The Boyfriend of the Week


January 31, 2000

I'm hoping this week's Boyfriend redeems me a bit in the eyes of my (so-called) classier fans. The ones who emailed me all last week to let me know how absolutely horrified they were to find I'd stooped so low as to admit in public that I think Bruce Willis is a sweetie-pie.

Yeesh. Sor-ry!

This week's Boyfriend is not an action star. He's not a musclehead. He's not the king of the one-liners. He's never been trapped in a skyscraper with Alan Rickman. And he's not divorcing Demi Moore. Happy? Yup, instead this week's Boyfriend, Tobey Maguire, has made a slew of indie movies, is short and kind of funny-looking, and spends a lot of his interview time answering questions extremely noncommittally (like, with "Yeah, whatever" and "I suppose"). A private guy. A nice guy. A short guy. Oh wait, I said that already (he's 5'8", in case you're wondering). (I am 5'9", icyww).

What I like most about Tobey Maguire (aside from his mouth and chin, which are really really cute) are the interesting roles he takes. True, many of the characters he plays in films are (how can I put this delicately?) truly geeky. Just think of the dorky kid in "The Ice Storm" or the nerdy uncool (except not really) dwebe in "Pleasantville." This might lead one to suspect that Tobey Maguire might be the victim of typecasting. Maybe he's a big goofy dork in real life too.

God, I hope so.

Because, you see, dorks are my favorites. They're so quietly cool and unobtrusive. You can date a dork without ever being tempted to put on a false persona so as to impress and you never have to feel like they're too good for you. Cuz they're dorks! TOTAL dorks! But even beyond that, geeky guys are just plain great to be around. They're smart, they're sensitive, they're interested in all kinds of cool stuff like books and languages and music and math and science. Plus, they are usually single and available.

And they always have messy hair. Messy hair is even better than a crooked smile, in my book.

Now, Tobey does have one quality that is definitely not in line with the above definition of "dork" -- he's got a girlfriend! Dang! He's so cute, though, he won't say anything about her. However, I did find an interview in which he tells the story of how they met -- apparently, they were at a party and he sat down next to her and started babbling on and on about how pretty she was, while she sat there wondering who in the heck he was. (DORK!) Oh, who can resist such a totally charming lack of charm!

The good news, though, is that Tobey (short for Tobias) Maguire is also only 24 years old. So, there's plenty of time for me to infiltrate his circle of friends and convince his girlfriend that she'd be better off with someone hipper. Then I can swoop down for the kill, completely obstacle-free!

I love it when a plan comes together.

And now for some actually useful information. Tobey was born in California to a mother who always wanted to be an actress and a father who was a professional chef. Tobey, like so many young boys, wanted to be just like dad when he grew up. Mom, however, was horrified to hear Tobey wanted to take home ec. classes in high school and offered him $100 to switch over to drama instead. And Tobey, in keeping with boyhood stereotypes, leapt at the chance to make a quick hundred bucks (do you know how many bags of Doritos you can get with $100?) and agreed. The rest, as they say, is history. I wonder if he dabbles in fancy cooking on the side, though. I've always wanted to learn how to make a souffle from a messy-haired drama geek.

Some of Tobey's finer movies include the aforementioned "The Ice Storm" (you already know how I feel about Ang Lee) and "Pleasantville," as well as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (don't remember him in that? rent it and watch for him -- when you recognize him, just TRY not to laugh out loud). I also have to mention the fact he used to be on "Great Scott!" which was the dorkiest of all dorky television shows and I absolutely loved it. (I'm not the only one, either -- Tobey was nominated for a "Young Artist Award" in 1993). As for newer stuff, I hear that "Cider House Rules" totally rules (heh) and that his next movie will be the film version of Michael Chabon's "The Wonder Boys," which should be great, seeing as how it also has Francis MacDormand in it.

So, to sum up, this week's Boyfriend is not only the complete antithesis of Bruce Willis, but he represents an entire class of Boy that just doesn't get all the credit it deserves. You really can't go wrong when it comes to the dorks, people. And I'm not just saying that because I'm the biggest dwebe I know.

MacGyver Factor Score: 98.3%. Points off for being in an episode of "Roseanne."

IMDB page on Tobias.

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