In "The Nutty Professor", Sherman Klump is a lonely, socially awkward fat man who invents something that makes him superficially handsome, and socially confident. However, doing this doesn't solve his loneliness. He's now someone who can have shallow women if he wanted them, but he can't get a woman worth having because he hasn't fundamentally improved. He's really just gone from a shy kind of awkward to an obnoxious kind of awkward. The woman who can see through this doesn't like his new persona, and that's the only woman he actually wants.
The first Iron Man movie plays with similar tropes. Stark begins as a sort of blend of Sherman Klump and Buddy Love. He's an obnoxious playboy, but it's clear from his interactions with Pepper that the playboy thing is a mask, and underneath it is a rather shy inventor who's secretly in love with Pepper. The playboy act is a mask, and he isn't really interested in the women who fall for the mask beyond one-night-stands. Tony Stark is lonely, palpably so whenever he's alone with Pepper.
The scene between Stark and Watson plays with similar tropes. Stark here comes across as a lonely inventor who's learned a few one-liners that mostly work just because he's rich. He's doesn't really like the women this facade works on, because underneath he's basically a Sherman Klump type, and he knows that falling for the facade isn't really the same as loving the real him, is in fact almost the polar opposite.
That's why that scene worked for me, and is why I found the dislike for it from some members of the board baffling. The movie was approved of overwhelmingly. So why don't you like a scene that imports similar characterization to the comic?
Still waiting for movie to come to DVD to see it - but got a good deal of the gist by (too many peeked at) spoilers. This funny online toon (not sure the source) seems like it just may be topically & comically related to a Younger Aunt May topic...
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