Neta Horesh-Bar is a business administration sophomore and opinion columnist for Mustang News. Her views reflected in this piece don’t necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.
From Myers-Briggs personality assessment results to zodiac signs, there are a myriad of ways to make judgments about someone’s entire character in a matter of seconds. Oh, you’re a Gemini with a Leo rising? I know things about you that you don’t even know about yourself. An ENFJ? I’ve heard all that I need to. There is, however, one crucial and yet painfully underrated personality test that tends to be overlooked; one that characterizes all people, but particularly all men, without fail:
“What’s your favorite movie?”
Disguised as an innocent inquiry, this question is met with a variety of responses. Each film within the range of answers corresponds with an intricately curated mold of exactly who this man is –– his dreams, his passions, and his weaknesses and strengths.
Over the years, I have closely studied the patterns exhibited by men all across the favorite movie spectrum, from “Joker” to “Pulp Fiction.” I have since performed meticulous data analysis with my findings. Like an anthropologist, I have uncovered the secrets to the world’s most elusive group: men.
The following will be a synopsis of each man’s entire identity based on his favorite movie, as compiled by the years of comprehensive research that I altruistically conducted so that you don’t have to.
Wolf of Wall Street
I would be remiss to kick off my psychoanalysis with anything other than this classic Scorsese “finance bro” film. “Wolf of Wall Street” guys are largely in business or finance, but in the case that they aren’t, they wholeheartedly idolize Jordan Belfort and refer to trading stocks and buying crypto as actual, legitimate hobbies.
Allow me to paint you a picture: You just met “Wolf of Wall Street” guy, have not even said a word to him and he’s already opening his mouth preparing to explain to you why we cannot just print more money. Once the conversation shifts to anything other than things that exclusively he cares about, he is mentally checked out, actively checking his Vanguard while you speak. Finally, of course, he’s wearing salmon pink shorts from Vineyard Vines. When asked what he’s passionate about, he responds unironically with a completely straight face, “being rich.”
When it comes to “Pulp Fiction” guys, you’re either dealing with an absolute caricature of the self proclaimed “film buff” or a man who saw the film poster (you know the one), thought it looked cool and decided to make “Pulp Fiction” a personality trait. It is important to note that the former is not a genuine movie connoisseur, as no real film buff would ever publicly admit that their favorite Quentin Tarantino film is “Pulp Fiction,” let alone favorite movie overall. This man is on his way to being annoyingly pretentious but isn’t there just yet. He is left in an untethered limbo where no real cinephile would take him seriously, but the general public still finds him insufferable.
Inception, Interstellar or Tenet
This classic Christopher Nolan triad has puzzled me for years, parallel in nature to the storylines of the movies themselves. “Inception,” “Interstellar” and “Tenet” guys run alongside the “Pulp Fiction” men with some key differences.
The Tarantino lovers are consistently broodier, dingier and ever-so-slightly meaner. In contrast, the Nolan fans tend to have more humility and self-awareness than the “Pulp Fiction” guys, but are no means perfect. These men emulate Christopher Nolan himself by feigning deep thinking and overcomplicating everything imaginable. A Chris Nolan fan is outraged if you don’t connect with the film, but in his mind, that’s just because “you didn’t get it.”
Many would fail to consider “Surf’s Up” guys as its own category, but since the very beginning of my deep dive into this crucial research, I have found that a shocking percentage of men actually listed this animated mockumentary as their favorite of all time. For so long, I grappled with what this could possibly mean. My conclusion: this is certainly no random pick.
If a man lists “Surf’s Up” as his favorite film, he is easy to talk to, emotionally intelligent and, most importantly, honest with both himself and with you. Allow me to explain: if a man is self-assured enough to proudly state that his favorite film is about an animated surfing penguin as opposed to some critically acclaimed classic, it exemplifies utmost confidence and self-esteem. When you ask a “Surf’s Up” guy what his favorite movie is, he actually has enough self respect to answer genuinely rather than with some pseudo-intellectual response that he spent way too long thinking about.
Men who idolize Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in “Joker” are a very specific species comparable to a rabid skunk or perhaps poison oak –– that is to say, organisms you definitely want to stay away from. These men are violently opinionated, exceptionally articulate about their (typically debatable) sentiments and sport a god complex that makes them unbearable. A man whose favorite movie is “Joker” is absolutely convinced that no one understands him. He definitely perceives women as less than and doesn’t even realize it. The “Joker” guy is convinced that he can’t connect with the opposite gender because they don’t have the same intellectual capacity as him, when, in reality, they sincerely cannot stand talking to him.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
There is a little bit of range within “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” guys, but they share one common denominator: they never have good hygiene. These men can be sectioned into two subgroups: the Scott Sympathizers and the Scott enjoyer.
The Sympathizer enjoys the movie and even identifies strongly with it, failing to realize that its entire purpose is to mock his very existence. On the other hand, you have the more self aware “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” enjoyer. This guy doesn’t necessarily resonate with the dumpster fire of a protagonist that is Scott Pilgrim, but don’t worry, he still has his deep-seated issues. As you get to know him, you’ll find that this man is emotionally intelligent enough to be subtly manipulative and yet overly charismatic at the same time. It’s unclear which subgroup is worse, but one thing is for sure: both of these men are full of themselves to the point that it is viscerally distressing for all innocent bystanders.
You may be asking yourself why A24 movies as a whole are granted one singular category, and the answer is really quite simple. No matter what A24 film is his favorite, this man will be the target market for Urban Outfitters. You will see him walking around wearing a vintage shirt, ask him where he got it and he’ll nonchalantly say it was thrifted. In reality, he paid an exorbitant amount for it at his local Urban Outfitters –– on his mom’s credit card, no less.
However, this is not the end of A24 guy’s story. He proudly wears beanies, will order for you at a restaurant and talks endlessly without really saying much at all. Lest we forget about his vinyl collection, which he will immediately insist on showing you. And yes, each and every one of the records in the collection was purchased at –– you guessed it –– Urban Outfitters.
“You probably haven’t heard of it”
Last but certainly not least, once in a while, you will come across a “you probably haven’t heard of it” guy. These are a rare specimen (or so they’d like to think), commonly spotted in a pair of Doc Martens and chipped black nail polish. With an answer such as this, there are two options: this man is either at a small liberal arts school or he’s pissed that he’s not at a small liberal arts school. It goes without saying that he basically invented the term “male manipulator,” a fact you’ll certainly notice if you talk to him for longer than five minutes.
He thinks he is infinitely better than you and everyone else, a sentiment so conspicuous that anyone could deduct it, regardless of the context of their relationship with the man. Don’t let his indie playlists nor his cool tattoo fool you; he can and will crush your soul without batting an eye and gaslight you into rejecting everything you’ve ever known to be true. To put it simply, “you probably haven’t heard of it” men are the physical embodiment of all that is wrong with the world. Run while you still can.