What would lead a guy to create a fake girlfriend? I can hardly imagine the mindset you would have to be in to think that you could not only fool everyone around you, but truly fool yourself at the same time. But it obviously fascinates other, more artistic sorts who have grappled with portraying the concept. I SMELL A LIST:
- Burly Bruce Carter and Sheila: one of my favorite episodes of one of my favorite short-lived shows, Pushing Daisies, featured a strange, endearing take on this. Burly Bruce, for reasons unknown, makes up a lovely and laughing girlfriend named Sheila (that Aussie naming scheme is no mistake — the show is peppered with lots of cute little details like that), who everyone else can see is a doll… literally. Course, it takes a bit of a turn when Sheila ends up killing a man. Whoops!
Here’s a (not embeddable) clip of just Bruce & Sheila’s scenes, but the whole episode (and series) is worth checking out — this particular one also features Molly Shannon & Mike White as vindictive brother-and-sister candymakers — comedy bliss. The episode can be streamed here.
- Lars and Bianca: The same general concept as Burly Bruce & Sheila, but taken even a step further (but with less murder). What if a man — emotionally stunted, but well-meaning and mild — decides to project his love onto a girlfriend inanimate but somehow still kind (she was a missionary!)? And what if he’s surrounded by family and a town so equally warm-hearted that, despite their initial bewilderedness, they all go along for the ride? If you haven’t seen this, do — it has such a bizarre setup that I think it turned off a lot of folks when it came out a few years ago, but it’s truly such a sweet film. In the meantime, two clips from the movie (skip to 2:40 in the first one for the BOOM moment.):
- Manti and Lennay: Oh wait, this one wasn’t made up by someone for fictional storytelling purposes… or was it? It’s certainly inspiring a lot of talented storytelling! My favorite so far is from Funny or Die (also sadly not embeddable)
So while I still have no idea how anyone could think to attempt something like this, I do at least appreciate that making up fake girlfriends does happen, it can make for interesting stories, and it sometimes is even more sophisticated than it was portrayed in my favorite teen movie:
…instantly followed by, of course, “Yeah, but she has some photo shoot in Fiji…I guess that’s just the price you pay for dating Christy Turlington.”