I Don't Want to Hate Anne Hathaway, and I'm Trying to Get Over It

Anne_Hathaway_2013.jpg
Photo by Jenn Deering Davis
Maybe "Princess Diaries 3" is the answer?
If you're like me, as the award season progressed your tolerance for Anne Hathaway was wearing thin. Yeah, yeah, I know--that makes me totally unoriginal since approximately everyone in America hates Anne Hathaway now (except Anderson Cooper).

So even though some of us are still a little consumed by our hate-slash-annoyance with Anne, it's important to make some room for self-reflection here. What was it she did or said that struck such a dissonant chord, that a generally sweet, well-liked actress would end up being the talk of the Interwebs? How could the titular princess from The Princess Diaries inspire so much snark in what should have been her most-likeable, shining moment (after moment, after moment)?

Anne Hathaway has always been so darn likeable, this newfound ire is kind of a puzzle. She has navigated her career from childlike actress (Princess Diaries) to more adult roles with aplomb. Her interviews have always showed her to be sort of charming and geeky, unrehearsed but still poised. She is eloquent without being too-stuffy for her age (30), and she seems content being an actress, rather than a celebrity. And that whole ex-fiance-who-was-a-huge-thief-and-went-to-jail thing definitely earned her sympathy in the press, and with the public.

The problem--for me, and maybe for you?--is that all of those statements written above in the present tense kind of seem, after this award season, like they should be written in the past tense. Anne Hathaway was charming and geeky, and unrehearsed--until she took on Fantine in Les Miserables, and then she started sounding like Anne Hathaway Playing The Actress Playing Anne Hathaway. That "It came truuuuuuuueee!" she cooed at the beginning of her Oscar speech was just--ugh. A director would have left that on the cutting room floor.

Speaking of leaving things on the cutting room floor, let's talk about something people hate about Anne that is totally unfair: The Fantine Hair. First of all, this is an objectively great cut on Anne Hathaway. Hatred based on The Fantine Hair is, I'm convinced, rooted in the "girls look prettier in long hair" bias that has long plagued salons. (Notable exceptions: Halle Berry, Michelle Williams, Mia Farrow.) Even my own hairdresser (and best pal) Jessica rolls her eyes and refuses when I ask for a chop. Conclusion: If you hate Anne Hathaway's hair, it's because you already hate Anne Hathaway.

And then there is the weight loss. (See, all of these things seem to revolve around Fantine. Do we really just hate Fontine, and not Anne?) We could debate the merits of extreme weight loss and gain for movie roles all day, but the point is that the practice is controversial and Anne's super-slim, starving-French-hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold frame waved the flames of hatred early, making way for the debate over her hair, her dress choices (that pink satin Oscar apron was a travesty), and her custom-made vegan Fantine shoes.

The Oscar dress kerfuffle. Let's talk about that. As much as I hated the dress (and I did--a princess pink satin apron that ties in the back), it wasn't hating the dress that got me irritated with Anne--lots of ugly dresses hit lots of red carpets. The issue was that she kind of put the screws to Valentino, showing up in Prada just a few hours after a press release went out declaring she would be wearing a dress by Mr. Valentino. Not cool, girlfriend--especially if your reason (as rumored) was because your co-star's dress bore a resemblance to the one you planned on wearing. That shit is just too diva and ridiculous, even for someone who loves ridiculous divas.

The hair, the dress, the weight--it's all kind of superficial, not real reasons to spend as much time as I have thinking about why Anne Hathaway sucked so hard the last few months. And does it really matter, as long as we still like watching Anne Hathaway when she's pretending to be other people? She's actually kind of good at it (her Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critic's Choice, and SAG back that up a little) so maybe now that award season is over, we can go back to at least liking Anne Hathaway Being Other People again. This roundup from BuzzFeed sums it up nicely: We hate her because we can, for no good reason, for a few good reasons, and sometimes because the Internet told us to.

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20 comments
Deja Cain
Deja Cain

I have no opinion one way or the other, but I feel compelled to say that this photo is TOTALLY unflattering- when did she get so skinny?

Andrew Puls
Andrew Puls

like a screen door in a hurricane....

Brian Dahl
Brian Dahl

I don't hate her, just her hair. And yes, it is irrational.

Ana Manciaz
Ana Manciaz

I love the title and attached statement for this post! hilarious!!!

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

Anne Hathaway is unironically awesome and I love almost all of what she does, and especially Fantine. Nailed it!

Craig Wilkins
Craig Wilkins

I wish she would personally do something to me.

grrrrrrrr
grrrrrrrr

she was very good in Rachel Getting Married. but I doubt you saw that, since it's not a mainstream film.

David Clarke
David Clarke

I love her. She's one of my favorite actresses.

jd_bauer
jd_bauer

I dont hate or like her pretty much indiffenent, just think she very over rated as an actor... very over rated.

abby.koenig
abby.koenig

I have hated her for years for little to no reason. 

conebaby
conebaby topcommenter

@Adam Roberts But you clicked on it THIS week! GOTCHA!

conebaby
conebaby topcommenter

@Tracy Veres That is a great piece. I also adore Lawrence. Everything she says is hilarious.

conebaby
conebaby topcommenter

@grrrrrrrr You're right, I didn't see that but I'm not sure what gives you the impression I only watch "mainstream films". I never saw "Princess Diaries" either. I watched "Butter" a couple of weeks ago. I'M COMPLEX.

conebaby
conebaby topcommenter

@David Clarke I only find her unwatchable when she's being herself, and only recently. I'm working through it!

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