Rewatching Hardbodies

I rewatched Hardbodies. So… That happened. What was I expecting going in? I have no idea.

It seems that there was quite a bit I had forgotten about. Then there were times when I said to myself, “I know where this is going.” It seems that my pornographic memory hadn’t totally let me down–it just needed a refresher.

The plot of Hardbodies is simple enough: three middle aged guys lease a beach house in the hopes of using it as a place to bring ladies for some brown chicken, brown cow.

It doesn’t take long for them to realize that they ain’t got game. However, Scotty Palmer (Grant Cramer) has enough game for all of them combined. So, “Frumpy, Dumpy, and Lumpy” enlist Scotty to be a guru/coach in order to step their game up so that they can attract “Hardbodies.”

It seems pretty self explanatory now, but at the time “Hardbodies” was a relatively new term. The 80s became a time known for physical fitness, especially for women. It wasn’t about Pilates or yoga, but more like a somewhat less intense version of the stuff you see in those infomercials with Shaun T. Just watching the ads on TV almost gives me a heart attack.

Back then it was either the Jane Fonda workout or Richard Simmons and his “Sweating to the Oldies.” I had a teacher in high school that really didn’t like Jane Fonda, and it had nothing to do with fitness. If we ever wanted a “free day” in her class all someone had to do was mention Jane Fonda and she would go off on a rant. It was a damn near Pavlovian response. After a few minutes of ranting she would spend the rest of the period cooling off and we would just sit there doing other things. Like sleeping.

To this day I have no idea what her opinion of Richard Simmons was.

The other big thing was “Jazzercise.” I have no clue what that was all about, but I saw a lot of bumper stickers on a lot of Oldsmobiles back in the day. I’ll leave that there.

And now, back to our movie.

Scotty teaches the old dudes how to “dialogue” women. Dialogging, basically, is just a bunch of b.s. banter, during which you offer women a “bigger, better, deal” (B.B.D.). B.B.D. is a list of reasons why women should be with you as opposed to their current boyfriend: bigger bank account, better car, etc. Also, sometimes, a good sob story helps.

Ever though Scotty is a world class player, he really is in love with his girlfriend Kristi (Teal Roberts). The truth is: I can’t blame him one bit. I fell in love with her at first sight. No, it wasn’t lust, and yes, I do know the difference.

I have always been a hopeless romantic, which is what us guys without game usually become. Then again, the arguement could be that my total lack of game is my game. The thing is, you have to be able to actually talk to women in order to dialogue them.

When I first saw Hardbodies, Scotty became kind of a hero to me. Not for his ability to dialogue women, but because he had a smart, beautiful girlfriend–that was what I was looking for. In fact, I still am. For the life of me I could not figure out why Scotty would want to be with anyone besides Kristi.

When I look at Hardbodies now I still feel the same way. It would be far too easy for me to see the film from the point of view of the view of the middle aged guys, especially since I am one now. I have never been the guy who pursues women purely for sex, nor do I ever want to be. There are times when I want to be that guy, but I fight the urge.

The truth is that I am kind of okay with myself, and that is kind of a small victory.

Those of you who are familiar with Hardbodies, and especially those of you who know me personally, may be thinking that I have overlooked something; that there is an element of the film that is small, yet important, that I failed to bring up. Let me assure you I haven’t; I am saving it for the postscript. The reason why will become clear.

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