You've seen the meme, now read the book. If you haven't gotten your fill of sullen, mopey, emo-esque Keanu Reeves, he's taken the whole Sad Keanu concept to a new level with a book called Ode to Happiness.
The hand-stitched book, which sounds absolutely RIVETING, is essentially one poem written by Reeves. One line is printed on each page, along with inkblot drawings (designed to evoke the appearance of being—I am not making this up—blurred by tears) created by Los Angeles artist Alexandra Grant.
Apparently Reeves was inspired to create this literary masterpiece while listening to a radio station that was playing sad, nostalgic music. He says, "I just started to write on this piece of paper, because I had this image of, you know, that moment when you take that bath, you light that candle, and you're really just kind of depressed. And it was making [my friend] laugh so hard."
Must be one of those things where you had to be there. Possibly while very, very high.
Ode to Happiness starts with "I draw a hot sorrow bath/In my despair room," and naturally goes on to mention "regret shampoo," "pain soap," and "I hate myself face cream."
It really sounds like a joke, doesn't it? A deliberate spoof on the Sad Keanu thing? But Reeves says the meme has nothing to do with his project. When asked about the thousands of Photoshopped images of him that are based on one amusing paparazzi photo, he said:
Oh, the Internet deal. It was brought to my attention. Yeah, it was funny. But no, the book predates that by a long time. We finished it in August 2009.
Yeah. Right. Well, maybe the joke's on you if you buy it, because it's currently available for $55 in hardcover. According to the artist, the book is a piece of art in and of itself, since it's been printed on thick, quality paper and limited to 4,000 copies. Grant says she encourages people to cut it up and turn it into framed artwork, should you wish to hang cheery phrases like "It can always be worse" on your living room wall.
Reeves says he believes "there is a kind of life experience" in the book, and adds that he hopes people would find it "relatable and hopefully transformative in a sense."
Personally, I think I'll stick with the original meme. In celebration of Reeves' foray into the world of literary expression, please enjoy some Sad Keanu for free:
Image via YouTube