I should admit that I assumed The Hottest State, a movie based on Ethan Hawke's first semi-autobiographical novel, would be pretentious.
I should admit that I assumed The Hottest State, a movie based on Ethan Hawke's first semi-autobiographical novel, would be pretentious. Thus, keeping that in mind, I found the movie to be better than expected. I daresay I almost enjoyed it.
Just almost, though. For having nothing new or original to present to us, the movie is way too long at 117 minutes — and it feels much longer than that. The actors in the lead roles (Mark Webber playing William and Catalina Sandino Moreno as Sarah) do their damndest to keep us interested, but that's a hugely tall order. Few actors can handle carrying an entire movie, and as engrossing as they are — Moreno most of all — it's too much responsibility for these two.
It might have been helpful if the script were slightly more interesting. Boy meets girl, boy loves girl, girl breaks up with boy. Boy indulges in whiny self-destruction and seeks out his father (with whom he has Major Issues) to, I guess, unearth some additional pain while he's already riding the Agony Train. Hawke, too old and gross to play William (who he undoubtedly molded in his own image back in 1996) shows up as William's elusive Texan dad who tells his son to "never stray too far from Texas in your heart." Keep that in mind as you read more