In Here Comes The Boom Kevin James plays Scott Voss, a high school biology teacher who starts competing in MMA fighting in order to win enough money to save the music program at his school. It’s a sweet family movie with some violence (the fight scenes are very realistic). Although the film is simple and predictable, Scott Voss’s character is extremely unique for Hollywood.
He has many traditionally masculine traits and could be considered a “man’s man”. He’s got a laid-back attitude, a motorcycle, and he’s training to be an MMA fighter. He also deeply cares about his students. Training for MMA fighting rekindles his passion for life and teaching. Becoming a better teacher is a highly significant part of Voss’s evolution in becoming the champion he is by the end of the film. We very rarely see this in Hollywood productions. Throughout their story arcs, most male characters only care about themselves and their immediate families. Female characters (and the occasional grandfatherly character past his prime) are the ones with the altruistic drive to improve schools, save arts programs, and instill a passion for learning in future generations.
There’s a victorious moment in the film, where Voss jumps on his desk and excitedly explains how cells interact. The soundtrack music swells and Voss’s love interest, Bella Flores, notices him through the classroom door window. This moment is one of my favorite movie moments because it shows genuine enthusiasm as something cool. When Voss allows his natural enthusiasm to flourish, he becomes more himself and by extension more cool. This is also when Bella starts considering him attractive; Voss’s enthusiasm makes him sexy. His passion for education, and life in general, makes him more of a man not less. I’d love to see this new definition of manliness reflected in the male protagonists of more films and shows.
Who are some of your favorite male characters?