At least once a day, I have to defend Jon Hamm's honor. Apparently, it's hard for some people to believe that a man with that perfect five o'clock shadow could also possess the ability to deliver a joke and make a fool of himself for the sake of entertainment.
But his sense of humor is as big as his heart... and his you-know. He shined as Don Draper in Mad Men, with his tall, fragile American masculinity, and he delighted as the psychotic and bizarre Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But, it's only in his role as a hard-ass heist man in Baby Driver (alongside Baby, played by the equally tall and also musically-inclined Ansel Elgort) that we truly see Hamm in his truest form yet as Buddy, the walking, talking mid-life crisis, adorned with a fuckboi haircut and the attitude to match.
"Hers." That's what the tattoo says. It's written a tiny, scrawled and fading gothic font. It acts as more than just an aesthetic piece — it is also a label and a promise to the number one woman in his life, Darling (Eiza González). It gives the world a glimpse at his "bad" ways, and deep-rooted dedication to the woman with her own custom branding: a "His on her neck. He's a suburban-looking white man pushing 50 with a neck tat and an anger problem. His mid-life crisis is showing so hard, and I can't get enough of it.
Now how is it possible for a tattoo (which, granted, is pretty small, and often covered up by his popped trench coat collars and edges of his worn-in leather jackets) to be so intoxicatingly mesmerizing? Is it because it is in a classic cursive font? An ode to the fancier things in life? Is it because it's a label, marking him as property of his impressive and iconically stylish counterpart, Darling? Is it because it looks like a mistake? One that maybe got infected at one point because he got it when he was ten whiskeys deep? Is it because it is so on-the-fucking-nose and transparently an attempt to make Hamm seem like a tough guy (his character is definitely psychotic, but not really that intimidating with those floppy bangs)?
It's all of the above, which is makes it ironic and dumb, but perfect.
Let's breakdown Buddy's appearance to further understand the taboo tattoo. This is a guy who wears wooden beaded bracelets, and a few necklaces to show that he is stylish, hip, and not afraid to get rough even in his (probably stolen) designer clothes. He speaks slowly and earnestly, even though he is usually addressing a roomful of crooks who couldn't care less about what he's saying. He is trying to be as intense as possible the whole time, but it's only later in the movie do we get to see his full psychopathic rage. And it's in those moments, where he's getting red-faced and Hulk-ish, that his neck tattoo will randomly pop up in the shot again. "Hers" in cursive, scribbled across his broad, scruffy neck.
For a movie about con artists, there is a lot of screen time spent examining to the nuances of love: there's Baby wooing his diner crush, Baby dreaming about his free-spirited mother, and then there's Buddy and Darling with their matching neck tattoos. Nothing says "forever" better than that.
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