It Always Comes Back To Shue


August 21, 2012 by Manny Wordsmith


They’ve gotten me in more trouble per capita than any other type of girl. And I blame Elisabeth Shue. YEAH YOU SHUE!

The other day I sat at the bar with a friend of mine, shooting the shit and and talking about our patterns with women. As we talked and laughed, my attention was slowly drawn to the young lady who was running karaoke.

“Who you looking at Manny?” My friend asked.

“The karaoke girl…she has Elisabeth Shue hair.”

I said the words so naturally, not knowing that my friend was completely unaware of what I meant. But after showing him a picture of Elisabeth Shue, he totally understood.

“It’s not as much about the length,” I said, “It’s more about the mix of brown and blonde.”

The karaoke girl wasn’t even that pretty, but damn did she have hair like my woman.

I could’ve said anything else I wanted about Elisabeth Shue’s hair, but he knew it was also her likeness I fell for. And he knew at least 2 girls that I dated who looked a lot like her. So I spilled the beans, explaining that Elisabeth Shue, especially her character in Karate Kid, had an effect on me.

You know the premise, a young blonde falls for a scruffy outsider who has to fight his way for respect. As a kid, that was all I needed to see. I can admit I took the storyline a bit literally, but as a scruffy outsider, I really didn’t have much of a choice. It was way too easy to fall in love with a fictional character when you felt like you really didn’t belong anywhere in the real world. But I wanted that to change. I wanted to believe that there would be a certain girl out there for me, even if I didn’t have everything right in my life.

Naturally, at the age of 6, I couldn’t understand the emotionally complexities of the human heart and love just yet. So I just graphed an image to my brain and kind of ran with it. The same thing happened when I saw Whitney Houston in “The Bodyguard”,

Betty Chung in “Enter The Dragon”,


Molly Ringwald in “Sixteen Candles”

But since I grew up in a neighborhood where I could count all the black people I knew on one hand, was nowhere near a Chinatown, and knew more brunettes that scared me than ones that wanted kisses on their birthdays, it kind of all fell on ol’ Shue and her blonde look-a-likes. I eventually saw Nicole Kidman in “Days of Thunder” which temporarily switched things up, but if you’ve read my blog then you already know how that got me in trouble. If not, click here!

It wasn’t just Karate Kid that had me in love with Shue. All of her 80s and early 90s movies just seemed like the same character put in different situations (Don’t try to tell me that her character in “Cocktail” wasn’t just a grown up version of Allie from Karate Kid!), and I liked that. It wasn’t until “Leaving Las Vegas” that I said, “Holy shit, she’s an actress!!”

The images that we follow all come from somewhere. Not many people are brave enough to seek them out like I did. Probably in fear that it’ll lead back to an episode of “Facts of Life” or  Jessica Lange…from pretty much any Jessica Lange movie. I, however, cherish my discovery. Even though it may not stop me from chasing faultful athletic blondes with round hips and beautiful smiles, I believe it gives me clarity and lets me know I actually have some sort of standard (even if it’s composed of the images and words of fictional characters).

So If you don’t mind that I live in a crappy neighborhood, lose a couple fights every once in a while, and have an Asian guy as a best-friend, then apply within. The Shue may fit.

Also, like this post if you think that last line was lame.

Good Morning 🙂


98 thoughts on “It Always Comes Back To Shue

  1. topiclessbar says:

    I enjoyed the last line. Clever word play (well, cheesy, but I laughed). I can kind of relate, too, because I had a big thing for Shelly Long as a young man in the 80s. She’s not exactly Shue quality…she’s blonde…okay maybe they’re not too similar. Unlike you, I never fulfilled my Shelly Long fantasy. Nicole Eggert on Charles in Charge was another one. God bless 80s TV stars!

    Great post man!

  2. Adventures in Babysitting is still one of my favorite movies 🙂

  3. And Adventures in Babysitting! Loved her in that!

    Just as you fell for Shue while watching The Karate Kid, I fell for Macchio. The hair. The smile. The eyes. The way he moves those chopsticks in the air to catch that fly.

    Sigh. I feel your pain! Great post. (Congrats!)

  4. I actually chuckled a little at that last line. It was super cheesy, but still cute haha. I can definitely relate to this post, even though I am a girl and grew up during the nineties instead of the eighties. I always had a crush on Leonardo DiCaprio from the moment that I saw him in Titanic. Then again, what prepubescent girl didn’t? As I grew up though, I realized that there was more to him than just a gorgeous smile, blond hair and a Jimmy Stewart-esque happy-go-lucky leading man quality; he’s actually one of my all-time favourite actors now.
    Great post and congrats on being freshly pressed :D!
    By the way, if you still love Whitney Houston, I don’t recommend that you see her last film, Sparkle. It may ruin all the magic for you because it was absolutely terrible.

    • Thanks for reading!! And thanks for the congrats!! For some reason when I wrote this blog I thought I was the only one that had unreasonable crushes that affected their lives. But I as I can see by your Leo crush, I was wrong 🙂 I hope you become an avid reader!

  5. tomwisk says:

    They’re called TV crushes. That warm feeling the weather girl gives you as you watch the six o’clock news. It’s harmless as long as you don’t wait for her in the parking lot after work or e-mail her love sonnets, oops, said way too much. Loved the post. Will follow. Catch me at .

  6. all our quirks do have even quirkier beginnings. thanks for blogging yours!

  7. Tinkerbell says:

    I love this post for many reasons, but hey, what’s wrong with having an Asian friend, that sounded kinda racist ya know!

    Ahem, anyway, do you think you’ll go nuts for that Shue hair’d beauty (that sounds really weird, my fault, I’m sorry) because she matches what you assumed her appearance to be? It sounds like you could have been seriously disappointed at all those lookalikes who fell short of her character (the karate kid character, that is).

    I’ve wondered alone if I’m such a sad person for having to match an arbitrary face to all the wonderful qualities I believe my significant match to be, but after reading your post, I am reminded that I’m not the only one who has associated a face like this. All of us do in someway.

    I think it would be wise for people to marry someone who looks and most importantly behaves like their dream partner. Otherwise they’d be happily married with kids for years until a dreamboy/dreamgirl lookalike walks by and tempts them like a moth to a flame. Who needs that.

    • I mentioned the Asian part because of Mr. Miyagi! And plus, the friend I mentioned earlier in the post is also Asian, hence the mentioning lol. But I’m glad you enjoyed it. The other girls weren’t really a disappointment to me. I didn’t even put together the connection between my choices and Elisabeth Shue till a little while ago! But I’d love to find someone as warm and and accepting like her character, but I’d just settle for someone who loves me for me 🙂

  8. dreizme says:

    How funny that I stumbled upon your blog about Elisabeth Shue. I enjoy her as an actress and as a person from what I’ve read about she seems to be really sweet as well. As a gay male, I’ve always felt captured by her whenever I’ve seen her in a movie, especially Karate Kid and Adventures in Babysitting. Leaving Las Vegas when I saw it a few years ago, I was shocked! She really played that role so well. The best way really to describe her is the Girl Next Door…..

  9. GG says:

    haa…. i like your post.

    Elisabeth Shue — simply her.

  10. Yes, the line was lame…right up my alley!

  11. kelouisa says:

    For me and Elisabeth Shue, it was always The Saint and Cousin Bette (though she’s redheaded in that). If I see The Saint is on, I have to see her running into the Embassy, and i have to hear her singing on stage in Cousin Bette.

    • I loved her in The Saint. She played the sexy genius very well! And it was nice seeing her in a role where she wasn’t just the girl next door. If she was my science professor I probably would’ve gotten a better grade!

  12. raulwrites says:

    Adventures of babysitting…and of course, The Saint. Great post!

  13. In a very manly way, I thought this was cute. I love the images you invoke, and I understand your point, though I’m a girl. Personally I like Shue as well, though for different reasons. I enjoyed reading this post.

  14. LOL thanks for my first laugh of today. On some ground I can relate and then when I think about it, mine fascination possibly lies somewhere else again. Maybe it’s a little bit of both. I blame my dad 😛

  15. Mike Messier says:

    I got you trumped… I worked with Elisabeth Shue in the new movie HOPE SPRINGS… I’m the guy she calls out “Mike” in the bar scene…no joke… wow, she’s still hot

  16. going to andromeda says:

    I wake up with hair like that. I consider it a mix of brown, blonde and Einstein.

  17. It's only P! says:

    Your post put a smile on my face. Not because I relate, but because you seem to word your feelings so well. The bar scene was tangible. Good writing!

  18. Seb says:

    Elizabeth Shue is okay, but she ain’t no Helen Hunt, if you know what I mean…

    • Are you speaking of that wet-t scene from “As Good As It Gets”? lol. She’s a great actress too. And though I’ve scene every episode of Mad About You, she has nothing on Shue…respectively!

  19. I was really waiting for the other Shue to drop, but since it didn’t I hit the ‘Like’ button.

    Nice article!

  20. khurshidetasawwuf says:


  21. drewpan says:

    You know what’s worse about your redhead Nicole Kidman fantasy vs brutal reality story? My high school crush on goth girls. You think they’d be intense, awesome and vampy… but most of the time they’re just vegans.

    • Ugh!! I’m not too big of a fan of Vegans. I met one once and she had really hairy armpits and legs. It was weird. I was only 18. I think she was 20, but she had already figured out that she wanted to be a Yeti for the rest of her life. It was weird hugging her… lol

  22. shelconnors says:

    Congrats on being Fresh Pressed 🙂 Enjoyed the blog- will definitely keep reading! 🙂

  23. Mark Nielsen says:

    Aw, shit. I think I just got dumped by a Shue… didn’t even realize I had this virus till you pointed it out. I thought it/she was a Rosanna Arquette, but apparently I misdiagnosed it. Why didn’t you warn us sooner?!

  24. Sorry, but I’d fight ya fer Shue. The Saint and Leaving Las Vegas are how I’ll always think of Shue.

    I’ll say this for ya, ya gotz good taste!

  25. Yellow Mae says:

    I find this rather enlightening. In the not so far away (really it couldn’t be THAT long ago) college days I had a friend who was a huge Shue fan. He admittedly held her to the vision of perfect woman.
    I had Shue hair … could our friendship have been that superficial? 😛 Either way, I never got sick of The Saint.

    • The Saint is a great film. Great for so many reasons. Elisabeth Shue being one of them 🙂 But it was clever and filled with intrigue. Also, it was way before Val Kilmer got fat and started making movies with 50 Cent lol. And you know what? I guarantee your friend wasn’t that superficial. The beauty in front of you is always more pleasing than the beauty stuck in the television 🙂

  26. I just watched “Hamlet 2” this past week and Shue is still getting it done after all of these years!

  27. bulldogsturf says:

    If there is anyone I’d leave my wife for it would be Elisabeth Shue… she is just something special… and as you say that hair… out of this world…

    • There weren’t any slow motion scenes like all the ones Bo Derek got, or anything else that really rose her to a pedestal, but damn, she made a massive effect. And I respect that, a lot. Especially, since it seemed like she did it by just being a good, likable actress.

  28. famewalker says:

    Very enjoyable piece. Since I’m a film blogger, I’m curious about your favorite Hitchcock blonde. (If you’re a Shue fan, my money’s on Eva Marie Saint or Ingrid Bergman.)

  29. rachelocal says:

    The last line was a little lame, but in an endearing way. Haha, I liked it. And I loved Elizabeth Shue, especially in Karate Kid, and aspired to have her hair.

    • It had bounce and excitement. Before then, I didn’t think hair like that existed. Before that, the only other movie I can remember was Empire Strikes Back. I love Princess Leia’s hair, but it wasn’t wild enough for me. I’m glad you found my lameness endearing 🙂

  30. cmsaunders says:

    Haha, great blog! I was also one of the unfortunates (we number many) with a ‘Shue’ obsession. Ditto Whitney Houston and Molly Ringwald (oh God, why?). So I see your Shue, Houston and Ringwald, and raise you a Tiffany!

    • The singer Tiffany? The singer of “I Think We’re Alone Now”, “Could’ve Been”? Tough to beat, but c’mon! Can you beat the Shue’s waterfall scene in “Cocktail”? I don’t think so lol! Thanks for reading the blog, and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  31. hah this is super cute. although, don’t judge me, i honestly had no idea who elizabeth shue was until i read this. thanks for sharing! and don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone in having a celebrity influenced “type”, i’m sure!!

  32. lennymaysay says:

    Yeah, loved her in “Leaving Las Vegas.

    • She was mess, but she really worked that part. I worried about her the entire time like she was an ex that fell on bad times. I remember rented the VHS tape from the videostore and missing school because I was up watching it on a Tuesday lol. That girl worked it.

  33. Guineveresj says:

    Enjoyed every word. Wit with authenticity and soul are always a winning combo – add some 80’s pop culture and I’m a fan for life… You gave us a glimpse into the very elusive, male heart and mind. Romance and the hope of finding “the one” is in all of us. For every woman who believes in soul mates or true love and connection, there is a guy like you to remind us, we are not alone. While you are out there looking for your other Shue, there are those of searching for their Tom Hanks or John Cusack or Keanu…

    • Thank you for all the kind words. I’ve been a hopeless romantic since a kid. And as awkward as many things in my life have been, I’ve never regretted my thoughts or emotions. I think there’s someone great for everyone. When and where that’ll happen? Who knows. But I think when the time comes, that “one” presents themselves. It’s just up to us to see them and grasp on the opportunity 🙂

  34. Even I fell for Elizabeth Shue when I was younger, and I’m a heterosexual female. It was an “I want to be her” crush. Her from Karate Kid. Her from Adventures in Babysitting. She was cool, strong, pretty (but not ridiculous pretty), and had – yes – great hair. I still love her.

    • Thanks for reading! And yes, great hair! But she played in some great roles that really presented her well. So I’m no where near surprised that you had a “I want to be her” crush 🙂

  35. I may have ‘liked’ this, however, it had nothing to do with your lame line. I will certainly ‘click here’ to read more. You’re very entertaining.

  36. Cool post. Yeah, Shue was great in Leaving Las Vegas. Congrats on the FP.
    Check out our family blog on shoes of a different type.

  37. UtahMan&Wife says:

    Thanks for the laugh. We were #100 on your “Likes”.
    Congrats on being Fresh Pressed 🙂

  38. Minnie says:

    Oh man, I definitely know where you’re coming from on that one. Though I’m not interested in the ladies, movies and TV have absolutely shaped my idea of an “ideal man.” Unfortunately, that means having a fat crush on the likes of Alec Baldwin…

  39. edgeledge says:

    I was slightly older than you at the time of these movies, but had the same “obsession” and comparison factors, I wanted every girl to be ES, and chased those that looked like her. The fantasy disappeared and I am more than happy with my precious wife, who looks nothing like ES or MR but she is still my dream girl.
    Did Ally Sheedy ever crop up in your fantasy compare scale? The War Games and Breakfast Club look 😉

    • I really liked Miss Sheedy in “Short Circuit”. The cropped curly hair wasn’t as alluring as Miss Shue’s, but I definitely recognized the beauty. She was a weird basketcase in “The Breakfast Club”, but after that makeover, I was blown away. Even with the bow lol. And I’m glad that you found your love. My eyes are completely open though. This fantasy won’t get in the way of what true love can bring.

  40. She was brilliant in “Leaving Las Vegas.” Hollywood has not been kind to Ms. Shue….

  41. Carol O. says:

    Nah, not so lame a line, and I would love to have looked like a Shue. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! I will have a longer look around, soon.

    • Thanks for reading!! And thanks for the congrats! Believe me when I say that I never thought my little post about hair, celebrities, and love would ever get anywhere 🙂 Thank you, THANK YOU!

  42. My favorite Elizebeth Shue movie beside’s The Karate Kid was Adventure’s In Babysitting. You should check out Hamlet 2 if you haven’t alrealy! She is in that and it is a pretty crazy movie!

  43. Sweep The Leg…No Mercy! She is and has always been a fine looking lady, I wish I could do a Leaving Las Vegas body shot just one time:) Keep up the good work and continued success!

  44. I have that exact same problem…’cept my achilles heel is Robert Downey jr! There’s always someone from your youth who makes your knees weak 🙂

    • A thing for the bad boys I see! Was it Weird Science that did you in? I’m glad he’s so successful now. He’s a great actor who can make me laugh without even saying anything! Have you seen “Kiss, Kiss Bang, Bang”? Great flick!

      • Good guess! Weird Science and Chaplin actually :)…. Not really bad boys as much as that twinkle I can see in his eyes….I think I could forgive that man anything :P…His humor and body language is just off the chart!

        Yeah I’ve seen it and I spent the entire movie laughing my ass off….The chemistry between Val Kilmer and Downey is amazing to watch! 🙂

  45. Awsome! Your entire blog was felt by any hotblooded male – and your choice in cinema woman fit mine almost to a T – Weirdo lol – what most will not admit though, is that that cinema woman is actually your choice of personality – be it looks, style, or act – that will decide on your attraction to a real mate. Dibs on Shue Bro

  46. Great post! Your entire blog is awsome!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,306 other followers

%d bloggers like this: