Note: This sort of has spoilers in it. Also note that I know nothing about The Hunger Games outside of this movie.
After watching The Hunger Games, I came out of the theater a big Peeta fan. I think I might be the only one. My fellow viewers were enamored with Gale – the tall, ridiculously good looking woodsmen from Katniss's hometown. But when you break it down, which I'm about to, he did nothing to deserve this except be really, extremely, unfairly good looking.
As the movie progressed and they flashed between Gale and Peeta, I realized that Peeta is just good looking enough to be in a Hollywood movie, but not quite enough to be a hero. Gale however, was probably modeling for Abercrombie and Fitch between takes. He's so beautiful, I would have been uncomfortable taking a girl to that movie. He makes that werewolf from Twilight look like Quentin Tarantino. If I were him, every wall of my house would be a full length mirror and I would never leave home. Anyway, Peeta stays busy literally risking life and limb to save our heroine, while Gale watches her on TV, looking concerned. And we root for Gale.
It's clear that Gale and Katniss are a couple kisses away from full-blown baby making but other than their sexual tension and her clear preference for Gale over Peeta, we don't have any reasons to support him. In his one full dialogue with her, Gale basically expresses his desire to live like an Ewok. Now, Ewoks are great and deserve credit for helping to bring down the Empire, but that doesn't make Gale's case any stronger.
He did, during the same dialogue, give her half a small piece of bread. Peeta gave her a whole loaf. (To be fair, he threw it in the mud first but one can't be picky living in District 12.)
Peeta also directly and indirectly saved her life multiple times. Directly while she was tripping on wasp venom and again later when he body slammed Cato away from choking her to death. Indirectly by showing her how to work the crowd and get little packages sent to her with messages from Woody Harrelson.
How many times did Gale save her life? None. Moreover, he scared that deer away in the beginning. She, and every other female viewer, forgave him after he disarmed her with his smile, but I sure didn't.
What the f*#k Gale? That was the first deer she'd seen in a year!
This is a movie about underdogs, but yet we viewers choose Gale simply because he's tall and absolutely gorgeous. Those familiar with the book probably know something that I don't – like that Peeta is actually a government spy, or a baby-punching child molester. But if the movie is viewed in a vacuum, with ignorant eyes like mine, he deserves hero status. I GUARUNTEE you that if they had simply switched the actors, we would all be Peeta fans. Peeta is trying so hard but she still loves that just-attractive-enough blond guy back in her District. Poor Peeta!
I enjoyed the movie and am looking forward to the V for Vendetta-like sequels that will obviously follow, but it makes me sad to see my fellow viewers spurn my boy Peeta for superficial reasons. He's the real hero and by preferring Gale, we're sending the following message (delivered in British accent):
Attractive people, the odds will forever be in your favor.