You know him when you see him. He’s in every romantic comedy: the baxter. He is the nice but terribly dull guy who is dumped at the end of the story for the passionate protagonist. Think of Walter in Sleepless in Seattle, whose greatest flaw is that he is steady and dependable; this is somehow damning enough for us to cheer on his fiancee as she leaves him for a man she has never actually met but with whom she shares a romantic spark. We laugh at how ridiculous and unbelievable these movies are. We smirk and declare that could never happen, because we all know that real life is much more complicated. Or, at least, I thought we all knew that. The amount of groaning that a Tony Pulis side can elicit leads me to suspect that not everyone thinks romantic comedies are fiction.
You can read the rest of my ode to Tony Pulis over at IBWM.