Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Who in the heck is Michael Schoeffling???

It appears we may have a little explaining to do here. Some of you may be asking the same question our Dear Old Dad asked when we told him about our project, "Impressive, but who in the heck is Michael Schoeffling???" The immediate response to this question was quite obvious to us. "He's a boy daddy...Jake is a senior and he's beautiful and perfect. I like him a real lot and he doesn't like me, OK...and he's got this incredible girlfriend. I'm just this ridiculous dork following him around like a puppy." This is the response given by Samatha Baker, the heroine in our favorite movie, Sixteen Candles released in 1984. She is hopelessly infatuated with Jake Ryan and just like that you have the main theme of the movie.
Jake Ryan is played by the actor Michael Schoeffling. An actor who really wasn't well known for any of his other roles of which there were few. An actor who conveniently and cleverly disappeared from any glint of limelight in the early 1990's. Clever because his one big role, Jake Ryan, is such an enduring icon that his legacy is still alive and well. You will even find the Urban Dictionary has defined "Jake Ryan" as "A term used by women to describe the 'perfect boyfriend'."
The Jake Ryan fantasy has stood the test of time because at its core it is an age old archetype that us modern women are still willing to fall for! And by disappearing Michael Schoeffling has perpetuated the power of the Jake Ryan myth. It almost makes us wonder, do we really want to find him?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for clarifying the project. I didn't want to seem critical, but I was wondering after reading your initial introduction if you were going to explore the dynamics of infatuation or just perpetuate them in the search for Jake Ryan/ Michael Schoeffling. While I agree it's fun and intriguing to look for this person who has become myuthical, I also agree that it's even more intriguing to explore how and why women continue to engage in the age-old search for the perfect man.