This week, a series of fresh promo videos featuring Oscar co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco hit the internet, inspiring mixed reactions. In one clip, Hathaway boogies zanily in a fake outtakes reel. (Watch the video below.) In another, Hathaway plays an Eva Peron-like figure who breaks into (another) booty-shaking dance routine. In a third short video, Franco and Hathaway relive the 1970s film Grease. The videos are likely intended to quell criticism that Hathaway, not known for her comedy prowess, is funny enough to handle the Oscars. But are they ultimately working against her?
Hathaway is just not funny: Previous Oscar promos, which featured a more subdued Hathaway, were perfectly fine, says Richard Lawson at Gawker. But now, "she is doing jokes! Anne Hathaway-style jokes! And they are very bad." Hathaway's timing is terrible, her dance routine is many years out of date, and the fake outtakes are "just the lamest." She comes across as "the dorky girl with the makeover who thinks she's cool all of a sudden," and that spells "disaster" for Sunday's show.
"An Oscars problem: Anne Hathaway is not funny"
She's mining the wrong kind of humor: "Hathaway is a classical actress who has shown some comedic chops," says Megan Angelo at Business Insider, "but she's not slapstick." She just can't pull off the Evita-style promo, "which has Hathaway shaking her booty (literally) on a balcony." Maybe it would have worked for Kathy Griffin. "God bless Hathaway for committing" to this physical comedy, "but it's not working."
"OOF: Let's hope Anne Hathaway's Oscar performance is not as AWKWARD as these promos"
Forget funny, the videos show her range: Hathaway is "working to get viewers excited about a new generation of hosts," says The Huffington Post. The fact that "it's hard to tell whether she's more dictator's wife or hip hop impresario" in the Evita promo is a sign that she's doing her job. If Hathaway is able to "go from classic opera to hip hop like this on the real telecast, well, the Academy may have made a very inspired choice."
"Anne Hathaway, in Oscar promo, sings 'Evita,' shakes rump"