Unrealistic Dating Depictions in Film: Spider-Man (2002)

Unrealistic Dating Depictions in Film: Spider-Man (2002)

Cinema is a major source of the unrealistic expectations that ultimately lead Pantsless Bears down the path to loneliness. Now that Marvel and Sony have confirmed that the abominable Amazing Spider-Man series is to be abandoned, our focus has shifted firmly towards this old blockbuster to illustrate one of the many ridiculously unrealistic depictions of dating in film.

Peter Parker is the ultimate Pantsless Bear.  He’s a scrawny, shy and awkward nerd with an unhealthy fixation on the girl next door, Mary Jane. He creepily outlines his memories of her performances in primary school drama. In contrast, Peter’s alter ego Spider-Man is athletic, popular, witty and saves MJ’s life. Three times.

Over the three films, MJ:

  • dates the college jerk
  • dates the richest guy in school
  • cheats on the richest guy in school with Spider-Man and Peter separately
  • gets engaged to an astronaut
  • leaves the astronaut at the alter to be with Peter
  • makes out with Peter’s best friend (and her rich ex) at the first sign of trouble.

With that in mind, you have to query exactly how much of a catch she is but I digress.

At the end of the film (after apparently deciding that it must simply be coincidence that in a city of 8 million people the same masked vigilante has saved her life on three different occasions) MJ suddenly realises that instead of wanting to date the ripped, dangerous (in a hot kind of way) superhero who has yet again risked having his face blown half off to save her white trash backside, she in fact loves nerdy Peter. Apparently this is because of his (again, creepy) spiel about everything that makes her so special, oddly given at the hospital bedside of his ailing aunt.

The message is simple – if even the nerdiest, scrawniest and unpopular guy around understands everything that makes the hottest girl in school/university/work/court special, he will win her heart over jocks, billionaires, superheroes and astronauts.

Which is presumably why jocks, billionaires, superheroes and astronauts struggle to prise women away from nerdy sycophants the world over…