Unlike the antiheroes of eras past, modern man-boys simply refused to grow up, and did so proudly. Maybe nobody grows up anymore, but everyone gets older. What happens to the boy rebels when the dream of perpetual childhood fades and the traditional prerogatives of manhood are unavailable? There are two options: They become irrelevant or they turn into Louis C. K. (fig. 5). Every white American male under the age of 50 is some version of the character he plays on “Louie,” a show almost entirely devoted to the absurdity of being a pale, doughy heterosexual man with children in a post-patriarchal age. Or, if you prefer, a loser.
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In 1995 a film called Tom and Huck was released, starring teen heartthrobs Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Brad Renfro. This movie, based on Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer , had an advertising slogan that ran:
A lot of kids get into trouble.
These two invented it.
Tom and Huck
The Original Bad Boys
Pretty good, huh? Tom and his buddies get up to some pretty sweet hijinks; heck, they even get to attend their own funerals. Tom and his pals are basically like other modern pranksters – think Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers – they're a ton of fun.