This week, the trendy thing to do on the Internet is to love Jennifer Lawrence and hate Anne Hathaway. Before I start telling you why you’re wrong, YOU’RE ALL WRONG, there’s one thing I need to clarify: I am not pitting these women against each other. I refuse to say “Jennifer is better than Anne” or “Anne is better than Jennifer,” despite the fact that they’ve been overwhelmingly presented to the internet as the antithetical to one another, and despite the fact that what you’re about to read is essentially one big comparison.
We shouldn’t put women into direct—especially when it’s this petty—competition with each other. It simply weakens us, period. As an aside, periods can often also weaken us (with the ouchy cramps and violent hormones). Moreover, let’s not even judge them as women, but just as people who breathe and walk about and do things.
Now that we’ve established that, this isn’t a case of J-Law vs. A-Hath, or a case of pesky women just being pesky women, we can get to the point: Jennifer Lawrence isn’t as good as you think she is, and Anne Hathaway isn’t as bad as you think she is. Let’s take a look at the evidence:
All of the love and vitriol this week comes from both these women’s performances at the Oscars. While Jennifer moaned about being hungry on the red carpet and then FELL DOWN when she went to collect her award for Best Actress, shooing off the two hunky babes trying to help her up (Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper), Anne whispered to her trophy before she began her speech and her nipples may or may not have been visible through her dress.
Am I the only one that finds Jennifer’s schtick unbearable? We get it girl, you’re like, way smarter and sassier than all these other vacuous Hollywood chumps because you are just so down to earth and Girl Next Door. I guess I just don’t find anything particularly humble about Jennifer Lawrence; I see her “down to earthedness” as plain superiority. I don’t buy her “of the people” thing because she’s not of the people; she’s beautiful and thin and smart and talented, and I get the impression she’s very aware of that, sometimes condescendingly so.
I know I’m definitely the only one that thinks Anne Hathaway’s “fabulous gay man in a boring straight woman’s body” routine is completely endearing. Look, I’m not saying Anne Hathaway is completely sane, but I find her ostentatious laughter, blathery drivel and bat-shit crazy talking to her Oscar trophy moments kind of fun. I mean, have you watched Beyoncé’s documentary? That woman is absolutely mad—she carries a laptop around with her and talks to it instead of talking to actual PEOPLE—and we’ve collectively decided she’s the second coming of our Lord and Savior. Bey is just as nuts as Anne, so I say, let’s give little loopy Annie a chance. Crazy is way more fun anyway. And, damn it, aren’t we just past obsessing over women’s nipples being visible through their clothes, or any other lady part for that matter?
Their Talk Show Personas
This was basically summed up by their performances at the Oscars. Jennifer Lawrence: self-deprecating, sharp as a really sharp knife, doesn’t take anything (least of all Hollywood and diets) seriously. Anne Hathaway: flamboyant, earnestly passionate, JUST SO MUCH. This excites people and bums people out respectively.
But of all their television appearances, I remember one for each of them most distinctly. I remember Jennifer Lawrence on Letterman, defending an unflattering image of her butt, insisting that it wasn’t really her butt at all. What’s so “down to earth” about that? I think, more than anything, it’s sort of nice that J-Law is as insecure as I am about her butt, but on the flip-side, her even caring about such a triviality (when she always INSISTS, by making joke after joke about Hollywood’s obsession with thinness, that dieting is THE WORST. Sidebar: I can, in fact, vouch for the fact that dieting is the worst), negates all her “I don’t give a shit what you think of me” palaver. In sum: Jenny is just as vapid as everyone else who cares about their body looking gross in photos. Yay!
I remember Anne Hathaway also defending her body, but in stark contrast, she did it with such a dignified, poisonous tongue, it was truly a wonder to behold. After the famous picture of her bare vagina did the rounds on the Internet, Anne appeared on the Today show and very articulately, very gracefully, ripped Matt Lauer’s face off with her words, and made a BRILLIANT, STANDING OVATION WORTHY segue into talking about Les Mis. It was a big, bold, showy moment for Anne, but it made my heart absolutely flutter because she didn’t just stand up for herself, she stood up for women, AND promoted her product. Simply wonderful.
I think we’re supposed to think of Jennifer Lawrence as a “real” actress and Anne Hathaway as a not-real actress pretending to be a real actress. I’m not sure why. Anne has more years under her belt than Jen, which generally means “more time to do rom coms”, but Silver Linings Playbook was, in my opinion, little more than a glorified rom com where J-Law just acted as an extension of her surly public persona. In fact, the only interesting thing in SLP was Jackie Weaver, bless her amazing accent. I haven’t seen Les Mis, but I did watch the bit where Anne sang in the trailer, and her performance seemed incredible, even though Les Mis looks like a pile of shit. So I guess we can just agree that Oscar movies suck.
While on the more serious side, Jen has Winter’s Bone and Anne has Rachel Getting Married, I think it’s more important to note that Jen has The Hunger Games and Anne has The Princess Diaries. The Princess Diaries has Julie Andrews. The Hunger Games has Lenny Kravitz and a dude who paints himself as moss. I believe I’ve made my point.
Nothing Really In Particuar, Just Because
At the end of it all, I think people just like Jennifer and don’t like Anne. I think it’s an instinctive thing, and maybe I was wrong when I said we shouldn’t be assessing them as women, because I think that might be precisely the reason why people have taken up arms the way they have in both cases.
Jennifer Lawrence is relatable because she’s “humble”; she eats McDonalds and acts undeserving of her status. Anne Hathaway is alienating because she’s entirely self-possessed and brash. Perhaps we ask our women to be talented, but not pompous in that talent; loud, but only when she’s denouncing herself; elegant, but fallible, prone to falling down. My question is, do we ask the same of men? Is there any feat of self-aggrandizing flagrant theatre and other bullshit that Robert Downey Jr., George Clooney or Christian Bale could participate in that would lead us to brand them the same way we brand Anne Hathaway?
Jennifer Lawrence is lovable to people, generally, because she’s safe; because you could be her friend and just hang out in your sweats and talk about periods and hamburgers. And that’s great. But every woman should also have a friend like Anne to teach us that it’s OK to love yourself and to be yourself (I mean she’s not killing puppies is she?), no matter how obnoxiously grandiose that self is.
There are some guys you’re just not supposed to have a crush on, no matter how strikingly good looking they are. Generally this is because they portray themselves as utter douchebags with a shitty personality or are vain or decadent or otherwise wear shell necklaces and look like they “dig” Nickelback. Basically, some people are just lame even if all signs point to not lame (i.e. talented, smart, rich, traditionally handsome etc.) Here are 5 guys I have a bean boner for, and do not be mistaken—I would choose any one of these lame-ass fellas over Ryan Gosling any day.
I want to marry Adam Levine, and he’s pretty much the opposite of everything I’m looking for in a man; especially “humble” and “subtle.” I mean, Adam Levine is the worst. But he’s the most compelling man on earth, precisely because I think he’d say horribly dicky but completely sincere things and well, let’s face it, visually, he’s a work of art. I get the feeling he’s probably into some psychologically questionable stuff in bed too, like adult diapers or something, which isn’t really my thing but it’s still intriguinAlso, I’ll always love that Maroon 5 song about the guy who stands outside all night in the rain because he likes this girl who is irreparably broken (I cried when that tubby dude in the first season of Australian Idol sang it. Granted I was 17 at the time, but still). And then there’s the possibility that I might get to hang with Xtina.
Remember when “Pumped Up Kicks” came out and everyone was like “Oh this band rules it’s like the new Passion Pit or Grizzly Bear or something totally cool and indie and Brooklyn but with a chill West coast vibe”? And then all the other songs came out and we collectively shit in a paper bag and burned it on Foster The People’s doorstep? I was part of that lynching, but I’ve harbored a secret wet patch for Mark Foster the whole time, mostly because I think he’d be an even bigger ass than Adam Levine (I think Adam would just want to be held and coo-ed at and had his beautiful, lovely ego stroked), acting like he’s way too good to ever get with a pleb like me. And Goddamn it I love when guys in shit bands reject me.
What I feel for Rob is the opposite of what I feel about Adam and Mark; I think Rob would just be the sweetest, most dorky dude ever. I mean, his favorite band is the Foo Fighters, but for real, and I bet he’d defend their “new stuff” to the grave, which is super adorable.
And don’t pretend like “Smooth” isn’t the best song you’ve ever heard; I SEE YOU.
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond
This is the biggest secret I’ll ever reveal about myself publicly, and that is that of the more contemporary Bonds, I like Brosnan-Bond better than Craig-Bond. Maybe it’s because Daniel Craig looks like he’d have a dick as thick as his neck, which terrifies me (that’s a certified demolition waiting to happen), whereas Pierce is so dashing and perfectly proportioned, you know he’d squeeze hard, but just the perfect amount of hard that makes it sexy. He’s the Irish George Clooney, but wildly underrated as a sex symbol, I’m guessing because of his hairy chest and the fact that he was “Shiny Gadgets!” Bond.
Kevin Sorbo is a jerk-ass Republican with some pretty conservative views about women’s vaginal rights, but hot damn, dude was HERCULES, and I’m a total dweeb. That’s like a dude who spent the better part of his teenage years playing action role play games like Diablo II saying they’re not madly in love with Lucy Lawless. Except that Lucy Lawless is at least 17 times cooler than the Sorbs (she can fly, she dates Ron Swanson, she’s Lucy Lawless, etc.), although he does get points for his cameo on Don’t Trust The B.
It’s no coincidence that on the most romantic day of the year, 20th Century Fox will release the fifth installment of the most romantic movie ever made—Die Hard.
There’s very little that’s not romantic about Die Hard. John McClane kills all the terrorists INCLUDING Alan Rickman to save his best babe at Christmas time EVEN THOUGH she’s being a major butt-hole. It’s like The Notebook minus Ryan Gosling and basically everything else (except the romance), PLUS Bruce Willis and lots of wanton killing of baddies. I mean, what woman doesn’t want to be embraced by a hot, sweaty, musclebound bald dude covered in blood and grime while the world burns in the background?
If you want to impress the ladies (me) this Valentine’s Day, just ask yourself “What Would John McClane Do?” (Hint: it’s all about grand gestures).
Kill All The Terrorists
I’ve already touched on this point, but gratuitous, bloody murder is kind of hot when the dudes being killed are a) killing innocent people for no reason and b) ruthlessly cold blooded and c) the worst. It’s pretty unlikely you’re going to be faced with a hostile takeover of an office building on Valentine’s Day (but if perchance you are, TAKE IT DOWN, I say. Using nothing but your wits, bad attitude and bare hands), and killing is pretty wrong when it’s not in movies, so you’re going to have to get creative here in order to impress.
Is your babe “held hostage” at work by a tyrannical boss? Definitely don’t harm your lover’s employer in any way whatsoever, but feel free to army roll into her office with a bunch of flowers duct taped to your back. Ahead of this, send in a mule (alive) with “Ho, ho, ho, now you’ve got some roses” written across his chest in blood red glitter and love hearts.
Alternately, you can run across broken glass with bare feet to show her how tough you are.
Do Good Airport Etiquette
John McClane cared enough to meet his lady at the gate—you should too. Not the baggage carousel, not the “pick-up and drop off zone”; AT THE GATE. While you should probably avoid any shenanigans that might lead you to, I don’t know, say, you riding one of those snow jet-ski things through the snow while apprehending yet more terrorists, do be sure that if you see something, you SAY SOMETHING. McClane would NOT ignore an unattended bag at an airport.
For the love of New York City, in Die Hard: With a Vengeance McClane scampered about solving all sorts of nonsense riddles like the one about two jugs and some water, which I still don’t get. With New York being the most romantic city in the world, and Die Hard the most romantic movie, you should set up a Die Hard-themed scavenger hunt across Manhattan, where your gal needs to solve riddles to survive win the prize of your undying love. Bonus points if you can somehow trick Samuel L. Jackson into joining your rag-tag mischief.
Hang Out With Justin Long…
… Who is pretty much the most annoying dude on earth. McClane hung out with him for agessssss in Live Free or Die Hard, and he didn’t even do it out of romantic love, but rather, the love of a father (which instantly gives him at least seventeen Sexy Man Points for being Dad Of The Year), even though his daughter, like her mom before her, is a major butthole. The moral of the story is that if you can endure hanging out with someone really, really annoying in order to do your familial duty, you’ll look like a “decent” dude, and no matter what the Katy Perry-John Mayer union may have you believe, chicks DIG “decent” dudes.
It wouldn’t hurt to purposefully shoot yourself in the shoulder to kill a bad guy either. Yipee ki-yay, motherfucker.
KEEP ON COMING BACK
If we’ve learned anything from McClane, it’s that you can’t put a good dog down—he just keeps on coming back for more. Just when your lady thinks she’s seen the best of you, give her another sequel. Ate four tacos at dinner? Pussy, make it five! Four long-stemmed roses? OWN THOSE ROSES GIVE HER FIVE. A romantic stroll to 4th Ave? Take it one more block and make 5th your bitch! Just had sex four times? Surprise, hit it baby, ONE MORE TIME!
You know when you see something on a movie or a television show, and without even realizing it, you take that thing on as an arbitrary truth, no matter how ridiculous the thing in question is? If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, ask yourself this: have you ever been at the airport, about to catch a long haul flight, and visualized your lover catching up with you at the gate and begging you not to leave with a passionate embrace? Have you ever bumbled your way through a job interview but had the nagging hope that perhaps you endeared yourself to your potential employer by reminding them of themselves at your age? HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT THAT MAYBE TIME TRAVEL IS PROBABLY (DEFINITELY) REAL?
Film and TV feed us extortionate lies that we’re not even aware we’re consuming most of the time. And none so glaring as the Myth of The Bubble Bath.
There will be lots of bubbles
Look at Chandler and Monica, all romantic in that pristine kingdom of ever rising bubbles. In reality, they’d be in a tepid cesspool of human skin bits and other filth, with some vague floating bits of froth that really just look like the dregs of dishwasher detergent at best, rabid dog spit at worst. Of course, there is that glorious moment when you first pour the bubble bath mixture into the water, so that when you submerge yourself it’s like you’re a Care Bear soaring through the fluffy white clouds. But for some reason it only takes mere seconds for the foam party to dissolve so you can not only see all your special parts magnified and distorted beneath the surface, but the actual, completely disturbing, sort-of-greyish color of the water.
Congratulations movies, you’ve made laying in a dank swamp of joyless filth all the more bleak by setting your unrealistic expectations.
It will be sexy
Have you ever tried to have a sexy bath with someone? Pretty Woman would have you believe that sexiness at bath time is as easy as laying back and wrapping your legs around your lover. WRONG. Having a sexy bath is the worst, most awkward, and inevitably embarrassing thing two humans can do together, unless your idea of a sensual romp is taking a ride on the weirdest water slide ever.
Instead of gracefully slipping onto your lover like the seductive nymph you are, you’ll flop about ontop of them like a fish that’s been thrown out on the deck of a boat. THERE IS NO FRICTION, YOU CANNOT CONNECT. You might as well rub yourselves down in olive oil and try to wrestle on a polished wood floor i.e. it’s not happening and you look stupid.
You will look attractive
The bath scene in American Beauty sums up the fantasy of how people look in a bath, because Mena Suvari looks perfect, which happens to be the fantasy of Kevin Spacey, which OMG, meta. Every single bath I’ve ever seen in a movie has its participants look like glistening water fairies, embodying that strange intersection between the innocence of rebirth and the tantalizing scandal of nudity.
Want to know what you really look like when you’re taking baths? Like a woman in labor; sweaty, flushed and vulnerable, but completely gross. Sweat mo, frizzy humidity hair and panda eyes a pretty picture do not make. Give it 5 minutes though and childbirth is replaced by child; yes, your skin is now prune-y and red and you look like you just emerged from the womb.
You can do other stuff in there
Reading? Talking on the phone? Writing your novel? Eating fried chicken? The movies would have you believe you can do it all while you’re in the bath. Why, just look at Scarface, all smoking cigars and changing the TV channel and arguing with Michelle Pfeiffer while he’s laying about in water. But you can’t always have it all. Babies AND a career? Sure, you can have that, but when it comes to multitasking while bathing, it’s time to let your dreams of doing the taxes while having a soak die with the bubbles.
As someone who once tried to smoke a cigarette in a spa (pretty much the same thing as a bath, it’s a large, ceramic hole filled with warm to hot water), I can tell you everything you touch gets soggy, whether you dry your hands before or not. Just about the only thing you can do while in a bath is drink a beer, but even that will go warm faster than you can say “scrub me down, Scotty!”
It will be comfortable and relaxing
It’s been a long hard day. You killed your babysitter, your younger siblings won’t quit annoying you, and you just want to take a load off and unplug from the matrix. So you run a bath, pour in some bubbles, rest your head back on the cold bathroom tiles and shut your eyes to dream, right? WRONG.
To start with, you won’t be able to get the temperature right; when you first get in it will be scalding and you won’t be able to breathe for the steam, then you’ll have about one minute of comfortable warmth before you’re shivering in a bowl of lukewarm water. You won’t be able to rest your head anywhere because it’s uncomfortable and it HURTS and what’s more you’ll be sliding about (see above) in an attempt to defy the physics of wet skin on smooth bath surface. You will not be comfortable, you will not be relaxed; in fact, you will be MORE stressed than you were before you decided to take a stupid bath in the first place.