Jack: What kind of movies do you prefer, the ones with the sad endings or the happy ones?
Claire: The sad ones definitely. I like movies that make me cry.
Jack: Then you’re with the right guy.
Jack is the leading man. Such screen time is only reserved for protagonists, though anti-hero’s fit this mould too. You want to root for him, to discover that in the end he’s smart enough to give up the criminal life, to stay out of trouble, to truly appreciate the one who loves him. That’s what Claire is banking on too.
She wants to fulfill the dream that she’ll get the bad boy, and she’ll be the one for whom he gives up his criminal life. A story that’s been told time and time again, in life and on the screen. But he won’t, and that makes her want him even more.
Through their relationship, you have a hard time believing that anyone would be so self-destructive to fall for a guy like this, the way you don’t believe a professional assassin would suddenly develop a conscience when discovering that his mark is a 12-year-old girl. But this is Hollywood, and we’re lead to believe that anything is possible.
And as he cleans Claire’s blood off his bedroom floor, you realize that it’s harder to believe he was able to fill a bucket of water from the faucet when he just got out on parole and his utility bills have been unpaid for over a year, than a girl falling in love with someone so bad for her. After all, life has not proven otherwise.
This quietly fills you with bitterness.