Loverboy of the Bourgeoisie

The [Cary] Grant plot formula – which he has repeated at intervals for 25 years – has established him as the consummate bourgeois lover: consummately romantic yet consummately genteel…Not only does Grant spare his heroines any frontal assault on their foundation garments, he seldom chases them all at the outset. During the chase Grant inevitably scores still more heavily with the middle-class female psyche by treating the heroine not merely as an attractive woman but as a witty and intelligent woman. Because of the savoir faire, genial cynicism and Carlyle Hotel lounge accent with which he brings it all off, Grant is often thought of as an aristocratic motion picture figure. In fact, however, the typical Grant role is that of an exciting bourgeois. The perfect Grant role is one in which he has a job that gives him enough free time so that he does not have to languish away at the office during the course of the movie: but he has a job and the visible means of support and highly visible bourgeois respectability all the same.

-Tom Wolfe (1965)

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