The Hell Cineplex has an unexpected headliner. Not the new Dane Cook movie, or Ben Stiller’s "Heartbreak Kid" remake. Nope. Ethan Hawke‘s "The Hottest State" gets the dubious honor.
I broke up with a guy after I saw a copy of Hawke’s novel on his bookshelf. Little did I know it would spawn a cinematic adaptation.
If you haven’t read his overbaked prose before, hold your nose and proceed:
I was driving a ’69 Chevy Nova four-barrel with mag wheels and a dual exhaust. It’s a kick-ass car. I took the muffler out so it sounds like a Harley. People love it. I was staring at myself through the window into the driver’s-side mirror; I do that all the time. I’ll stare into anything that reflects. That’s not a flattering quality, and I wish I didn’t do it, but I do. I’m vain as hell. It’s revolting. Most of the time when I’m looking in the mirror, I’m checking to see if I’m still here or else I’m wishing I was somebody else, a Mexican bandito or somebody like that. I have a mustache. Most guys with mustaches look like fags, but I don’t. I touch mine too much, though. I touch it all the time. I don’t even know why I’m telling you about it now. I just stare at myself constantly and wish I didn’t. It brings me absolutely no pleasure at all.
The Plank calls the film version of Hawke’s literary debut "the worst movie you won’t see this year."
Directed by Ethan Hawke. Co-starring Ethan Hawke. Adapted by Ethan Hawke from the autobiographical novel by… Ethan Hawke. If these words, which describe The Hottest State, do not fill you with dread, you’re made of sterner stuff than I. …
But for William (and Hawke) quiet suffering is no suffering at all. William must shatter telephones and punch walls until his knuckles bleed and explain to anyone within earshot that his character flaws are really virtues, that he is just "too sensitive" or "too intense" for the cold, compromised world around him. Some of us were once boys like this, too. But somewhere along the way, at 17 or 21 or 25 or even 30, we grew out of it and moved on. Hawke, by contrast, apparently thinks it’s vitally important that the world know that a girl broke his heart nearly twenty years ago. I suspect I’m not alone in being entirely unable to care less.
Your assumption is correct.