The Oscars and Anne Hathahaters

For better or worse, I've been forced to follow Anne Hathaway's career closely. You see, we rather look alike, enough that ever since she came on the scene with 1999's short-lived T.V. show "Get Real," I've been stopped by kind, complimentary strangers who feel an urge to remark on the resemblance. The more famous she's gotten, the more frequently we're compared. In the years of her A-list stardom, this averages a few times a week, but spikes when I'm in unfamiliar company (vacation, new job, etc.) Don't get me wrong: it's hugely, insanely flattering and it's never annoying or bothersome to hear that you look like movie star! But it does result in (a) my endless recycling of a few weak, worn psuedo-humble replies, and (b) my forced knowledge of every upcoming project, late-night appearance, award nomination, and notable Hathaway trivia that's foisted upon me in many an unsolicited interaction.

So, when Hathaway does amazing stuff, like Rachel Getting Married, or looking insanely hot in a Catwoman suit, or singing real good, I ride coattails and accept compliments like I had something to do with it.  But when she does really lame, annoying, dumb stuff, like rapping on Conan, or accepting a Golden Globe like an insincere, self-absorbed princess, or wearing the worst wedding headdress ever, or being a vegan, I'm forced to watch it and cringe: you're making us both look bad, girl!  Though it's totally superficial and though, of course, deep down no one is really holding me accountable for her behavior, Anne's public actions still get held up to me for comment and comparison.  So I, more than most casual observers, really, really care about her public persona.




That's why this awards season has been particularly stressful for me. As Anne's Golden Globe win and Oscar buzz, nomination, and campaigning for Les Miserables has come to a crescendo, Anne's public persona has plummeted with an equal but inverse drop. Anne's dramatic decline is chronicled all over the internets: Louis Peitzman of Buzzfeed compiled a piece titled "Why Do People Hate Anne Hathaway" which included such reasons as: "Her Face," "She Looks Stupid," "She Ruins Everything," and "No Reason." It also includes a lot of internet commentary on her "baggy eyes" and her "horse mouth," which someone attacked of being unacceptably "full of teeth."

Then, there's this Kevin Fallon article for The Daily Beast that discusses America's new-found disdain for Anne and coins the term "Hathahaters." (It's bad if it has to be a term, y'all.) Though he discusses her gauche and pretentious Golden Globes speech at length and cites some lesser-watched faux pas (faux passes? fausses pas?) at other awards shows along the road to Oscar night, Fallon ultimately seems rather sympathetic to the star. She's an actress and a movie-star, yet people seem to hate her for being "overly theatrical" and attention-hogging the very traits that fundamentally define the profession! But he wonders if Anne's "polarizing" persona could damage her (thought to be shoe-in) chances at an uber-political Oscar win. 

There's also this compilation of questions submitted to Yahoo! Answers bullet-pointing their hatred for Anne, and this New York Times critic who said she's the worst of all of the Best Supporting Actress nominees. But the actual saddest, most scathing internet attack on Hathway comes in the form of a well-meaning fansite. It's a sweet, sincere-sounding Wordpress blog called "Anne Hathaway is Awesome." But it has just one post, that's four sentences long, and it's about The Princess Diaries 2.  And that's Anne's fansite, y'all.

I'll admit it (though I'm nowhere near the first person to do so), I actually come down on the side that finds her annoying as hell.  I was feeling majorly guilty about it, but then as I sat writing this post, Anne stopped to speak with Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet and, in the one minute they spoke, used the phrase: "I found my soulmate and we committed our lives to each other," said she didn't know how she'd balance work and marriage because "I haven't worked since I got married," and made some comment about celebrating with a "big bowl of vegan ice-cream."  She also said that she, an Oscar nominee and front runner for Best Supporting Actress, didn't know what she was wearing until three hours before the red carpet. She ended up with her terrible pink Prada dress that looks exactly like the outfit I wore to eighth-grade cotillion because in the end, it was the one that "spoke to [her]." Seriously?!? The one that "spoke" to her? The same outfit "spoke" to me at the Limited Too fifteen years ago, and I would've at least had the decency to slap on a pair of chicken cutlets before I walked into the MOST FLASHBULBS IN THE UNIVERSE. (According to the knowledgeable ladies on E!, everyone expected her to be wearing a dress by her BFF Valentino including Valentino. That's gotta burn, V!) And, so, yeah, I wanted to punch her in her stupid side-boob.

A huge part of this, I'm sure, is because I'm guilty of a lot of her most annoying traits (other than being a vegan. That's just inexcusable). I'm overeager, I care too much, I try too hard, I talk with my hands, I correct people's grammar, I'm frustratingly preppy and even more frustratingly vanilla, I'm effusive, I'm sentimental, I'm a performer, and perhaps worst I have a mouth that is undeniably very full of teeth. I so badly want Anne to be awesome and adored and talented and risky in all the right ways because it's what I'm not and what I can't be. And the more she looks like me and acts like me and the more people hate her, well, it's obvious why it would bum me out. Watching Anne is sometimes like watching a film reel of myself drunk I don't remember filming it, but it looks just like me and it sounds like stuff I'd say and I'm so embarrassed every time she opens her horse mouth. 

So, as I wriggle and twist and wait for Anne's probable Oscar win and almost inevitable acceptance-speech gaffes, I can only dwell on some of the important distinctions between us: I do not have millions of dollars. I wear underwear under my clothes. I have long hair. My imperfections and mistakes aren't aired on as big a stage or under as hot of lights as hers are, poor girl. I am, hopefully, slightly more self-aware about my Anne-like flaws and working a little harder to tone them down.  And most importantly, of course: I eat a shit-ton of meat.

Good luck tonight, everyone!

Addendum: 
Read Hathahaters: Part 2 here, and also read about that time I got interviewed about Hathahaters by Chinese Newsweek.
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4 comments

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Blake
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February 24, 2013 at 9:14 PM delete

You can't regret your mouth full of teeth too much. Assumedly it had something to do with you nabbing that dreamy dentist of yours.

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Matt!
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February 25, 2013 at 8:55 AM delete

At least you don't look like Bill Pullman.

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Alison
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February 27, 2013 at 1:52 PM delete

Poor Matt, always burdened with having to deliver the Independence Day speech.

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