At least half of my job responsibilities at Cracked involve needlessly hating things. Of course, just like working the cash register at McDonald's doesn't necessarily mean a person enjoys Big Macs (gross), me writing a joke about an athlete or entertainer doesn't necessarily mean I agree with the prevailing public opinion about the subject of that joke. Sometimes I'm just doing my job.
Celebrities who get unreasonable amounts of hate are the main order of business on this week's Unpopular Opinion podcast ...
... where I'm joined by musician Danger Van Gorder of the band Countless Thousands and comic Delanie Fischer. Up first, we discuss ...
Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Why All the Hate?
Is "hate" the right word as it pertains to public sentiment about Nicolas Cage? Maybe not, but "respect" certainly isn't the right word, either.
It used to be, though! Up until the last decade or so, Nicolas Cage was a highly regarded actor who made more good choices than bad when it came to selecting roles. It wasn't until the mid-2000s, when notoriously terrible movies like Ghost Rider and Wicker Man started making regular appearances in the Cage catalog, that things took a turn for the worse.
Just kidding, I know everyone loves Wicker Man.
From that point on, Nicolas Cage was recast as a tragic-head-injury-less version of Gary Busey, just spewing crazy on everyone and everything he encounters, all while squandering his vast Hollywood fortune on worthless trinkets and artifacts along the way. That would all be fine and well if his movies were still enjoyable, but more often than not, we strike out on that front as well.
Again, excluding Wicker Man.
To anyone with an interest in the matter, it's become painfully obvious that Nicolas Cage is making movies strictly for the paycheck these days. In short, Nicolas Cage has become a sad real-life embodiment of the deranged lunatics he was once (and now understandably is) so adept at portraying on screen.
Why He Doesn't Deserve It
Aziz Ansari and/or Chris Rock recently joked that being a comic is way harder than being a musician, because comics are expected to come up with completely new material constantly, whereas musicians can play the same hits for an entire career. I'm not sure who came up with that comparison first, but I think they're both wrong.
I suspect most musicians with any sort of back catalog to their credit would love nothing more than for their new stuff to become popular enough that people are content just hearing that, as opposed to screaming out requests for decades-old hits night after night. They probably wouldn't bother making new music if that wasn't the case. If your chief complaint as an entertainer is that fans expect and encourage you to try new things, you should examine your motivations for wanting to be an entertainer in the first place.
What does this have to do with Nicolas Cage? The answer, of course, is Neil Young.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Yes, of course.
In keeping with the spirit of this article, don't take the fact that I bashed his stupid "high-resolution music player" last week as some sort of sign that I dislike Neil Young. Quite the opposite. In the annals of music history, he's like my third or fourth favorite person ever, primarily because he's built a career on giving not a single shit if people actually enjoy the work he's doing. He doesn't record a weird '80s synthesizer-laden album full of electronic dance music and then hit the road to play "Heart of Gold" and "Cinnamon Girl" to throngs of adoring fans. No, he makes that album, puts on a skinny tie, plays that album in its entirety, and then records it all so you can still see it decades later on DVD.
It is a path he has been on his entire career. He has never wavered from it, and people love him for that, even if it means running the risk of being unexpectedly subjected to hearing a concept album about the environment in its entirety when you spend money to see him in concert.
For all intents and purposes, Nicolas Cage is the Neil Young of movies. Just like Neil Young, we tend to forget that, even back when it seemed like he was doing nothing but great work, a quick examination of the facts reveals that there has never been a time when Nicolas Cage wasn't shitting on his body of work by making movies so terrible that they border on self-sabotage. Sure, Neil Young mostly ruled in the early '70s, but he also followed up the biggest success of his career, the 1971 album Harvest, with a terrible movie with an equally terrible soundtrack by the name of Journey Through the Past.
With that in mind, can you remember what Nic Cage came back with after the one-two punch of Raising Arizona and Moonstruck? That's right, Vampire's Kiss, a movie you've never seen about a publishing executive who thinks he might be a vampire. As terrible as that movie might be, I can guarantee Nicolas Cage is the best thing about it.
That and the poster, obviously.
What I'm getting at here is that Nicolas Cage is not a once-great actor who destroyed his own legacy. Nicolas Cage is an unspeakably talented actor who takes a lot of chances without regard for how any of them might impact his reputation or career. Yes, he's hit a bit of a rough patch in terms of making "great" movies, but he's got a lot of years ahead of him. Many people had given up on Neil Young after he spent the entirety of the '80s making terrible music, only to welcome him back to work right at the end of the decade when "Rockin' in the Free World" came out and put him back in everyone's good graces.
Nicolas Cage will have another hit someday, and you will love him again when he does. What makes Nicolas Cage special is that, even then, he still won't give a shit what you think, and you'll know it when Wicker Man 2 comes out a few months later.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty
Why All the Hate?
I don't know, you tell me. Why do so many people hate Anne Hathaway? That she's hated is not in dispute; there wouldn't be an entire BuzzFeed article on the subject if the hate wasn't real. BuzzFeed doesn't deal in trivia. They put together a rundown of some of the main reasons people online cited for their Hathaway hate.
Of course, in typical BuzzFeed fashion, the "article" features approximately 10 to 15 words actually written by BuzzFeed staff, none of which involve addressing the individual shots people fire in Anne Hathaway's direction. It's only because they think you're too stupid to read more than one paragraph at a time, though. No worries, if I was afraid of heavy lifting, I wouldn't be working here. Let's finish that BuzzFeed article for them.
Why She Doesn't Deserve It
Let's get the really controversial stuff out of the way right off the bat.
I don't really know how to address this one. Are we saying Anne Hathaway is ugly? She's not. I'm not sure what else to say. Forest Whitaker has a crazy eye, no one hates him for it, you know?
You sound stupid.
While I agree that it isn't the strongest screenplay she's ever written and her directing work was much better on Inception, it still seems like a bit of a stretch to blame the relative shittiness of The Dark Knight Rises on Anne Hathaway. At least part of the blame falls on the fact that it was a stupid movie. Beyond that, if you weren't satisfied with her portrayal of Catwoman, by all means, tell me who did it better?
Go ahead, say it!
Right, everyone sucks as Catwoman, because Catwoman is a stupid character. That said, you'd probably take the role too if you were an actor.
If you saw Love and Other Drugs, that's your fault, not Anne Hathaway's.
Citation needed? I don't know, but everything else is basically this said eight different ways. As far as I can tell, the biggest knock against Anne Hathaway is that there isn't anything to hate about her. That's definitely boring, but do we need to be such dicks about it?