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5 Things I’ve Learned from Watching Richard Gere Films

May 12, 2011

Richard Tiffany Gere is a sexy screen legend whose oeuvre boasts an impressive 51 credits dating back to the year I was born. As the undisputed king of both the erotic thriller (a thriller is always elevated to “erotic” status when the lead is Richard Gere) and its more chaste cousin – the romantic dramedy – Gere’s work is often overlooked come awards season, but that’s just hateration. While his filmography doesn’t always demonstrate the best use of his talents, it does demonstrate being foxy and talented is sometimes a curse as much as it is a blessing. That said, Xena bless him for always giving us dedicated fans at least a film a year in which to bask in the glow of his radiant silvery mane. Over the last week or so, I’ve been binging on some of his choicest cuts and have come up a few notable lessons from his filmography, as it relates to matters of the heart.

1. His clothing default setting seems to be TUXEDO

Whether he’s a shy, serious man whose marriage has lost its luster (Shall We Dance), or a crabby industrialist who prefers hookers to emotionally available women (Pretty Woman) or even an ageing playboy who owns a hip restaurant (Autumn in New York) the films of Gere provide countless opportunities to showcase one of his greatest assets – his preternatural command of the tuxedo. When he’s not – you know – completely naked.

2. His hair length denotes his emotional fitness for relationships

If you’re looking to date one of Gere’s cinematic alter egos his gorgeous mane should be off his collar and neatly trimmed with military precision. Shaggy hair equals shaggy heart. Extremely shaggy hair all but guarantees he will stop at nothing to avoid a lengthy romantic entanglement resulting in either his love object’s death or his own. However, it will all feel very sensual and romantic.

3. Women engage in bizarre mating rituals in order to catch his eye, yet the one he desires remains elusive

In Dr. T and the Women, Gere as the titular Dr. T who was – wait for it – a gorgeous, Texas gynecologist was subjected to all manner of faked yeast infections, pregnancies and onsets of menopause in order for the women involved to spend a few moments having Dr. T examine their bits under the watchful sideeye of one of his long suffering nurses. Nurses who often refereed catfights in the waiting room. Some times they even pay him for a sip of that sweet, sweet, Gere love. Oddly enough, his cinema wives/lady friends don’t find him as delicious as the rest of us and often feel compelled to cheat on him, emotionally distance themselves, retreat into intricately constructed fantasy worlds or plot to kill him.

4.Gere’s characters might not be able to offer a relationship, but they dole out faux romance like candy

Steamy, faux sex is one of the parting gifts provided to female characters who happened to find themselves dazzled by his romantically unavailable charms. Sure they might initially rebuff his advances, but soon, they fall in love with the smell of his sweat (only Gere!) or the way he whispers romantically ambiguous promises into their ears.

5. You have not been really loved until you have been loved and left by one of his cinematic alter egos

It’s just not a proper Gere flavored romantic dramedy until the scene where the love interest crumples to the ground in anguish while clutching his clothes, his gifts to her or his dead body.

Selected Filmography

American Gigolo
Nights in Rodanthe
Final Analysis
Autumn in New York
An Officer and a Gentleman
Pretty Woman
Bee Season
Shall We Dance
Dr. T and the Women

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