Over the last ten years or so, the only non-action movies in Hollywood portraying Alpha Males seem to star old Alphas. Guys like Harrison Ford or Michael Douglas. I recently saw the horribly named Some Kind of Beautiful, an Alpha Male, anti-monogamy movie starring yet another old guy, Peirce Brosnan.
Seeing the trailer I decided to watch the film because Peirce is one of my favorite Alpha actors of all time. Expecting a stupid romantic comedy, I was surprised to see that the movie was actually pretty good, decently funny, reasonably accurate to real life, and with good Alpha Male characters.
I like these anti-monogamy movies not because they reflect my worldview, since as you’ll soon see, the Alphas in these movies constantly make all the wrong decisions and screw up their lives. Rather, I like them because these movies are actually a more accurate reflection of real life than the female friendly, Disney flavor of romantic comedies.
Like all Hollywood movies of this type, the entire movie completely falls down in the last 10 minutes and takes a hard left into Disney territory in order to satisfy the female contingent of the audience. But until then, it’s a fun portrayal of the aging Alpha Male; something I myself am paying close attention to since in a short 10-20 years from now, I will be considered “old” while still living the Alpha Male 2.0 life.
In describing the movie I will use the names of the actors for the character names, just to make it easier.
The movie is about Peirce Brosnan, a British Alpha Male and literature professor working at Cambridge, a life-long player who never married or had kids. He starts having sex with one of his hot younger students in her mid-20s, played by Jessica Alba. They date for six months, a lifetime record for him.
While waiting for her at a bar one day, he bumps into a sexy Mexican woman played by Penelope Cruz (who portrays the same loud, bitchy, high-drama Hispanic woman she seems to be typecast to always play). (Correction, it’s Salma Hayek; since losing all her weight she looks almost identical to Penelope Cruz; my bad.) Peirce and Penelope hit it off, and almost kiss when Jessica interrupts them. Surprise, surprise, Jessica and Penelope are sisters.
The three have dinner together, and reveal that they are actually half-sisters, since their dad fathered two families at the same time, one in the US and one in Mexico. The two sisters hate their dad for what he did, but are very close to each other. Penelope is furious that Peirce was about to cheat on her sister, and threatens to tell Jessica all about it. Right before doing so, however, Peirce finds out that Penelope also has a serious boyfriend. Peirce smiles, knowing they’re now at a stalemate and Penelope can’t reveal what was about to happen, since she was “cheating” too. Ah, monogamy.
Suddenly Jessica excitedly announces to Peirce and Penelope that she’s pregnant with Peirce’s baby. Peirce freaks out, runs out of the restaurant, and pukes on the street. Once he recovers, Jessica tells him that she’s keeping the baby, and asks him to move to Los Angeles with her, and to marry her and raise their baby together. He freaks out again leaves without giving her an answer.
He visits his old father, played by Malcolm McDowell. Dad is an old, British, cantankerous, angry, right-wing, domineering Alpha Male 1.0 who’s on his fourth marriage. When Peirce explains his circumstances with Jessica, his dad gives him a lecture that could be right out of an angry manosphere site:
“Listen to me. This might be the most important bit of advice I ever give you. American women may be fun and Victoria Secret when you first bed them, but as soon as they get their claws into you they stop fucking and start eating, and the only ass you’re going to get is a fat one. American women eventually become spouters of self-help platitudes. They’re addicted to designer labels, dieting and frozen yogurt. Overall thoroughly nasty, vain, selfish creatures, that DON’T FUCK.”
Too dizzy with oneitis, Peirce ignores his father and makes the mistake so common to NRE-infected Alphas. He stupidly agrees to move to LA with Jessica and marry her. They move, get married, and he gets a part-time job at a LA college where he teaches.
He quickly finds that American college students are uninterested in literature, and spend most of their time with their faces in their cell phones or laptops while he lectures.
For a few years, Pierce and Jessica have a great time with New Baby NRE, until the boy is about four years old and Jessica turns 30. Then she starts cheating on Peirce with a guy she met at her office job. The guilt gets to her, so she finally reveals to Peirce that she’s been cheating on him and is in love with someone else. Peirce flies into a rage and she tries to calm him down.
“I was really young, okay? Really young! I really thought that I loved you, but clearly I was working through daddy issues. And then I got pregnant. We were just trying to do the right thing, and you’ve always been a really good father, but let’s face it, you’ve never really loved me. But Brian does.”
Brian is a dorky, high-income beta male who does whatever Jessica wants. It’s a breath of fresh air for her after being married to Peirce the Alpha for so long. Not understanding the concept of the LSNFTE or the power of beta males, Peirce is shocked that Jessica actually wants to be with such a pussy.
Finally he says, “You can leave me, but I’m not leaving that little boy.”
Now separated, single, and living in an adjacent house, Peirce experiences his post-divorce happiness high. He immediately goes back to having tons of sex with his hot young students. One day his son finds a pair of panties, and observes that they look really uncomfortable to wear. “That’s why women really love it when you take them off,” Peirce answers.
Everything is great, but the only catch is that Pierce and Jessica have to stay legally married so Peirce doesn’t lose his green card. He’s already had trouble staying in the country and needs to be careful. Jessica reluctantly plays along, though she’s now officially with Brian; who being the beta he is, immediately moves in with her and starts obeying her orders.
After a while, trouble arises. Peirce swears so much around his little boy that the boy gets in trouble at school for using foul language. Peirce also gets drunk at a party, almost inadvertently tries to have sex with his boss’s wife, and is arrested for DUI on his way home.
His attorney informs him that, in order to not lose his green card, Peirce must go to ten sessions of Alcoholics Anonymous. Peirce is pissed off and thinks it’s all bullshit, but goes anyway, not wanting to get kicked out of the US and lose access to his son.
At his first AA session, instead of saying “Hi, my name is X and I’m an alcoholic,” he gives a wonderful Alpha Male speech to the stunned group which I actually agree with.
“I’m not an alcoholic. I’m English, a country with a few thousand years of history, and part of that history is the communal practice of having a drink in the pub. Now I know it’s not your fault that you sad, sorry pilgrims arrived here and infected your country with a message of puritanical masochism, but it IS your fault that you’ve all taken it on board quite so earnestly. So you chaps go ahead, knock yourselves out. But just know this: the first thing I intend to do when this hour is up is hit that bar across the street and have a nice cold one.”
Meanwhile, Jessica’s hot Mexican sister Penelope gets engaged with her boyfriend (the one she almost cheated on with Peirce). She’s a classic Dominant. She’s hyper-jealous, regularly screams at him, and throws things at him whenever he talks to other women. One day she comes home to find him having sex with her gynecologist. She gets hysterical and attacks him. They break up.
Jessica leaves town with Beta Brian and has newly-single Penelope stay at her house to help watch the little boy, because she doesn’t consider Peirce responsible enough. With the help of some alcohol, Peirce seduces a very reluctant Penelope and they have sex.
The next day, Peirce tells one of his female co-workers that he had sex with Penelope and he feels it actually meant something, which is unusual for him. She screams at him and tells him he’ll never get a green card now, once Jessica finds out. He says that Jessica won’t find out because he wouldn’t tell her and Penelope won’t tell her. She responds, “They are SISTERS, Peirce! CLOSE sisters! And close sisters talk!”
Peirce realizes she’s right. In a panic, he runs out of the office and goes home. He just barely stops Penelope from telling Jessica, but Penelope insists, saying that “we tell each other everything; no secrets.” He convinces her to postpone telling Jessica until after Monday at 11am, which is when his green card interview is. He needs Jessica to be in a good mood for that meeting or he might get deported.
Pierce’s crotchety Alpha 1.0 dad shows up, eager to meet his grandson. He takes his grandson to the beach with Peirce and Penelope. While there, grandpa hits on all the hot bikini girls and buys some weed from a local beach bum. Soon the little boy needs to go to the bathroom, and Peirce takes him to go, but grandpa stops them and tells the boy to just piss off the pier into the water.
“C’mon! Whip it out!” grandpa says. Peirce tells him you can’t pee off a pier, and grandpa says to the little boy, “Who you gonna listen to? Your dad, who for some buggering reason has turned into a boring old fart? Or your grandfather, who’s lived a rich and full life and doesn’t take shit from anybody?”
The boy smiles at grandpa and says, “You!” Grandpa then yells at Peirce to piss too, and all three of them pee off the pier in unison. Penelope sees this from a distance and smiles, her provider hunter desires rumbling.
At his final AA session, the head of the sessions refuse to sign Peirce’s document saying he’s attended ten sessions, saying that clearly Peirce isn’t repentant and is just showing up because he has to (which, of course, is true). Peirce gets angry, and after the class offers some of his dad’s weed to one of his cute female classmates, who politely refuses.
Later that evening, while smoking more weed, grandpa reveals to Peirce that the real reason for his visit is that his wife has left him. Peirce, already pissed off from his bad day, isn’t surprised and calls his dad a masochistic asshole. A huge argument ensues, and his dad leaves.
Later Peirce shoots his mouth off in the kitchen to Penelope about when they had sex, not realizing that Brian and Jessica are in the next room. Even though they’ve been separated for two years and Jessica has a new boyfriend, she explodes and kicks Penelope and Peirce out of her house. She refuses to go to Peirce’s green card meeting. His attorney says this will look bad but they will still do their best.
The green card meeting doesn’t go well. Jessica doesn’t show up. Peirce can’t prove he’s been to ten sessions of AA even though he has a DUI arrest on his record. The immigration officer shows tons of letters they sent Peirce over the years, only to be refused by Peirce with the words “bugger off” written on them. Lastly, Peirce discovers that the classmate he offered weed to was actually an undercover immigration agent assigned to his case, and smoking weed is still a crime in California.
Peirce is handcuffed and deported, crying as he says goodbye to his son.
Back in England and despondent, he visits his dad in the hospital. “You hate hospitals,” Peirce says. “Yeah,” says his dad, “But I love the nurses.”
His dad dies, and Peirce visits his grave.
Peirce is sadder than ever. The one consolation is that he starts teaching at Cambridge again, where the British students actually pay attention to his lectures, unlike the American students.
At this point, the movie takes it’s mandated, stupid, sappy, Disney, female-friendly, would-never-happen-in-real-life 90 degree turn in the plot. Peirce flies to Mexico and pays a coyote to smuggle him across the boarder to get back into the US. He quickly reconciles with his son, makes peace with Jessica who realizes she’s been a bitch all along, professes his love for Penelope on a beach with a romantic kiss, then proposes to her, and she of course says yes.
The movie ends there, because it’s Hollywood and it has to. If it had continued and remained true to its accuracy before the final ten minutes, it would have showed Peirce and Penelope go through a year or two of NRE before Peirce got sick of Penelope’s jealousy, screaming, and throwing things. Then he would have cheated on her and they would have gotten a divorce, likely with Peirce ending up with a second child he could not spend time with because he would have been deported again. The end.
A few things about how this movie reflects a lot of real life:
1. Alpha Male players, with very rare exception, always eventually get oneitis and try to settle down. Aging, Societal Programming, the desire to pair bond, and/or the desire to have kids always nail these guys. It’s just a matter of time. The concept of doing this while keeping the relationship sexually open usually doesn’t even occur to them. (“You can’t raise kids that way!!!”)
2. It never works. They always end up getting divorced or cheating (or both). Alphas don’t realize that sexually inexperienced beta males actually have less-bad odds of making long-term monogamy work than they do. Jessica and Beta Brian have less-bad odds of staying together than Jessica and Peirce ever did. (Granted, the divorce rate for betas is sky high too; that’s why I say “less-bad” odds instead of “better” odds. When it comes to lifetime monogamous marriage, there are no “better” odds anymore.)
3. Alphas are happiest when they’re Alphas. Alphas are never happy (in the long run) pretending to be betas.
4. The women who defend monogamy the most tend to be the same women who violate it by cheating. It’s true in this movie and it’s certainly true anecdotally in my life. The women I’ve seen scream the loudest about how great monogamy is are usually the same women who have recently cheated on their man.
5. Old, cranky, right-wing Alpha Male 1.0s are the greatest, funniest guys in the world. They’re from a much simpler era and they’re a huge amount of fun. Before he passed away, talking to my grandpa was one of my favorite things to do. We won’t see men like that again (in the Western world anyway).