Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Bad Influence" - an oldish Nice Guy movie

So I'm flipping channels on the satellite, and come across Bad Influence, a movie from 1990 with James Spader and Rob Lowe. They play the archetypal Nice Guy and Bad Boy, respectively (a little odd as in the last years Spader has played rather perverted characters in Secretary and Boston Legal -  and Lowe more straightlaced types).

Anyway, it's interesting to see this same story of Nice Guy and shadow played out, years before Fight Club, which is my favorite film and the convergence of those two topics.

As always, we find in the end that either half of the duality isn't very healthy, and that the royal road out is integration. There is nothing wrong with being nice, nothing unhealthy about knowing how to please people or wanting to have good relationships. But when it's reflexive and not a conscious choice anymore, then we are in trouble. The answer isn't going all the way to the other side of the spectrum and becoming a jerk - it's about balance.

Best, Peter

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