I confess, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Ethan Hawke. He’s a good actor, generally tries to be thoughtful in the roles he chooses (I will always stand behind A Midnight Clear), and for a while became the embodiment of the proto-emo, Gen-X existential angster, gloomily gazing into the void for all of us and finding it meh. I suspect he is impossible to be around but since his potentially giant celebrity ego doesn’t impact my life even a little I kind of don’t care. Other than in a perfunctory, “I’ve read a few things about Ethan Hawke over the course of my life and now I feel equipped to wildly speculate in public about him” sort of way. Know what I mean?
Because really, I’ve kind of crushed on him a little, for a long time. Who’s an adorable, tortured intellectual artist? You are. Yes you are. Yes, yes, you are.
When Ethan Hawke first came on the scene in Dead Poets Society he was…actually, the word I’ve often thought of for him at that time was moist. Soft. Sensitive. Doe-eyed. Continually on the verge of tears, and he seemed to look vaguely like someone was always running up to him and rubbing lip gloss on him.
He’s still round in the above picture, still baby-faced, but it didn’t take very long until he got all streamlined and square-jawed, though still a little glossy.
Finally! He got a some edge in Training Day.
And has spent the last ten years becoming increasingly square-jawed and craggy.
Craggy, and handsome.
I just watched The Purge .
As far as the movie goes, it wasn’t what I expected. On one hand it was better than I had anticipated, and the pacing of the film was nice and tight so it kept you moving through it like it was a roller coaster. On the other hand, Ethan Hawke’s protagonist family was entirely unlikable (though Lena Headey is always interesting) and the premise was kind of preposterous. One night, for twelve hours, all violence is legal (with a slender few exceptions) so society can “unleash the beast” and get all their pent-up violence out of their systems. Then they’re…nice to each other?…for the next 364. Theoretically. From a practical standpoint this seems implausible; the strategy alone behind a post-Purge Night cleanup seems nightmarish, never mind…everything else about it. And they give no backstory as to who the “New Founding Fathers” are or how they came to power, or the origins of Purge Night (what was up with those blue flowers?). Nothing. It was dissatisfying; I wanted info. In terms of social commentary the film had some interesting stuff to say, particularly regarding the one person targeted by a group of people out on the hunt. But that’s another blog for another day. My verdict about the movie is: It won’t change your life, but it wasn’t a waste of an hour and twenty five minutes. If you’re so inclined, check it out.
More importantly (for the purposes of this blog, of course), is…oh, Ethan Hawke.
Even if he’s not your favorite actor, on some level you’ve got to acknowledge he’s kind of handsome. Only…
(…it’s so disturbing…)
Hawke is on the left, Lumbergh is on the right.*
It’s a game-changing mashup for me.
Shhh…shhhh…did you hear that? That sound you heard is the ferocious crack of my girly crush shattering into a million pieces. Yes, I know he’s acting and yes, I know he’s not really Bill Lumbergh Jr., let me make that clear. But what’s been seen cannot be unseen and for me, the juxtaposition is just too much to handle. Ethan Hawke has managed to regress from semi-crushable likely-poseur-quasi-edgy actor-guy to caricatured troll. Though I still stand behind A Midnight Clear. If you haven’t done so already, put that on your must-see list.
And because I’ve gone and talked about Office Space, here is hands-down my favorite scene in that film, which has nothing to do with Bill Lumbergh and everything to do with hating stifling office jobs. Language! DO NOT PLAY THIS AROUND SMALL CHILDREN, or adults who easily offend. Enjoy.