I saw The Adjustment Bureau last weekend, and as the main characters were rediscovering the limits of reality and testing the strength of their love, I thought I want a guy who wears a fedora.
I don’t think that was the point of the movie.
There are a lot of fedoras in The Adjustment Bureau. I don’t think it ruins anything, for those of you who haven’t seen the movie, to tell you that the hats actually have a fairly important role. Yes, they’re not just fashion statements–they aid the “powers” of the guys in the Bureau. It’s not really explained why, or at least not explained well, so I’m thinking that it was just an excuse for the male actors to don these bygone headpieces. And why not? They made them look suave and sophisticated, and as far as uniforms go, the fedora is way cooler than say, a polo shirt or a vest with pieces of flair.
The fedora even upped Matt Damon’s ante. His good looks are mentioned several times in the movie–he’s supposed to be a very young senate hopeful, so jokes are made about him standing out from the typical, less-than-chiseled politician. For me, though, it wasn’t until ol’ Matt put on a fedora that I got a twinge of oh yeah, that’s the stuff.
So I decided I wanted a guy who wears a fedora. This tipped my list of desired boyfriend attributes into the ridiculous, but I didn’t care. The fedora has been rocked by the rugged, manly Indiana Jones, the mysterious, side-talking Humphrey Bogart, and my main man: Frank Sinatra. Why wouldn’t it be on my list?
Except it’s not the same. It’s not the same nowadays. Maybe it’s just me, but when I see a guy wearing a fedora out on the street, 9 times out of 10 he looks like a tool, a poser. As I understand it, the fedora has even gotten to be a fairly common accessory for the hipster–an undernourished, oddly dressed creature that does not make my heart go pitter-patter. So really, then, I don’t want a guy who wears a fedora. Or, maybe I want a time machine…and then a guy who wears a fedora? This is getting complicated. Thanks a lot, Matt Damon.
It’s interesting that I only like the old-school fedora wearers because for them, wearing a fedora was like wearing underwear. (That analogy only works if you wear underwear everyday. If you don’t, I hope you’ll substitute a different everday clothing item…and I hope we’re not trying on the same bathing suits.) Shouldn’t I appreciate the guy who wears a fedora today, in 2011, because he’s different? But no–the heart wants what it wants, and I think mine wants the whole fedora package: nice suit, debonair manners, dashing hat. Not some punk wearing ratty skinny jeans and half a goutee.
Some, like The Well-Dressed Gentleman and The Art of Manliness, are urging a proper fedora comeback. There’s even a Facebook group dedicated to a fedora revival revolution. I just don’t know. I guess I’m in favor of Fedora: The Next Generation, but I also think they should be pushing the whole fedora enchilada. It is, after all, what’s inside the fedora that counts. (Oh yeah, I went there.)
I once bought a man’s tweed fedora for a couple of bucks at a garage sale, but it was too small for my head (I have a really big head). As I was writing this post, I went searching for it. I thought it would be fun to write while wearing my too-small fedora–I could be like an old-timey journalist, but without the cigarette and tendency to call every female “dollface.” But I couldn’t find my hat. It could have been sucked into a closet during one of my cleaning fits, but I suspect it was re-sold or donated. In that case, there may be a guy out there in the world with a tweed fedora and the key to my heart. If you’re reading this, Mr. X, just make sure you’re the real deal.
If you’re considering seeing The Adjustment Bureau (remember that’s how this whole thing started?) I’d advise you to wait until it’s out on video. It’s not that it was bad, it was actually pretty entertaining, it’s just that today’s movie prices make me a harsh critic.