Ethan Hawke. As much as his name already produces eye rolls and heavy sighs, I think it might be a valuable exercise to briefly reaffirm just what it is about Ethan Hawke that we all know and hate—those familiar qualities that so powerfully personify his innate douchebag-dom. And what better time to reflect than with this week's release of Hawke's own masturbatory shrine to the essence of Ethan, The Hottest State?
Like many an era's archetypal figures, hindsight has not been kind to our wispily goateed dreamboat: beginning his career with a starring role in the grandma-friendly, homoerotic opus Dead Poets Society, Hawke misplaced his razor at some point in the early '90s to become the quintessential Gen-X actor—a pin-up caricature of the useless, cynical, and readily marketable twentysomething slacker. Hawke's comfortable acceptance of this crown doesn't exactly merit contempt so much as pity—for as we look back upon this bygone era, it's difficult to conceive of a greater casualty of the time. Let's face it: The smug, unemployed loser look isn't coming back into fashion any time soon. No, what really makes Ethan ultimately so contemptible is just that he tries. So. Hard.
Not content to just be the beefcake spokesmodel for the "What were we thinking?" generation, Hawke devoted himself early on to self-conscious Renaissance Man overtures—publishing the first of two poorly received novels in 1996, shortly before acting in the literary triple threat of Great Expectations, Snow Falling on Cedars (huh?), and, of course, that Hamlet modernization we all forgot about. Surprisingly—and in spite of his stellar musical performance in Reality Bites—Hawke never made the leap to mid-level alternative rock band during this period either.
Shortly thereafter he knocked up and married Uma Thurman—whom he later went on to shit-talk in thinly veiled allusions in the script to Before Sunset, after cheating on her... with a CANADIAN. I could go on, but suffice to say, our mutual understanding is a valid one: Ethan Hawke is, and forever will be, a douchebag.