Movies Where Awesome Women End Up With Lame Dudes

Spoilers for every movie ever.

Have you seen One Day, yet? It’s about a 20-year will-they-or-won’t-they romance between Emma and Dex! It’s sweet! Or not. Jezebel has a really good essay on why it is TERRIBLE, namely because the premise seems to revolve around the fact that “she made him decent, and in return, he made her so happy.” Which is not really the best plot. Why couldn’t she end up with someone decent herself? Why did she have to get a haircut and lose weight and become really stylish to get to end up with someone who isn’t even a decent person to begin with?

Besides, I mean, Dex spends the first half of the movie just doing a ton of cocaine so… it took her a while, I guess is what I’m saying? Though frankly, I think it would be more offensive if you had a movie where a woman did a lot of coke but was ultimately got “saved” by the love of a good man. That was every movie made in 1932 (but back then they called it “naughty salt.”)

Still, it’s a bit sad that after coming into her own and becoming a really interesting character, Emma’s reward is to end up with Dex when he’s at his lamest (a divorced has-been who owns a gourmet food shop, while she became a famous novelist with a great haircut). But great female characters being “rewarded” with a lame dude happens all the time. Here are some of the times when it happens. Oh, hey, spoilers for everything.

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    • Joanna Arcieri

      Interns are dopes.

    • Gloria

      At least in the movie version of the Valley of the Dolls the girl leaves the douchebag. Not in the novel though. I feel like I’m in spoiler-town btw.

    • Janna

      I…. don’t have WORDS to describe my emotions at seeing Alan freaking Rickman on this list! How could he ever be refered to as lame??? Yeah, I get the part about his character not being dramatic, yada yada. But he has been the decent person in this story! She is selfish, overly dramatic and rude to him. He courted her, accepted when she didn’t like him back and spend years trying to find his daughter. So, again: LAME?

      • porkchop

        exactly! it’s the “one day” in reverse you’ve been searching for.

    • Patty

      You’re missing Rob Gordon. He was such an asshole, yeah he listened to great music etc etc but come on – she deserved better.

    • porkchop

      If you don’t end up with Jimmy Stewart, you lose, even if the consolation prize is Cary Grant.

      Also, yes, Jersey Girl is an abomination.

      • Emily

        mmm Cary Grant.

    • Cassieleigh

      For your general synopses I agree. But in regard to Sense and Sensability … First of all, Willoughby was a ducher – he got another girl pregnant and left her, and then when he realized he’d have no money, he left Marianne. Brandon was awesome and kind and loved her for who she was – knowing that he too could have made a better financial match in a different woman, but always wanted Marianne – he’s not boring – he’s mellow.

      • Eileen

        I think this is just “Jennifer-hates-Jane-Austen” striking again.

      • Jennifer Wright

        Eileen, you know me too well.

      • Tania

        I was totally going to say the same thing! He was sweet, and dashing, and took care of her when he was sick, and wealthy. He was the perfect guy, not lame.

      • Jennifer Wright


        No, he was lame. Sorry about the ways you are wrong.

    • Dara

      You should add in “Something Borrowed.” Ginnifer Goodwin’s character is really successful and has at least one supportive friend Ethan. Just when you think she’s going to end up with the caring best friend she marries the jerk who pretty much ruined her friendship with Kate Hudson.

      • Jenni

        Please read the book! The movie completely changed the storyline! The book is a completely different ending. Ethan doesn’t even show up until the second book ‘Something Blue.’

      • Raerae

        I second that! Read the book! SOOOOO much better than that movie. In fact, that movie made me embarrassed that I even liked the book in the first place. Gotta love Hollywood.

    • Lo

      I’m not sufficiently versed in the book Sense and Sensibility, but in the movie, Marianne was an emo twit and Brandon was dashing with substance.

    • Daniela

      From IMDb:

      ‘The original ending to this film depicted Duckie getting the girl. However, the test audiences said they would have preferred to see Blane win Andie’s heart. Additionally, Molly Ringwald was sick during the filming of the ending and John Hughes wasn’t satisfied with the editing. He was also concerned that audiences would take the original ending as a message that poor people and rich people don’t belong together.’

      Test audiences for this movie = fail. It would have been so much better if she’d ended up with Duckie. (Although I totally would accept a torrid affair with Stef as a secondary option.)