Have you ever known joy? If you have not yet watched Confess, Fletch and the scenes within it that reunite former Mad Men stars Jon Hamm and John Slattery, then I am not sure you have.
I should say, up front, that Confess, Fletch, now in theaters and streaming on demand, is a quietly delightful new entry in the Fletch series, previously established in the novels by Gregory MacDonald, the memorable 1985 Chevy Chase movie Fletch, and the completely unmemorable 1989 Chevy Chase movie Fletch Lives. Hamm takes over the role of I.M. Fletcher, the flippant, charming investigative reporter who in Confess, Fletch is accused of committing a murder and takes it upon himself to determine who the actual killer is. It is a perfect part for Hamm and exactly the sort of starring role he should have been playing since Mad Men ended.
You know what else Jon Hamm should have been doing since Mad Men ended? Taking every available opportunity to work with John Slattery again, which is exactly what he does in Confess, Fletch. Slattery makes his appearance about midway through the movie as Fletch’s former editor Frank Jaffe. Fletch goes to visit Frank at the Boston Sentinel, and as soon as he walks into the newsroom, Frank shouts the following phrase at the receptionist escorting him: “You let this prick in?” I promise you this: That question has never sounded more beautiful. Then Hamm and Slattery start arguing about money Fletch owes Frank, and it’s as if Don Draper and Roger Sterling have been reincarnated.
When Fletch notes that the newsroom is mostly empty, Frank starts complaining that people still haven’t returned to the office post-COVID. “They’re still working from home. Can you believe it?” says Frank, who looks as if he hasn’t slept in 11 years. “Fucking babies.” Then he starts complaining about millennials. Is this something Roger Sterling would have done if he were alive in 2022 and knew what a millennial was? Oh my God, yes. A thousand times yes.
Eventually, Frank suggests that the two meet in Frank’s “real office,” which of course is a bar, and then Jon Hamm and John Slattery go to a bar and drink together, and that is when my heart sang and my soul finally knew peace again for the first time since 2015. Did my eyes grow teary as I watched these two handsome men throw back shots and chase them with pints of beer? I will not lie to you, reader. They did.
I won’t ruin the entire movie, of course, but I will say that the ending very much tees up a sequel in the form of an adaptation of the next novel in the Fletch series, Fletch’s Fortune, which would definitely reunite Hamm and Slattery again, which is why everyone needs to see Confess, Fletch to make sure that follow-up happens. I, personally, need both of them to appear onscreen together on a more regular basis, and I firmly believe society as a whole would benefit as well. If we can’t have more Mad Men, let us at least have this.