Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures
Remember that time we all turned on Anne Hathaway for no reason? Sorry, I said “we,” but I meant “you people.” You foul, godless miscreants. From the late aughts to, well, pretty much last year, the public narrative and cultural commentary surrounding Anne Hathaway was vile: For years, bloggers called her an annoying theater kid, others dubbed her disingenuous. One professor even said that people hated Hathaway because her “mature face” reminded us of our failing economy (no, seriously).
The anti-Hathers were a stark reminder that public-facing women aren’t allowed to want things, or they’ll be sentenced to an eternity in internet hell. The baseless hate was textbook misogyny, as other critics have since pointed out. But ever since Hathaway’s show-stealing performance as Daphne Kluger in 2018's Ocean’s 8, the public has warmed to the actress once again. Well, as a diehard Hathaway Head, I’m here to say: If you bandwagon-hated Anne Hathaway in the 2000s, then you are not invited to stan.And keep your filthy hands off her new movie Serenity, which is a colossal failure for everyone involved except her.
I’m an Anne Hathaway purist. I’m like one of those shitty hipster guys who meets your “I love Anne Hathaway” with an “Oh yeah? Name three suits she wore last year.” And I always have been. In 2001, I thought Mia Thermopolis was a “SuperGirl.” I was there when Anne’s trash Entourage boyfriend, whose name I will not utter, dragged her down in The Devil Wears Prada. I liked Bride Wars (2009), I sobbed during Love & Other Drugs (2010), I masturbated after The Dark Knight Rises (2012). But by the time the Batman sequel hit theaters, it was too late for Anne; In 2011, she co-hosted the Oscars with James Franco, which did not go well, and he blamed her for the blowback, claiming she was too “energetic.” And by the time she won the Oscar for Les Misérables in 2012, she was already drowning in haters and losers.
And yet, here we are in 2019, collectively agreeing that Anne Hathaway rocks once again. As a faithful fan, watching you frauds come crawling back into the Hathaway standom makes my blood boil. Last year, critics heralded Anne’s performance in the Ocean’s reboot. Subsequently, the internet was aflutter with heart eye emojis when she wore gorgeous tailored suits on the red carpet. Now, the actress is set to star in Robert Zemeckis’ remake of The Witches, which is pretty unimpeachably exciting. This brings me to Serenity, which opened this weekend, and is inarguably Hathaway’s A Simple Favor moment, in that the movie is actively bad, but her performance left me gasping and wigless.Going into it, all I knew about the movie was that it starred Anne Hathaway in a blonde wig—and I was sold like cheap real estate. The movie is like Westworld meets The Truman Show, but bad. It’s like someone gave millions of dollars to a 12-year old boy that loved The Prestige and said “write whatever you want.” It’s the least compelling narrative I’ve ever seen, stacked against an insane performance by Hathaway, who basically plays Daphne Kluger in a fake movie that was made to promote Ocean’s 9. But that’s why it was so fun.Look, I’ve seen Anne Hathaway be good. She’s made me belly laugh, sob gutturally, and throw my bra at the TV. She’s won an Oscar. We know she’s a brilliant actress. So if she wants to do a movie that looks like a CVS-shelf romance novel come to life, we’re going to let her do it—and we’re going to throw money at it.
There’s a scene where her character, Karen, slithers into a dive bar, backed by sweeping orchestral music, and like poison dripping from her tongue, coos, “I got it,” sliding a $100 bill across the bar to cover her ex’s (Matthew McConaughey) single drink. In another scene, she struts down a dock in a torrential downpour, sporting a black trench coat and matching hat while supremely unnecessary Hunger Games drums bang in the distance. She spews one-liners like “I wanted daddy to catch a fish today.” It’s everything I wanted from the first murderous, blonde Anne Hathaway character. It was awesome.Too bad you’re not allowed to see it. You’re not allowed to make fun of Serenity in a loving way. Yes, you, the one who booed when Anne Hathaway was awarded the highest honor in her field. You, who mistakenly thought Jennifer Lawrence was cooler than Anne. Serenity is for us, the Hathaway truthers, the Andy Sachs stans. It’s a reward for the hate we’ve endured for nearly a decade, standing strong in our truth when you told us Anne Hathaway was trash. Yes, Anne Hathway slayed as Daphne Kluger. Yes, she wears suits and does cute interviews with Sarah Paulson. But you only like her when it’s cool to. You’re a fake fan. You don’t deserve to see how rapturously bad Serenity is, and that’s on you.