In the final year of the Old Millennium, a film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Talented Mr. Ripley rowed its way into theaters. To call the cast star-studded would be a gross understatement; Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, and Philip Seymour Hoffman make up the talented The Talented Mr. Ripley ensemble.
And then there's the true breakout star of the movie: the short shorts worn by Dickie Greenleaf (Law). Every last costume that appears in Mr. Ripley serves 1950s Italian beachfront villa decadence, and Dickie's short shorts are the crown jewel. We are forever indebted to Mr. Ripley costume designers Gary Jones and Ann Roth, for the small swim trunks that hug Law’s lower half throughout the film are nothing short (har har har) of beautiful.
An insane man once said, “I always thought it better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody.” Well, I always thought it better to look at pictures of Jude Law in tiny shorts than to not look at pictures of Jude Law in tiny shorts. With that being said, here is the definitive ranking of every pair of short shorts worn by Jude Law in The Talented Mr. Ripley:
#7: White pants
These are not short shorts. NEXT!
#6: Pink Vespa shorts
I like the hue, but the length? TOO LONG.
#5: Pink short shorts*
Oh, these are very nice. They'd be the king of any other shorts collection, but this is Dickie Greenleaf's wardrobe we're talking about. The competition is stiff.
*Wait. Are these the Pink Vespa shorts? If so, why do the Pink short shorts look so much shorter than the Pink Vespa shorts?
Eh, let's assume Dickie owns two pairs of pink shorts.
#4: Subtle print short shorts
So lovely. If only the pattern was a tad more bold...
#3: Less subtle print short shorts
Ask and you shall receive!
#2: Bold print short shorts
SPECTACULAR. THE WINNER, NO QUESTI—
...What's that? There's one more contender? UH OH.
#1: Neon swim briefs
Like an oar to the head, Tom Ripley's (Damon) chartreuse swim briefs knock every pair of Dickie Greenleaf's short shorts out of the running. Sorry, Dickie!
We'll get 'em next time.