Thursday, March 7, 2013

Al Gore and Anne Hathaway Walk into a Bar...

According to all the most reputable tabloids, the world is in hate with Anne Hathaway. By the end of awards season, she has used up all of the goodwill she built up dating that shyster David Schwimmer look-a-like who went to prison for stealing money from people who thought he knew the Pope. Remember the good old days when we didn't care about Anne Hathaway's personality and Snooki was causing drunken mischief in the bars of Seaside Heights, New Jersey? Well, those days are long gone and now we have this:

Snooki is beloved because she had a baby and lost a bunch of weight and Anne is in the doghouse because she didn't want to win the Oscar wearing the same dress as her "Les Miserables" co-star, Amanda Seyfried.

I read this article in which Anne Hathaway is compared and contrasted with Jennifer Lawrence, and the author concludes that we don't like Anne Hathaway because we are all "awkward" and "dorky" like Hathaway. We like Jennifer Lawrence because she's who we all aspire to be; cool and always ready with a joke and a snappy comeback. Of course one serious flaw in the logic is that one of these women fell down on her way to accept her Oscar, and it wasn't the awkward and dorky one.

But, there's definitely something about Hathaway that puts people's teeth on edge. I mean, here's a picture of her that appeared online:

What bad can you say? The girl's got cleaning supplies. But look at some of the comments:

First off, another myth busted: Not all the readers of US Weekly online are completely illiterate. Second, Anne Hathaway has some major public relation problems if people criticizing her for carrying a roll of Bounty and some spray cleaner. In my opinion, Anne Hathaway is suffering from the Al Gore phenomenon.

If you've never heard of the Al Gore phenomenon, don't feel too badly because I just made it up. Remember back in 2000 when Al Gore and George W. Bush were both running for president? Al Gore had been vice president for eight years, prior to that he had been a senator for eight years, and before that, he'd been a member of the House of Representatives for eight years. George W. Bush had been governor of Texas for five years when he ran for president. Prior to being governor, he worked in the oil business, to no great success and invested in the Texas Rangers baseball team. Even if you are a huge W fan and hate Al Gore, you have to admit that in terms of governmental experience, Gore was objectively the more experienced candidate. It was a hard fought election, but in the end Gore lost, in no small part because he kept doing things to screw himself.

Since retiring, George W. Bush has been painting.
Not good, but better than I could do and nothing is misspelled. 
Repeatedly, he did things that were grating and weird. The story circulated that he claimed that his relationship with Tipper inspired Eric Segal to write "Love Story." He hired Naomi Wolf to consult on his campaign and she advised him to wear earth tones and told him that he was a beta-male to Bill Clinton's alpha-male and had to fight him for dominance. Outside the beltway, no one understands why you would pay someone to give you such advice, so when news broke about why Gore was wearing moss green and brown, most people's reaction was, "ewww." He further grossed out everyone when he gave his wife, Tipper a bizarrely passionate kiss during the Democratic National Convention, and he oddly violated Bush's personal space during one of the Presidential Debates.

Get a room!
Even though Clinton had been impeached at the end of his presidency, he was still incredibly popular. Al Gore could have capitalized on that popularity, and instead he ended up alienating people by telling everyone that he helped create the Internet and that we were a bunch of oil addicts who were destroying the planet. He may have been correct about both these things, but nobody likes a braggart and nobody likes a Cassandra.

I see so many similarities between Gore and Hathaway. She's a very talented actress, but she keeps saying and doing things that make everyone cringe. She won pretty much every award leading up to the Oscars and her speeches all gave the viewer that uncomfortably embarrassed feeling you get at a wedding at which the bride and groom have written their own vows. She talked about the other people working on "Les Miserables" as "misfits and dreamers" and called her husband her "soul mate." People do not respond favorably to any of that pretension. And so, the backlash against Hathaway began before the Oscars, and she reportedly practiced her Oscar acceptance speech in order to be more likeable. But when she won the Oscar she said, "this has just been the cherry on the top of a wonderful, wonderful dish of vegan ice cream!" No, Anne, no! "Vegan ice cream" does not make you more likeable, it makes us think you are the second coming of Gwyneth Paltrow.

Paltrow is another actress who people used to love, but now find insufferable because of her airs and quotes like, "I am who I am. I can't pretend to be someone who makes $25,000 a year." Guys, this is actually a fact. Did you see, "View From the Top" where she plays a flight attendant? Completely unconvincing. She also said, "I'd rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin." This is doubly bad because "cheese from a tin" is obviously something British and don't forget that she is American. However, I love the idea of Gwyneth Paltrow faced with the two options of Velveeta or crack and saying, "One of these could kill me, but the other one is declasse, so I'll go with the one that could kill me."

Cheese dip, Gwenyth. Nothin' wrong with that.

Another fabulous Paltrow quote is, "When you go to Paris and your concierge sends you to some restaurant because they gets a kickback, it's like, 'No, where should I really be? Where is the great bar with the Organic wine? Where do I get a bikini wax in Paris?'" Guys, I'm going to Warner-Robbins, Georgia this weekend for the Girl's soccer game and I was just thinking, "Which Cracker-Barrel in Macon has the best biscuits? Why is the game on Sunday so that Chick fil-a will be closed?" Gwenyth totally gets my life. Her GOOP blog is awesome for people who have nine bills to drop on a throw blanket. I think in her heart, she wants to help people. The problem is that she just doesn't seem to understand that for many people, $900 is their rent and food budget for a month.

I don't know how much it matters if people personally like Hathaway or Paltrow because they get paid to act like a character. Also, they win awards based on their acting ability and their popularity among other actors. I think perhaps talk of vegan ice-cream and Parisian bikini-waxes are less off-putting to people who can identify with those references. But, if they become so unlikeable that the movie-going public won't go to see them headlining movies, then they have a problem. In this way, Hathaway is at a crossroads. Will she go full-Paltrow and start a vegan food blog, or will she go full-Gore, who ended up winning the Nobel Prize and making us feel a little bit better about the weirdness of the kiss when he and Tipper separated? (Little known fact: in the alternate ending of "Love Story" Jenny doesn't die of cancer. She and Oliver get married and he runs unsuccessfully for president and they get divorced. Much less dramatic, but more believable. Love means never having to say this just isn't working anymore.)

I'm rooting for Anne to have the Gore ending, but she's got to start making some changes. First, next time she's caught with a handful of stuff from the store, she should probably have a shopping bag. Implicit in the picture where she's holding the paper towels is the message that she forgot her cloth bags and she wouldn't take a bag from the store because they're bad for the environment. Preachy, preachy gets you no fans. Second, if she doesn't have a bag, she should be carrying items that don't remind us that she's going home to do something good, like clean her counters. She should be holding, say, a loaf of bread and some ham. I don't care if she's a gluten-free vegetarian. She can toss the stuff in the garbage can, it's all for show anyway. Of course, if all else fails, she can have a baby. Clearly if it worked for Snooki, it can work for anyone.  


  1. Damn, girl, you're on a roll! That was a fun one. I had no idea Anne was so hated. The pointy boob darts did nothing for her either. ;-)

    1. Yeah, that dress wasn't good and that it was her second choice because the first dress looked too much like Amanda Seyfried's didn't earn her any points, either. I liked all her other dresses for award season. I think the Anne hatred is new since this awards season which is what makes it so strange.

  2. Great post! Love the Anne-Al-Gwyneth triangle of hate.

  3. When did people start hating Anne Hathaway? People liked her when she put Matt Lauer in his place on Today. I will admit that I felt sorry for her when she was duped by the Italian prince. I guess people have moved on.

    Love your send up of goop. Check out Molly's post on my blog today. Hers is funny, too!

    I thought Snooki was gone forever. Please make her go away. I was alarmed to see the new Snooki on my Us yesterday. And yes, I get it in the mail. Guilty pleasure!

    1. She did have a good comeback for his question about her wardrobe malfunction. I'd like to think that Matt Laure is above that kind of thing, but I guess not. I saw Molly's post (I'm a subscriber)! The things about Gwyneth and Al Gore is that they both are really trying to help and they're probably right about a lot of things, but their delivery is so unpalatable that they turn off a lot of people. I really don't hate either one of them or Anne, for that matter, they just all need a better delivery system that doesn't cause people to get their backs up.

      Snooki will be around as long as Home Shopping and US magazine exist. I love that you get US Weekly. It's like eating candy, only better for you teeth!

  4. Just now getting to this. Seriously funny. I have been pondering (ok...pondering is not the word...but it has crossed my mind a couple of times) why Anne grates me so badly. My attitude really went downhill with the pretentious soul mate speech. I think you should be her publicist and persona coach. Gwinn

    1. Thanks! I think Anne's best bet is to lay low, do a comedy with Seth Rogan, maybe another princess movie, and to stop giving interviews or speeches. We've all got short memories, so if she waits long enough we'll all forget about 'soul mates' and 'vegan ice cream.'