SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION Pictured: A talented, lovable performer. Also, Ethan Hawke.

WHEN I HEARD Ethan Hawke had made a documentary, I was skeptical. This is perhaps unfair: Hawke's a great actor (ever since Dead Poets Society, TRULY), and though his extracurriculars have always skewed dilettantish (not everyone is a novelist), the existence of James Franco makes him look measured by comparison. Still, he's not a director.

Or wait, maybe he is! Because while I know I probably wasn't supposed to, I loved his new movie, Seymour: An Introduction, mainly because I loved its subject, Hawke's friend and former concert pianist Seymour Bernstein. You guys, Seymour is wonderful. He's a warmhearted old man who entertains Hawke's goober-y questions about life and art, and exclaims, "Oh, horrid! Horrors!" when a piano's tone sounds too bright. Early on, he rejected fame to become a teacher, and his decision to put craft ahead of personal gain is endlessly fascinating to Hawke—oh, and to me!

Admittedly, Seymour is closer to a starry-eyed tribute than any sort of journalistic venture, but maybe that's okay when your buddy happens to be the world's nicest old man. I'm sure some people will watch Seymour and be like, "Nice try, Hawke! Way to lap up your pal's charm and not show us the real Seymour!" But those people are missing the point, which is that you'd have to be a real asshole to not like Seymour.

I truly doubt Hawke is primed to be our next great auteur documentarian, and it's entirely possible that here, he just got lucky: Sometimes the friend you think is fascinating turns out to be objectively fascinating. But by the end of Hawke's movie, I wanted to move to New York and sign up for piano lessons with Seymour—an impossible dream for a pixie-mitted shoestring budgeteer like myself. Still, I couldn't help it. I want Seymour to be my best friend. He's a gem of a human, and, just like his buddy Ethan must be, I'm glad to have made his acquaintance.