Sunday, June 16, 2013

Childhood Crushes

Now gang, don't despair because of the flippant post title, I'm not running out of topics to discuss. This topic came about due to a recent viewing of the epic film Newsies, and a discussion about who my friends and I had crushes on when we were kids and teenagers.

It's something about the period clothing, I'm telling ya. 

Now, for all the world to read, I've complied a list of my crushes that I had when I was younger. (And yes, I'm aware that this might open the floodgates for mocking, but hopefully it brings back happy memories for some of you).

Literary Crushes

To start it off, here's Theodore Laurence (or Laurie or Teddy) from Little Women. I've chosen a photo of Christian Bale portraying Laurie in the 1994 film version, as he is also in Newsies, as seen above.
Laurie, probably creepily looking at the March house at Jo.
For fans of the book or the film or both, we all know that Laurie doesn't end up with the Jo but ends up with Amy (ugh). Though Laurie has his faults - his temper (to match Jo's); his ability to blow through a shit-ton of his family's money and not give a damn, etc. - he still was the first crush that I had on anyone - real or literary, and will always hold a special place in my heart.

I'm telling you, it's the period-piece clothing.

Another of my first literary crushes was Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series, seen here portrayed by Jonathan Crombie in the TV series.
In a similar vein as Laurie with Jo, Gilbert was always trying to outwit and out-clever Anne. Unlike Laurie, Gilbert ended up with Anne, and had a ton of children. I always enjoyed that Gilbert doggedly pursued Anne, even as she refused him time and time again, and when they finally ended up together - as cheesy as it sounds - I felt like they deserved that appropriately happy ending.

They could have at least dyed his hair, but no.
As I already admitted in my post on my friend's blog, I had a thing for A Wrinkle in Time's Calvin O'Keefe. Like many other perturbed fans, when the film adaptation of the novel came out, and Calvin was not a redhead as he damn well should have been, I wanted to write a strongly worded letter to Miramax and possibly throw rocks at their studio windows. However, the film portrayal by Gregory Smith (as seen here, and who I had a crush on at some point in the mid-00s) could not deter my love for Calvin. Like Gilbert, Calvin ends up with Meg, awkwardness and all, and though he becomes less of a major character in the other Time Quintet series, I was still enamored from Meg's first description of him, "Calvin O'Keefe. He's in Regional, but he's older than I am. He's a big bug."

TV and Film Actors


Now, let's all admit it - Jonathan Taylor Thomas or JTT was one of the quintessential crushes that everyone had in the 90s. Whether you liked him in Home Improvement, Tom and Huck, as the voice of young Simba in The Lion King, or in one of the many other roles he had, JTT was on the radar for most of the 90s. I think what I liked about him was that he was entirely non-threatening, and that he was relatively close to me in age, but still had the appeal of an actor. As JTT grew older, and I realized that every other girl I knew liked him, JTT became a thing of the past, and I moved on.

If only I could say in real life as you do in (500) Days of Summer, "I love us." 

Like JTT, Joseph Gordon-Levitt had a cool three name that could be abbreviated into a shortened nickname, JGL. JGL caught my eye in the 1994 film, Angels in the Outfield. I remember I saw the trailer for Angels before seeing The Lion King, and it absolutely broke my heard when I first heard JGL utter the line, "God...if there is a God...if you're a man or a woman...if you're listening, I'd really, really like a family." And a crush, which has sustained itself until the present day, was born.

I'm assuming that he was going for a tough-guy look with the leather jacket. 
This next fellow is little less well-known, but I had a mad crush on Corey Sevier from his role as Dan on the TV series Little Men, which was based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott (big surprise that I liked another one of Alcott's fictional characters, right?). Sevier, as Dan, played somewhat of a bad-boy, which was a bit different from the character he played in Summer of the Monkeys (from the Wilson Rawls novel of the same name and co-starred Wilfred Brimley of "DIABEETUS" fame), which I saw a bit after Little Men. Sevier has had a bunch of hit and misses over the years, and maybe his acting isn't the best, but he has still managed to be consistent in one thing - being attractive.

Yeah, looking back now, I'm not sure why I liked this guy so much.
Shane West was another pseudo-bad boy that I came across, solely from his role in a film that I'm pretty sure a total of five people have seen (including myself), Whatever It Takes. He played sort-of geek named Ryan, who with another crush on my list, James Franco, pulls a Cyrano DeBergerac to get the girl of his dreams, played by another late 90s, early 00s hit and miss Jodi Lyn O'Keefe. Franco's character likes Ryan's friend Maggie (Marla Sokoloff) and through a series of wacky teen rom-com twists and turns, Ryan ends up with Maggie, who, as the audience knows from the very first scene, were meant to be. (Sorry for the digression. I just felt the need to tell the entire plot.) West became more well known for his role in the uber-sappy A Walk to Remember, and thusly had posters of himself plastered onto the walls of millions of teenagers' walls. Looking back, I should have paid more attention to Franco, who is still around today.

Just your typical, average, every day sort of guy. 
Ah, James Franco, what can be said about you that hasn't already been said? Just look at the photo. He's bringing all the sexy...again? I haven't already mentioned this, but in case you haven't figured it out, I grew up during a time that the Internet wasn't always easily accessible (try using the computers at school to look for photos of your celebrity crushes when you should be researching Amazon tree frogs - yeah, not that easy) so I had to rely on cheesy teen magazines, which usually would have a lot of the same photos that every other magazine had. Anyway, Franco, like JGL, has still been one of my favorite actors (even if his acting choices haven't always been the greatest - Tristan + Isolde, anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?) but more than anything, his antics and his goal to be an actor/writer/director/professor/astronaut, etc. have always proved to be amusing.

My friend's mom was right. He does have a light bulb-esque nose.
Another actor who has shared the screen with Franco, is Tobey Maguire, who I have to admit, I only started to like because of Spider-Man. I'd seen him in Pleasantville and Wonder Boys, but it wasn't until he played Peter Parker that I felt like I had any justification for liking Maguire. Now, all I remember from the time that I liked him was that my friend's mother said that he has a light bulb nose. And more recently, that he was Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby with his pal Leonardo DiCaprio (a 90s crush that I did not have).

I gotta love a guy with a sleeve. 

 Oh, A.J. Popoff of Lit, you made me realize how hot guys with tattoos are. A staple of late 90s, early 00s alt rock, I wore out my copy of A Place in the Sun and Atomic. What made Popoff even more appealing was that Lit is based out of the OC, so there was always that chance that I could run into him on the street, if I was ever allowed out there, as a thirteen year old (which never happened). But, as Lit is touring with Alien Ant Farm, Fuel, and Hoobastank this summer, all my teenage dreams may actually come true.

Another guy with tattoos, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, made my fifteen year old self swoon (and my twenty-six year old self, for that matter). I know that I don't own the market on Levine-love, but at least I know that there are support groups out there for that sort of thing. Songs About Jane was the first album that I purchased with my first paycheck (hey, hey for working a ballpark snack stand) and for that, I have to thank Levine.

So there you go, gang. Thanks for reading.

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