How stalking is romanticized in movies

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A while back I saw a good breakdown of how Harrison Ford’s most beloved screen characters were basically creepy sexual assaulters. Solo, Deckard, and Indy regularly used power imbalances and even threat of violence to “win over” women who had firmly and repeatedly said “no.”


This is gonna be one of those threads, I already know.

That said, hell yes;

Creepy stalker behavior has been romanticized in ALL forms of popular media since time out of mind - the ‘hopeless romantic’ we’re supposed to sympathize with until he finally wins/wears down the “woman of his dreams” is a trope I’d love to see die.


That seems like a bit of a stretch for Han Solo. He gave off a bad first impression, but turned out to be a pretty decent guy.


Agreed. But Indy and Deckard? Pretty bad when you look at it.

Deckard questions his own humanity yet still treats Rachel like an appliance.

Indy. Do the math on how old he was and how old Marian was when they were first together (“I was a child. It was wrong and you knew it.”) Creepy.


Yeah, go back and watch Blade Runner. There’s four female characters in that movie; the drinks vendor who Deckard mumbles at, Rachel, who he sexually assaults, and Zhora and Pris, who he shoots, one of whom in the back.
“We need you Deck, we need your magic…” Shit.

Don’t get me started on “About Time”, where a man with a time machine-like ability repeatedly attempts to win over the girl of his obsessed dreams, where she is totally unaware she is being played. That is First Class Stalker-creepy in my book.


He practically forced himself on Leia in the Falcon after she explicitly told him she wasn’t interested, even though she had literally nowhere to run except the cold vacuum of space. And she did get away the instant C3PO provided an opportunity. Obviously it was played as a romantic scene, but in real life that would 100% be a creep move.


I actually had a guy I was briefly attracted to do that to me once, (though it was in a kitchen, and not a spaceship… obviously.)

I was 16 years old and had just begun dating… the thing is, I was dating the guy’s half-brother and he was jealous because he liked me too. (I found him attractive as well, but I don’t run through families; that’s just not my steez.)


He cornered me just like Han did Leia, and planted one on me without asking; and just like in the movies, I responded by slowly kissing him back… and then, when he relaxed and moved back, I socked the shit out of him and got out of there.


Five. You are forgetting the lady he takes the scale to for examination.


This is a major problem indeed. It would be interesting to do a cross-cultural analysis to see if the prevalence varies and by how much, and how that variation may have changed over time.

Probably already done, of course. I’ll ask The Google

Then she should count herself lucky she made it out unharmed! /s

(I totally forgot her. Good catch.)


Kinda sexist to forgot about the movies using the same trope but with women. Misery and Fatal Attraction spring to mind.

Don’t be sexist. Woman are just as capable of stalking as men are and the victims of stalking aren’t always women. My daughter is just as capable of creepily stalking someone as any man. Don’t sell her short. :stuck_out_tongue:


Is Saint Elmo’s Fire in there? That movie needs a bonus scene of Andie MacDowell getting a restraining order against Emilio Estevez.


My roommate had a stalker and … it was not fun I even developed a nervous tic over the events.

Multiple times police carted her away as she tried to kill herself in our kitchen because “He wouldn’t make a baby with her.” (At the time he was not dating her and was constantly telling her to leave)

It’s amazing to watch over the years how she re-conned her memories of the events. (She moved into a house about a mile away but manages to stay out of our lives.)


This shit is not romantic at all.


I believe it can be said you’ve missed the point.

Were those characters heroes? No, they were not. Find other examples or revisit your point.


The stalky behavior exhibited by women in Misery and Fatal Attraction isn’t exactly coded as swoonworthily “romantic”, though, which is the trope under discussion here.


According to Hollywood:

Man who won’t take no for answer = Hopeless romantic/nice guy (Found in rom-coms, action movies, westerns, mysteries, etc.)

Woman who won’t take no for an answer = Psycho-bitch/guy’s worst nightmare (Found in horror and suspense movies.)


@humorless people everywhere
I suppose using a cheeky emoji to indicate the tongue and cheek nature of my post was insufficient. Nor was using a list of movies where the stalker is seen as creepy or evil a sufficient indicator of the sexist irony exposed by the trope.

Poe’s law strikes again.


A good guy who won’t take no for an answer, is a hopeless romantic. A bad guy who won’t take no for an answer is a creep.

That’s what makes these tropes so dangerous. Everyone’s the good guy in their own story.