though his hair drives me crazy.” Brooke
“Riff aka Russ Tamblyn in West Side Story. Why that movie spends so much time on boring Tony and Maria I’ll never know. I’ve stopped watching the movie so many times after he and Bernardo die I’ve forgotten what happens next. Probably nothing. Who cares.” Ruth
“David Strathairn – I love this guy, and he’s been everywhere—bit parts, supporting roles—the list is long. I think he adds great depth to a cast. He’s a lean guy and taller than most actors, but sometimes he seems kinda slight. I don’t even mind. He’s got a quiet power about him. He also has the most soulful eyes. His dark hair has turned salt and pepper, but I think he was born to be salt and pepper. He also plays the nice guy so well. You either love him because he is so nice or you want others to love him.” Charlene
“Ron Swanson (aka Nick Offerman) from Parks and Rec. I don’t know why because he’s my total opposite. Although I do like meat, so we could eat meat together. And it’s not Nick Offerman. It’s Ron Swanson. Nick Offerman’s an old man, but somehow Ron Swanson never ages.” Shaina
“I will forever have a crush on Gabriel Byrne because of his Mr. Bhaer in the 1994 Little Women. He wasn’t the little dreamboat Laurie (Christian Bale) was but he was warm and brainy and just dreamy enough for Jo and me.” Olivia
“Sam Rockwell!!!! In The Way Way Back he’s not traditionally handsome or successful, but he has a heart of gold and wit so quick that I was in love with him by the end of his first scene.” Chelsea
“I nominate- Simon Pegg. I adore him. He is intelligent, funny, a total nerd who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Oh, and I love him in Shaun of the Dead.” Chelsie
“Alan Rickman. The only thing is I’ve seen him in are Harry Potter and Sense & Sensibility. But I love him in both. And he is fun to watch in interviews. Seemed like he was a stand-up guy. His voice…💙” Jessica
“I second Alan Rickman!” Rynell
“ I third Alan Rickman. Have you seen him as Obadiah Slope? Probably my favorite role of his ever.” Ruth
All in favor of Alan Rickman, delightfully subjective handsome man?
“Aye” Pretty much all the women in the universe