I re-watched Mystic River. I have seen it only once before, in the theater during its original release. I would have voted it best picture that year. I recall it had a powerful ending, but I did not derive any conclusions at that time. I have now.
You might think the central theme of Mystic River is what it means to be a man. A manly man. An alpha male. Certainly covered, but not the main theme, and what it says about becoming a man is not what you might think. The movie implies an event in your childhood can derail your train ride to being a man. In a sense, every boy is born a future alpha male. Getting there as an adult is just a product of chance. Events from your childhood can damage you; take away your mojo. Whether or not you make it to alpha male is a product of events beyond your control. Essentially random.
The central theme of Mystic River is family loyalty, completely revealed during the final scene. The story involves three families. One family is destroyed because the wife was not loyal to her husband, thus causing his death. She would say she was doing the right thing. Although she should have gone to the police with her story, and not the alpha male married to her cousin. If she would have stood by her husband just one more day then he would still be alive (albeit with other problems). Of the remaining two families one is together because of the husband’s loyalty to and patience with his estranged wife, and the other because of the wife’s and husband’s devotion to each other. Right or wrong. Good or bad. You stand by your family.
Now for a tangent (bait and switch?) …
There apparently is some study. You know, we asked several hundred people this or that so we can get a news headline. The results indicate that circumstances under which you lose your virginity can impact your attitude toward sex. In the simplest terms if when you lost your virginity, including how you were treated post-cherry popping, you found it to be a generally comfortable and satisfying experience then you are likely to have a more open and accepting approach to sex. And vice versa.
And what of the alpha male? No doubt even when losing one’s virginity an alpha male is gonna be all alpha-y and what not. If his partner responds well to his alpha-ness then he is good to go. He might become the classic pin-her-to-the-wall-and-pull-her-hair kinda lover so many 50 Shades wannabes are interested in. (Although, me thinks the 50 Shades wannabes are really interested in a late-20’s handsome billionaire.)
What if his partner does not respond well? If he is an alpha male to the core then he doesn’t care about his partner’s response; his virginity losing experience will not keep him from being god’s gift to women. If he is borderline alpha male then said event could knock from the manly man path, turning him into a sensitive metrosexual man who treats women with respect (i.e. a loser).
So. Bottom line. Go out and get some. Unless you respect women. Then go out and come home alone.