There are many reasons for women to watch James Bond movies. The pleasure of seeing things blow up. Car chases. Guns. Gorgeous scenery. But the best reason has always been James Bond.
A girl has to have someone to dream about, and it has been a long time since real princes have conjured up the amount of glamor that a movie star does. The exception would be the current young heartthrob in England, Prince William. Modern European princes are mostly descendants of Queen Victoria and various German princelings, and most have undistinguished looks. But Princess Diana brought striking height and handsomeness to the Windsor line. A few Continental princes are shaping up as handsomely as Prince William, but they don’t get much exposure in America. According to VIP Gossip, Prince William tops the list of world’s hottest royals. He has youth and health, imposing height, regular features, and blond hair all going for him. Not to mention the inheritance of the glamor crown of Europe. Why shouldn’t he be deemed the hottest royal in the world?
But my favorite on the list is Andrea Casiraghi, a son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, and thus a grandson of another supremely beautiful woman, Princess Grace. Who was a movie star. Maybe it’s just the hair and the air of youth. Health and happiness also play a part in how appealing a person is. Modern princes don’t have a tremendous physical advantage over the rest of us. These days, they don’t get to dress in gold and furs and jewels all the time to impress. About the most they’re allowed are some snazzy Victorian-era military uniforms, or maybe a few orders and medals. Thus today the visual difference between a king and some ordinary joe isn’t very much, at least, not in a country where many people enjoy good health, good dentistry, and good hygiene. There are lots of surfer dudes in California and Australia who are on a par of handsomeness with any royal. And with any movie star. Princes no longer impress crowds by being the tallest, the healthiest, or the cleanest person these pathetic peasants have ever seen. (Nor is everyone else covered in s**t, as the Monty Python movie joke goes.)
So, yes, if you want to dream about a prince, it’s still possible. But we get more exposure to and exposure from movie stars. Movie stars don’t get to be stars unless they have photographic charisma, a kind of chemistry with the camera that makes photos of them stunning regardless of how ordinary they may look in real life. They also often take off their clothes in the course of a role, and let’s be honest, sex appeal is lodged in the body. If we get to see the body, we are more likely to be attracted than if we see the person clothed. And movie stars today make sure their bodies look great. Yes, there’s a lot of plastic surgery done in Hollywood (and other moviemaking meccas), but that’s not enough anymore. Movie stars are likely to work as hard as athletes with personal trainers to obtain their stunningly buff bodies. Today’s stars are very conscious of how competitive they must look if and when their shirts—or other clothes—come off. A good haircut and the right angle from the camera help, but being buff is achieved through long, hard work in the gym. It’s kind of interesting that we now are very aware that movie stars actually work to attain their visual impact. We used to think it was all a gift of nature. (Princes don’t have to be as buff, and it shows.)
The Washington Post introduced me to this photo of Daniel Craig as James Bond, with the caption “We don’t have any real reason for running this photo except, jeez, look at this guy.” I agree, and he’s not even gorgeous in a pretty way. He’s gorgeous in a dirty, tired, dripping blood, I’ll handle-whatever-comes-next way. My hero.
I ran out to the see the first showing of the new Bond movie, “Quantum of Solace” because I like car chases and seeing things blow up and pretty scenery. But the real reason was James Bond as portrayed by Daniel Craig. I liked him a lot in the previous Bond movie. I had hopes this one would please me, too. And it did, although now I am wishing there had been more intimate moments in the plot and maybe one less car chase. But, jeez, look at this guy.