I'll reluctantly admit to friends that the first time I fell in love with Anne Hathaway was in The Princess Diaries. Her breakthrough role as the awkward teenager turned princess, Mia Thermopolis, commenced what would prove to be a successful and tumultuous ride to the top as one of Hollywood's leading ladies.
To others who may be quick to label me as a teenybopper trapped in a 30 year-old body, I conveniently leave out The Princess Diaries and go straight to Brokeback Mountain or more often, The Devil Wears Prada ' one of my favorite movies of all time. While Meryl Streep stole the show by a mile (or 10), Hathaway confirmed her likability and flexed her acting chops by thriving along side a true living legend.
Hathaway's accomplishments are ample and include other diverse blockbusters such as: Get Smart, Rachel Getting Married, Alice in Wonderland, and Love and Other Drugs (notice I left out Bride Wars' cringe). Needless to say, her path to stardom was rapid and although it seems an odd pairing for someone who was stepping up as one of America's Sweethearts, was also ridden with controversy.
We've all been there with a friend or worse, through personal experience; it seems all too easy to make poor romantic decisions and we're reminded of that every day in Hollywood. Unfortunately, even the beautiful Hathaway couldn't steer clear of "poor picking." After a 4 year relationship with Italian real estate developer, Raffaeollo Follieri, Hathaway threw... scratch that, HEAVED in the towel after Follieri was accused of fraud and money laundering. Follieri was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison. While she was quick to cut ties, the damage was done; her name was dragged through the gossip muck. The public started to wonder whether she was the recipient of unfortunate luck or if there was a bad girl lurking behind that sparkling smile.
Like the smart cookie that most of us believed she was, she kept her pretty pout sealed for the months following the scandal, a move that served her well. She eventually cast her line back into the dating pool and found herself a new man, actor Adam Shulman. Famous for his part as Enos in The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning, Shulman found himself thrust into the limelight as Hathaway's, non-criminal boyfriend. That is until a new scandal broke claiming that he had stolen part of a mural from H&H Builders president, Ken Hart ' another annoying press fiasco that Hathaway had to endure. Thankfully, this one went relatively quiet into the night (at least comparatively) and the two survived their first mini crisis together as a couple. Still, that story didn't help Hathaway's reputation for having poor taste.
Just as we thought things were calming down for the actress, the 2011 Oscars happened, which was noted by the media as being all-around cringe worthy. The headlines were persistent and brutal. Words like disastrous, boring, horrible, worst-ever, and uninspiring were just a handful of critical venom being thrown her way. Then there were the people like me who didn't hate her hosting skills at all; James Franco was a whole other story but Hathaway was charming, impeccably styled, and did the best she could given what she was working with. Let's face it, though, unless you're Billy Crystal, hosting the Oscars is a pretty tough gig to win people over with. On a recent Today show appearance, when asked if she would ever host the Oscars again, Hathaway responded with, "Why not? I don't know. Maybe. Perhaps. No." It was a playful and rather suiting response given the disapproval coming at her from every direction.
Despite a few bumps along the way, Hathaway continues to thrive, which is more than we can say for some actresses (get it together, LiLo). She continues to get reputable work and is well respected within the industry. She's delved past the romcom trap and remains dignified throughout the worst of times, a skill that is often overlooked in an industry brimming with drama and cattiness.
So, is she a good girl? Bad girl? Did she run into some bad luck? Is she multifaceted or a one-note wonder? In the words of the lovely starlet herself, "Why not? I don't know. Maybe. Perhaps. No." That's a good enough answer for me.