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Social distancing does funny stuff to your frontal cortex (I’m allowed to say this because I’m a scientist and a doctor). In addition to collapsing time like it’s a lawn chair, normalizing Zoom birthdays, convincing millennials to join TikTok, and turning hoards of humans into professional makers of sourdough bread, it also begs an unusual and yet extremely urgent question: What movie characters would be the absolute worst to quarantine with? Naturally, I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I think I’ve established a pretty definitive list. Scroll below for a ranking from “barely tolerable” to “GET ME OUT OF HERE I BEG.”
#10: Spike (Notting Hill)
Spike, a.k.a. Hugh Grant’s roommate in Notting Hill, puts the “com” in this classic rom com (HAHAHAHA) thanks to his bizarre antics over the course of the film. Endearing though he may be from an observational distance, his predilection for buttocks-baring loungewear and eating mayonnaise with a spoon would undoubtedly torment anyone with the misfortune of living with him in close quarters for an extended period of time–even Hugh. That being said, his entertainment value might make up for some of it.
#9: Warner Huntington III (Legally Blonde)
This assumption is purely gut-based, but anyone who routinely recycles “Pooh Bear” as a pet name for multiple significant others is probably not bringing much to the table from a companionship perspective.
#8: Edmund (The Chronicles of Narnia)
He betrays his whole family for Turkish delight!!!! Can’t quar with someone you can’t trust.
#7: Meredith (The Parent Trap)
Despite the fact that Meredith has incredible taste in atheleisure-wear and a really symmetrical face, she would make for objectively awful quarantine roommate fodder. If lying to a priest who is raising money for charity within the first five minutes of her introduction isn’t proof enough, then consider the fact that her response to minor adversity is threatening to send a child to boarding school in Timbuktu. Seems extreme?
#6: Veruca Salt (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
Veruca might be one of the worst-behaved characters in movie history. I don’t know which of her offenses is more aggravating–insisting her dad buy her a golden goose, or immediately breaking into song when her wishes are denied. Either way, bad quarantine energy, for sure.
#5 Rose’s Mom (Titantic)
Remember how tightly she laces up Rose’s corset while ordering her “not to see that boy again”????? That’s all.
#4: Professor Umbridge (Harry Potter)
Having recently rewatched the entire Harry Potter movie series from start to finish, I have come to the conclusion that Professor Dolores Umbridge is even more evil than Voldemort himself. While she would certainly be a stickler for safe social-distancing protocols, her general temperament, exclusively Pepto Bismol-colored wardrobe, and penchant for making rule-breakers carve words into the backs of their hands sounds like the stuff of quarantine nightmares to me.
#3: The Entire Cast (He’s Just Not That Into You)
I say this with love: Literally every single person in He’s Just Not That Into You is insufferable.
I almost put Nate at the very top of this list, but spared him that fate for one reason and one reason alone: He does know how to make a really delicious-looking grilled cheese. It’s a skill I would discount more readily given his multitude of other flaws, which I run down in detail here; in a quarantine situation, however, I have to admit that grilled cheese-making prowess has increased his value. STILL: Can you imagine how much grief he would give you for working instead of paying attention to him??? And how petulant he would act if you didn’t throw him the perfect socially distant birthday???
#1: Tom Ripley (The Talented Mr. Ripley)
Out of all the terrible movie characters to quarantine with, it was tough choosing the worst of the worst, but ultimately I feel confident landing on Tom Ripley. In addition to being a murderer, he is also the creepiest creep on the planet, and would probably see quarantine as an opportunity to… well… I don’t want to spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it yet, but let’s just say that people who spend a lot of time with him don’t usually have fun things to report.
Who else should be on this list?