When did the passive protagonist become desirable? I mean, Beowulf didn’t know interesting people; he was Beowulf!, that’s why they named the story after him. A hero’s job is to act. It’s the mass of humanity that lead lives of quiet desperation. That’s why we don’t (or didn’t use to) sing their praises. Be somebody – then be a protagonist. The problem with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is that – aside from aging backwards – its hero is as memorable as an envelope. He waits his whole life for a girl and then he turns into a baby. If he were a Viking they’d have fed him to something interesting. Illness does not make him charismatic.