The Fifth and Final Group: Fun Lovers. Obviously this is a type most associated with comedies, but they can also be surprisingly effectively in dramas: after all, there’s nothing that angers some people more than positivity, so there’s lot of room for serious conflict, as movies like Prick Up Your Ears and Happy Go Lucky show.
Subtype #1: The party-starter, surrounded by duds.
- Jason Robards in A Thousand Clowns
- Ruth Gordon in Harold and Maude
- Gary Oldman in Prick Up Your Ears
- Vince Vaughn in Swingers
- Seth Rogen in Knocked Up and just about everything else he’s done
Subtype #2: The easygoing one, surrounded by agitated people. As I pointed out before, this is somewhat similar to “drolly sarcastic, surrounded by the gung ho”, the difference here is that these heroes are more at peace with themselves.
- Jimmy Stewart in Destry Rides Again
- Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles
- Bob Hope in Son of Paleface, and just about everything else
- Sally Hawkins in Happy Go Lucky
- Ed Helms in Cedar Rapids
- Zooey Deschanel on “The New Girl”
So what do you say, people? Are there any types I missed? Can you think of likeable heroes who don’t fall into any of these categories? Do you think I’ve miscategorized anybody? Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up and I’ll draw some conclusions...