Monday, November 23, 2009

Is Edward Cullen the new Jake Ryan?

First of all, if by "Jake Ryan," you think I am referring to Hannah Montana's friend/boyfriend on the TV show, stop reading right now. You won't get this. (I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.)

So I went to see New Moon yesterday afternoon with friends. Fun movie. Great one to see with girlfriends. (And Gigi has a very cool giveaway sponsored by Orient Watch, ih honor of New Moon - check it out if you haven't signed up yet.) I do enjoy the Twilight series. I read all 4 books plus the online excerpt of Book 5 (Book 1 from Edward's perspective - loved it - it's about half the book - you can get to it from Stephanie Meyer's website here ) last October when E was home from school for a week with pneumonia.

A fun way to pass the week as we were doing multiple nebulizer treatments. To me it brings back that emotion of being young and in love - the angst and the anguish, the joy and the suffering of the teenage years. And one of the all-time classic chroniclers of that exact time period in life is John Hughes.

So naturally, all of the frenzy over Edward (and Jacob) led me to ponder Edward Cullen and the parallels to "Sixteen Candles" and Jake Ryan. For Valentine's Day in 2004, the Washington Post ran an article on the relevance of Jake Ryan to the romantic lives of today's young woman. In 2004, I was a "late twenties to mid thirties" chick. To me the lead sentence says it all:

...let's finally admit that Jake Ryan from "Sixteen Candles" is never
going to come get you.

(ouch, really? hehehe)

I read the article as a bit tongue in cheek - but there are some good points. How many women are still saying "he's nice, but he's no Jake Ryan." What high school boy really is that nice *and* that gorgeous? One of my neighbors named her son Jake after this character. But let's be honest, who didn't secretly pine for Jake Ryan?

So this leads us to Edward Cullen today. Are you in love with Edward Cullen? If not, are your friends? Or are you a member of Team Jacob?

Has Edward Cullen (or Jacob Black) replaced Jake Ryan as the new ultimate mate? Is he going to scar millions of young women for life because they will never actually find the perfect vampire? Or does Jake Ryan still stand the test of time, while Edward Cullen and Jacob Black rank among the classic Dawson/Joey/Pacey and Brandon/Kelly/Dylan triangles? You tell me.

I will say that when I mentioned at our post-New Moon dinner my theory of Edward Cullen finally knocking Jake Ryan off the pedestal, one of my friends just went "Ah, Jake Ryan as Edward - that would be the best." Hmmm, yeah, when I first read the books, I did picture Jake Ryan as Edward...just much paler.

Discuss amongst yourselves...and try to remember that there are wars and hunger and injustice in the world, too.


dinagideon said...

I cannot discuss because I barely remember 16 candles (I know, that's wrong), but can I just say, and this might come out sounding wrong because I AM WAY TOO OLD for Robert Pattison, but HE IS HOT. Like OMG, I could faint HOT HOT.

So I am definitely Team Edward although I have not a clue as to what I am actually saying.

Pale + Tall + Thin=PERFECT MAN FOR dinagideon...

DaniBP said...

OMG what timing! Yesterday I watched a great documentary about John Hughes called "Don't You Forget About Me." I have viewed all of his movies so many times, and Jake Ryan continues to be my crush, and yes...I'm 39!
Try to watch the documentary, I loved it. Not sure if it is in wide release as it is Canadian made and premiered at the Toronto Film Fest this year.
Edward could never hold a candle (ahem, a little pun there) to Jake in my opinion, but that teenage love hits pretty hard and lasts for-evah!! ;)

snaphappy said...

What a great post!

BTW, I was wondering what happened to Jake Ryan . . .

(from Wikipedia)

"Schoeffling never duplicated the success of Sixteen Candles, and in various magazine and newspaper interviews stated the lack of roles and a family to feed were his reasons for retiring from acting. He now lives with his wife, Valerie Robinson, also a former model, and their two teenage children in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, producing handcrafted furniture as the owner of a woodworking shop."

gigiofca said...

Yes, great post. And thanks for the shoutout about the giveaway. I'm Team Edward. My last boyfriend before I got married was super young, so Jacob looks very young to me. Edward is over 100 years old, right? Yeah, that's my pick. ;-)

GingerSnap said...

Despite that Jacob is jail bait,I am ALL about him (so hot!) I'm team Jacob all the way! :)

NoJCrewinJapan said...

Hi, first time commenting. Thanks for this post. It was intriguing and I ended up posting the Post article on facebook because it NEEDS to be read by every woman I know. I was pretty young when Sixteen Candles debut'd but impressionable and hopelessly in love with Jake from the start.
While I am shamefully obsessed with Twilight & Edward Cullen (What is the Patz in real life, 23?? For shame on me), I still think Jake Ryan is the gold standard.
Even Hannah Montana thinks so.

Ema said...

I don't know anything about John Huges and Sixteen Candles (not sure that Sixteen Candles made it to Italy, at least not in my teen years) and I barely made it to the end of Twilight, but I think thaty the fact that Edward is a vampire is going to help women all over the world to realize that a guy like that doesn't exist...

Kate said...

no one compares to jake ryan!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Edward is the Jake Ryan for the new generation, but the new generation can have him, as far as I'm concerned. I'll keep Jake up there on his pedestal forever!

Anonymous said...

i saw this subject line from someone else's blog and had to read your post. "wild hearts can't be broken" was my favorite movie growing up, in part b/c schoeffling played the love interest. swoon. i like edward cullen, but jake ryan will always be my first crush. and my husband, while still a friend, saved me from a family event once. very "sixteen candles".

SallyO said...

Jake Ryan is the yummiest, and he will never be replaced.

Debye said...

I am very team Edward, although I don't have a crush on Rob Pattison and only drool over him when he is playing Edward.

That said, If I saw Jake Ryan today I could possibly pass out or swoon embarrassingly. To me, Jake Ryan was "that guy" that every highschool had (John Hughes was so good at creating characters like that)so it fit every girls first crush.

Edward (whether we like to admit it or not) is purely fictional. I mean, he is a vampire and completely unattainable making the crush a sad kind of longing.

Oh wow, I am getting a little to into this debate right now aren't I?

Patina said...

The Edward from the book series, is totally differnt than the one portrayed in the movies, IMO. I have his image in my head and really can't name anyone who I can compare him to. Oh how I love him. I was a little dissapointed with who they chose to portray him in the movie.

Anonymous said...

John Hughes and all his movies. Fantastic! I grew up on them. (I am turning 40 this year.)

Twilight cannot even compare. Not even close. Not a fan of these books or movies. (and that is coming from a reading teacher of many years and I love all the new books and read everything out there.) Definite pass. Lots of hype for nothing IMO.

HeidiG said...

dinagideon - I must admit, I am very disappointed in you. Can't remember 16 Candles? I'm giving Ema a pass because of the whole Europe thing, but you? tsk, tsk {shakes head} But now I know what to get your for your next bday!

DaniBP - oooh, I'll have to try to track down that documentary! I'm with you - still a Jake Ryan fan.

snaphappy - Ah, teen crushes die hard, don't they?

gigiofca - yes, Edward does have that age-old wisdom, doesn't he? Kinda like how we all say, "if only I knew then what I know now..."

GingerSnap - those werewolves do have the heat going on, that's for sure. 108 degrees? oh yeah.

NoCrewinJapan - thanks for visiting! And ditto - I think it says something that I was envisioning Jake Ryan in the Edward role. And I have always wondered if the HM characters was named after 16 Candles - too coincidental not to be...

Ema - like I said to dina, I'm giving you a free pass on not knowing much about 16 Candles - but if you want to understand just about every American woman aged 25-40, watch it sometime. And well...I'd like to think the fact that Edward is a vampire would help women realize he doesn't really exist...but I don't think that factors into the equation for most fans (or fanatics).

Kate - ditto! :)

anon@12:15 - Ditto. It just made me wonder as I hear so many of my contemporaries fawning over R Patz. But for me, Jake Ryan is always on that pedestal.

anona@12:37 - ok, totally jealous here - real life 16 Candles? It's that saving from the family event that really seals the deal, isn't it?

SallyO - yep!

Debye - it is interesting to see how strongly some of us do feel about Jake Ryan...still. :)

Patina - that is always the biggest bummer - when the screen character is nothing like the book version for you. Weirdly enough, I had that with Disclosure. Great book, but Meredith was supposed to be blond, so had her pictured as Sharon Stone. Demi Moore is great, but just didn't fit the bill so I never saw it - it would have been too difficult continually reconciling the character in my mind.

Anon@6:01 - thanks for your honesty! The non-fans of Twilight do seem to get drowned out by the teenager screams, don't they?

Kathryn - I do agree that we didn't get to know Edward as well in the movie as we did in the book - but I think that's the nature of movies since the networks rarely make mini-series anymore. I think "V" is the exception. Remember the golden days of The Thornbirds? There's just too much detail for the movie. I think that's what I loved about reading the online excerpt of Midnight Sun (book 5) since it's all Edward's perspective.