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Can You Picture Dave Bautista In These 8 Romantic Comedies?
Dave Bautista wants to be in romantic comedies, so we thought we'd give a little imaginary road map to his rom-com supremacy.
There is no doubt that Dave Bautista has cemented himself as a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. The former WWE Superstar has transformed into an actor of substance, and not just because of his memorable portrayal of Drax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’s appeared in "Blade Runner 2049," "Spectre," "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery," "Dune" and, most recently, in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie, "Knock at the Cabin."
What’s next for Mr. Bautista? According to a recent interview with USA Today, the actor would very much like to appear in a romantic comedy. As he says in the interview, the genre is “…the one thing that’s been very elusive to me, and I think it’s because I can’t get people to see me in that light.”
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We can see him in that light, though. The world of rom-coms would benefit greatly from the presence of Bautista. So, the time has come to run through some movies and rom-com archetypes where the actor could fit in. With a little imagination, we could create a map that could not only reveal the kind of roles we’d love to see him play, but that could lead to his dominance of the rom-com genre itself.
These eight movies are all streaming on Peacock right now, so fire them up and hold Dave Bautista in your mind. Let’s begin the journey.
'The 40-Year-Old Virgin'
There are plenty of rom-com archetypes Bautista could play in a movie like this. He’d be fantastic as one of the sex-crazed friends who tries to help the titular virgin, Andy (Steve Carell). If it was a gender-swapped version, he could fill in as the love interest played by Catherine Keener.
That said, Bautista would also be incredible in the lead. He’d be a giant, gorgeous man playing a toy-collecting guy who had his development arrested and has never had sex.
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Carell in this role, which is why you’d need a big swing in another direction. Why would someone with Bautista’s gifts be a virgin at 40? We want to find out. The gentle giant would be geeky and sweet when the story calls for it.
Watch "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" on Peacock
'Ticket To Paradise'
In this recent rom-com, George Clooney and Julia Roberts play a divorced couple who bicker constantly and aim to sabotage the wedding (and the new life trajectory) of their daughter. Are they too old for romance?
It’s classic rom-com stuff, and Bautista would work as either of the parents. He’d be especially good in the Julia Roberts role, because how can anyone match her rom-com sainthood? They can’t, so once again we should look to shake things up with Bautista.
We’d rather see him as the child that the couple is trying to sabotage, though. Bautista as a character who ditches law school to go and happily marry someone that he just met in Bali would be hilarious. If he deployed an icy facade of non-compliance in the face of two meddling parents — all in the name of love and freedom — it would be rom-com brilliance.
Watch "Ticket to Paradise" on Peacock.
'50 First Dates'
Would we want him in the Adam Sandler role, chasing Drew Barrymore every day because she is unable to remember anything past that? That’s the easy choice, so no. Bautista could obviously do that, but that’s not what we’re thinking.
Put Bautista in the Barrymore role, while someone played by Natasha Lyonne keeps coming back to introduce themselves again and again. Leave the creep factor behind, if you want.
Now that we’re really on the subject, why not remake all of Barrymore’s classic rom-coms with Bautista? We don’t want to toss Barrymore aside, though. Let's have her play opposite him. Bautista would be the wide-eyed starlet who has never been kissed. He’d be riding in cars with boys. He’d be the one with 27 bridesmaid dresses in the closet. That last one wasn’t Barrymore, but whatever. Put Bautista and Barrymore together in a rom-com and grab the Twizzlers. Light that candle.
It's "Commitment Issues: The Movie!"
Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane are two men who are drawn to each other despite their propensity to avoid relationships. if Eichner does another rom-com like this one, we’d love him to pair with Bautista. Once again, that’s the easy path.
Eichner has a specific style that works for him. Would Bautista be able to match (or possibly surpass) the manic energy with which Eichner excels? It isn’t always deployed in this rom-com, but it’s on full display in "Parks & Recreation" as well as on "Billy on the Street." You can see where we’re going.
Put Bautista in an Eichner role. Have Eichner himself write the role for him, and then have Eichner play a stoic co-lead. What a merry mix-up! It would be madness, but we think Bautista could do it. He’d also be able to nail the more dramatic aspects of commitment-phobia and the fears of opening up to another person.
Watch "Bros" on Peacock
Bautista would effortlessly fit into a multi-couple jaunt like this. Four couples with issues go to a resort, time passes and it is mostly happily ever after. Pair him with Drew Barrymore, toss in Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph as another couple, Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell could just reprise their roles from this movie and you've got a hit!
It would be an easy path for Bautista’s entry into rom-com. As part of a couple in a multi-pair movie, studios without imagination wouldn’t feel like they are taking a risk with him in the lead. If it led to bigger and better romantic adventures, fine.
This is one instance where we’d rather see Bautista not involved in a couple at all. There’s always a wacky character who works at whatever resort the movie is set. Jean Reno plays Marcel in "Couples Retreat," a therapist and owner of the place. Put Bautista in a role like that and let him fly free as a wacky ally/foil to the couples. Have him steal one of them away, or offer to join them. Love can take many forms.
Watch "Couples Retreat" on Peacock
It’s the Catalina Wine Mixer!
We need a platonic bromance on this list. This Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly classic isn’t a rom-com, but it’s extremely bro-mantic.
Like the previous entry, this would also allow Bautista to showcase some weirdness. This would be about the power of friendship, using the enemies-to-best-friends trope. Do we go with Drew Barrymore yet again? Not this time. We’re back to Natasha Lyonne, because we’d pay so much money to see them both in a brother/sister situation. Bautista and Lyonne as screeching children who form a bond? Oh yes, please let us see that.
Watch "Step Brothers" on Peacock
'This Means War'
The kind of rom-com/spy movie styling of this movie would suit Bautista perfectly. Two spies realize they are dating the same woman, which of course means war. The woman is Reece Witherspoon, but what if it wasn't?
Bautista as one of the spies is a no-brainer, which is why we wouldn’t go that way. We’d want him to play the person that the spies are fighting over. Natasha Lyonne and Drew Barrymore are best friends and expert spies. Only problem? They’re both dating Dave Bautista. Uh oh, this means war!
It would be fun to watch any two actors go to war for Bautista. For extra fun, why not have him play a version of himself? He’d be Tad Hamilton, if in fact Tad Hamilton was a real person that we all know and love for reasons unknown. Tad Hamilton sucks, we don’t want to win a date with him. We wouldn’t go to war for him either, but we’d go to war for Dave Bautista.
Watch "This Means War" on Peacock
'The Tree That Saved Christmas'
The Christmas rom-com is a genre unto itself. Once September rolls around (yep), Christmas rom-coms flow like blood from a knife wound.
This entry stars Lacey Chabert, as a woman who has to save her family’s Christmas tree farm. Wouldn’t you know it, she finds love along the way.
Do we want to see Bautista as the love interest, or the patriarch of the family running the farm? Absolutely not. Bautista must, absolutely must, play a role like Chabert plays here.
The formula is cozier than a blanket made of cocoa. A big city marketing manager (or something) has to return to their old stomping grounds for the holidays. They discover both love and the true meaning of Christmas in 90 minutes! No more lunch meetings on the go, it’s time for love and family.
We’re not asking for Bautista to play a character who finds out he’s a prince and is then whisked off to a fictitious monarchial country with a silly name where he'll find love in a castle with a thousand trees in it... That’s not true, we are asking for that. It’s a Sight and Sound list entry in the making.
We’re really asking for Dave Bautista as a hotshot business type who has to save Christmas, and open his heart to love. Spice up this formula along with the mulled wine.
Watch "The Tree That Saved Christmas" on Peacock
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