Monday, July 25, 2011

Is Jennifer Aniston really a slut?

Saw HORRIBLE BOSSES recently. A lot of funny stuff. But one thing that didn’t work for me at all was Jennifer Aniston. As a foul-mouthed sex crazed slut I didn’t believe her for one second. I know it’s not fair to presume. In real life maybe she’s the whore of whores (so no disrespect), but on the screen that’s just not who she is. And every time she let fly a ration of raunch it was not just unconvincing (and unfunny) but uncomfortable.

Here’s what it felt like to me. A calculated move by Jennifer and/or her handlers to change her image so she’ll be offered a wider range of roles in the future – a future that is unjustly unfair to all actresses who have the audacity to turn 40. I wanted to yell at the screen, “Jennifer, you don’t have to do this! We love you and always will -- even when you start playing moms and business women.”

Jennifer is not alone in this. Remember when cute, pert, effervescent Meg Ryan decided to alter her persona by doing IN THE CUT? Yes, I was curious to see wholesome little Meg naked… for the first minute. Then it was like I had accidentally seen my cousin taking a shower. Creeee-py. (On the other hand, can you imagine how awful HOW HARRY MET SALLY would have been had it starred Sharon Stone?)

Many actors come with an image and it’s the Faustian Contract they sign with the devil to become stars. In LARRY CROWNE we’re supposed to buy that Julia Roberts is this caustic, bitter, world-weary woman. Yeah, right. Julia Roberts. With that smile (that you know she’ll be flashing at some point in the movie).

And producers, just because you have a chance to get a star – if he or she is not believable in the role you are not doing yourself a favor. 50 year-old Kevin Spacey playing 20 year-old Bobby Darin is a glaring example. I don’t think there was a scene in HOSTEL more squirm-inducing than Spacey as Darin coming on to Kate Bosworth who’s young enough to be his daughter. Ugghhh!!

I’m sure you can think of other instances, but here are some other actors who were mis-cast in roles. Kevin Costner as Robin Hood. What were they thinking? John Wayne as Genghis Khan in THE CONQUEROR. That one is truly stupefying. And then there was Denise Richards as a renown nuclear physicist in the Bond movie THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH. Holy shit!

Jennifer Aniston’s casting in HORRIBLE BOSSES is nowhere near that level of wrong, and to her credit, she does commit to the crude. But it’s not real. It’s Rachel with Tourettes. Seriously, Jen, we love you. We’re still here even after your last Adam Sandler movie. We’re not going anywhere. You can even do television again. (Oooh, I think I just heard her say “Fuck!” and that time it felt like she really meant it.)

49 comments:

Dana Meijler said...

I've not seen Horrible Bosses or any Jen Aniston movie in a few years as they are all the same. She is trying so hard to be a movie star and I agree she is probably trying to show range. But the thing is she is an excellent television actress and a crappy movie actress. She really should go back to TV before she loses all her credibility.

Look at her best friend Courteney Cox, Cougar Town is basically a carbon copy of Friends but she is great in it and it is a cute, funny show. CC knows what she is good at and sticks with it. I have a lot more respect for her post-Friends career than of Jennifer Aniston's.

I would not presume you would be interested at all in this, but on the offchance that you have nothing better to do please check out a post I made on this very topic. http://www.couchtimewithjill.com/2011/07/dvd-flashback-friday-rewind-repeat-or.html

curtisjones said...

I couldn't disagree more. I had not ready any publicity prior to seeing the movie, and didn't even recognize the brunette Aniston on first viewing. When I realized it was her, it was like an unexpected treat. She's an ACTRESS, for God's sake. I don't think Daniel Radcliffe is really a wizard, nor do I believe Will Ferrell is an elf. It was sheer pleasure to see her, Spacey & Colin Farrell in these juicy supporting roles. I smiled start to finish, and laughed constantly. Do I believe Aniston is, or could be a man-hungry lech? Who knows, who cares? It was a character, she had fun, and evidently so does the audience.

Mike Barer said...

Let me agree to disagree with you on this. I think she pulls it off well in this. I enjoyed her as the sex-crazed dentist.

Mac said...

I didn't buy that Aniston's assistant was suffering on the same level as his friends. I'd have thought getting sexually harassed by Jennifer Aniston would be a big perk of the job, but maybe that's just me.

KXB said...

I had no problem with Aniston in this role (for a change- the script is another story); as for "lack of believabilty", I never bought into Martin Lawrence as an morbidly obese, flatulant, old woman...come to think of it, he was never "believable" in his other crappy roles either!

Mary Stella said...

I'll probably like this movie. I thought Just Go With It with Sandler and Anniston was cute.

I spewed some tea over the Denise Richards comment. I'd never heard of her before but she was so horrible in the roll. Katy Perry as Smurfette would be more convincing as a scientist.

Bill said...

She was entertaining as Rachel, but otherwise, ugh.

Off topic, but have you seen her appearance on "I Get To Be Taken Seriously in Return for a Putting Up With a Long Interview to Promote My Movie?" (Otherwise known as Inside the Actor's Studio.) Wow, is she dim. Embarrassing and painful. It was 90 percent one word answers and 10 percent vapidness on a scale that was extraordinary even for the genre.

RCP said...

Other instances of actors miscast in roles?

For starters:

84-year-old Mae West as 31-year-old Timothy Dalton's bride in "Sextette"

Nov said...

>supposed to buy that Julia Roberts is this caustic, bitter, world-weary

Umm, that's how she behaves in all her movies.

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

I haven't seen Horrible Bosses yet, so I'll wait to see it before agreeing or not whether Aniston works as a sex-crazed character. At least, she seems to be trying to show some needed range in her career. That earns plus points for me.

Funny you mentioned Denise Richards. Seeing The World is not Enough back in 1999, I vividly remember not caring at all that she was playing a nuclear physicist. I was so enthralled by the sight of her wearing tight shorts in the desert that her job kind of became a moot point. I just wanted to look at her.

Drive-By Posting said...

I must say, I find the Julia Roberts comment a bit of a head-scratcher. Quite apart from the fact that most of her roles in the last fifteen years or so have indeed required her to be caustic and bitter to varying degrees, have you ever seen the woman being interviewed? I certainly wouldn't go as far as to say she's "bitter", exactly, but "caustic" certainly applies. At some point in the early 90s, the crush of post PRETTY WOMAN stardom clearly started getting to her, and she started to sound remarkably...flinty, I suppose. Not quite abrasive, but hardly the sunshine and lollipops that her screen image (at the time) suggested.

Then again, I am utterly perplexed by the popularity of Jennifer Aniston, who I see as a charisma void with less performance range than Jimmie Walker, so your mileage may vary.

David said...

One example that always bugged me was John Malkovich in Dangerous Liaisons. I thought the movie was excellent (especially Glenn Close) except for him.I just couldn't buy him (successfully) seducing Uma Thurman. Especially since he looks like such a creeper.

Mel Ryane said...

Aniston was wonderful in THE GOOD GIRL. She should drop studio fare.
The roles actors cannot resist and SHOULD are those of the mentally challenged...cliches all over the place.

gottacook said...

I haven't yet seen Beyond the Sea, but that was an unusual situation: Kevin Spacey had always wanted to play Bobby Darrin but didn't have the opportunity to do so until he put his own movie together, which he directed, co-wrote and co-produced. Yes, he may well have been too old to be believable - he was 45 when the movie was released, not 50 - but he decided "better late than never"; after the movie's release he even toured a bit, in character, as Darrin the singer.

Shep nachas on your son's wedding. Family and I were on vacation on Cape Cod (and visited Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale in Westbrook, CT on the way home).

Anonymous said...

It should be pointed out that before getting typecast, Meg Ryan started her movie career playing psycho-bitches (Promised Land) and sluts (The Presidio), while mixing in a bunch of interesting roles between the rom-coms.

Anesses said...

David--The gossip at the time was that John Malkovich had an affair with Michelle Pfeiffer during the filming of DANGEROUS LIAISONS, so obviously he had something going for him.

jackscribe said...

There's only been one successful crossover from TV to film as an actor (Lisa Kudrow) and it ain't Jen. I agree with Dana's comments.

Anonymous said...

I'd probably watch her paint a fence.

Tim W. said...

I saw the movie on the weekend, too, and I've got to say I totally bought her in the role. I thought she was absolutely fantastic. One of the best things about the movie, and I quite liked the movie.

Of course, I also liked her in The Good Girl, probably one of the few movies I liked that she was in.

And just to respond to Mac, about whether her assistant was really suffering, if her assistant was single, it probably would be a dream come true for most men, but for a guy who wanted to remain faithful to his fiance, and who couldn't get a job elsewhere, it would be a horrible situation.

Tim W. said...

Oh, and Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist nearly ruined The World Is Not Enough.

Sheila said...

Very funny movie, but Jennifer Aniston was w-a-y too vulgar. Sure, it was rated "R", but her role went above and beyond that rating. Only one couple walked out, but the embarrassment was palpable in the theater.

jbryant said...

"As a foul-mouthed sex crazed slut I didn’t believe her for one second." You do realize that, grammatically, you just called yourself a foul-mouthed sex crazed slut"? :)

Mac wrote: "I didn't buy that Aniston's assistant was suffering on the same level as his friends. I'd have thought getting sexually harassed by Jennifer Aniston would be a big perk of the job, but maybe that's just me."

Um, it's not just you -- this is expressly addressed several times in the film. His buddies even say stuff like "Yours doesn't sound that bad." The writers take some pains to make Aniston seem worse as the story progresses (SPOILERS - she blackmails him with compromising photos she took while he was drugged).

As for how "real" Aniston is in the role. She looked all real to me, if you know what I mean. While I do think it's a gimmicky, one-dimensional role (as are the other two bosses), her performance worked for me in that context. If you're looking for real, this is not the movie. The premise doesn't really work at all, but the script is funny, so you just roll with it.

Aniston may not always choose (or get offered) the best scripts, but she's quite a good actress (the aforementioned THE GOOD GIRL, OFFICE SPACE, THE BREAK-UP).

Mike Barer said...

Even though I disagreed with your post, I did tweet it.

Anonymous said...

I wish Costner and Cary Elwes could have traded Robin Hood movies.

Jen said...

The World Is Not Enough was ruined for me because of Denise Richards. It felt like a parody of James Bond the entire time. I kept waiting for Leslie Neilson to show up.

julie love said...

I agree, she makes a bad slut.
Still, she does get points for trying. Maybe she just needs a LOT of practise....
www.gofundme.com/to-be-female
Help if you can, thanx
...julie

D. McEwan said...

Well, the moment Julie Andrews bared her tits in S.O.B. was the ultimate cringe moment for me. Mary Poppins, put your blouse back on! It's an otherwise great movie, but I could just never take Julie as a hot, sexy babe in - well - anything. Her bedroom scene with Paul Newman in Hitchcock's Torn Curtain makes me cringe also. She's a nanny and a nun, not a sexpot. I love her, but please stay dressed Julie. Much as I admired Blake Edwards (and I admired him a lot), still what kind of perv not only has sex with Mary Poppins, but then makes her show the world her boobies? (I guess S.O.B. is all about aswering that question.)

D. McEwan said...

Speaking of miscasting: onstage in Los Angeles in 1974, Margaret Hamilton played Madame Armfelt in Sondheim's A Little Night Music. This character is an old lady (Okay so far) who, in her youth, had been the most-sought-after courtesan in Europe, sleepng with kings and millionaires for huge piles of cash. We all know what Margaret Hamilton looked like in her prime. Even without green skin and thick eyebrows, she was the greatest hatchet-faced harridan of all time. The idea of kings showering her with riches to have sex with her was beyond absurd.

Mind you, I met Maggie backstage after the play and spent about 20 minutes with her in her dressing room, and she was very, very nice, a total sweetheart, but no man ever paid to sleep with her.

KXB said...

WHAT was so great about S.O.B.? Julie Andrews aside, the movie was pretty much a cinematic t*rd, with too many insider refernces that no one could possibly care about circa 1981 (or now for that matter. even with all the showbiz/infotainment news we're constantly exposed to), and an absolutely DREADFUL performance by Loretta Switt that consisted of screaming, even after breaking her leg and being confined to a bed...

Brendan DuBois said...

Miscast roles... I think of Ralph Fiennes as a romantic lead in "Maid in Manhattan." There aren't enough Gilbert home kits in the world to create any chemistry between Ralph Fiennes and J-Lo... and Ralph is a great actor, but seeing him try to be romantic, I think of him as that Nazi in Schindler's List. Brrrr....

cadavra said...

Two that particularly bugged me from two actors previously mentioned: Ralph Fiennes as John Steed in THE AVENGERS (seriously, the man can not do funny and charming, just accept it) and John Malkovich as F.W. Murnau in the otherwise fine SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE--his flat Midwest accent was totally at odds with the German filmmaker he was playing.

cshel said...

I really enjoyed Horrible Bosses. I totally disagree about Aniston. I thought she looked good as a brunette, and I liked her in that slutty role. They set it up enough that it was believable that that guy had a pretty bad situation, too.

Don't forget, before Cougar Town, Cox had that nasty drama, Dirt.

I agree about Julie Andrews. I didn't like the idea of seeing her in a role showing off her merry poppins.

Also agree about Ralph Fiennes. He's a good actor, but in romantic roles, he has all the passion and charisma of a two-toed tree sloth. Although they are very cute.

Ken Levine said...

Please don't use my site just to direct traffic to your site.

mcp said...

D. McEwan said...
She's (Julie Andrews) a nanny and a nun, not a sexpot.

Hold on! Let us look at the career of Dame Julia Elizabeth Andrews, DBE. In many of her roles, she's played real, sensual women going back to "The Americanization of Emily" not to mention "10" and "Victor Victoria." And what was the role that made her famous? A nun? A nanny? No! Only the most famous feisty flower girl in history, Eliza in "My Fair Lady."

Blake Edwards' nickname for her was "The English Broad." High praise for a woman much more alive and red blooded than a nanny.

Larry said...

I'll tell you what "they" were thinking when they cast Kevin Costner as Robin Hood. They were thinking "we're going to make $390 million worldwide on a $48 million picture."

Rob W said...

The Trifecta of miscasting was Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo as drag queens in TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING- JULIE NEWMAR.

Fred said...

As long as we're talking about triple miscasting, how about Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman and Sean Connery as son, dad and granddad in Family Business?

Steven said...

I think the first thought that came to mind of any straight male reading this blog header of "Is Aniston really a slut" is "God I hope so!" haha

Naz said...

Miscast as the character Alex Cross was when Morgan Freeman and not a Mohammed Ali type was used.

Jennifer Aniston seems to be making movies but I'm not sure why she's chosen. I do wish her well though.

julie love said...

....I apologize, Ken. But I'm here because youre thought provoking and brilliant, not to mention very funny and also famous. Your blog rings of the truth and thats rare these days.

...I visited because of the entertainment quality of your blog, not just to post a link to my page. Yes I'm fundraising for my sex change, and no I havent gotten any money yet. But I'm real, not just a fly by night scammer out to fool people.

...I apologize again, for being a desperate tranny and posting a link. The idea of crowdsourcing seemed better than walking the street, or kneeling in alleys to make money. As much as I do like it, its very dangerous for me.

....Not to bring you down though, I like the humor here and it made me smile. I know I'll enjoy reading your posts.
julie

Terry said...

Um..."julie love"? You're kind of disgusting...

Steven said...

I agree with Terry except to say "kind of" is an understatement because that's like a digital version of a panhandling, which is just ridiculous. Maybe its a little old fashioned but there's this thing that people normally do to accumulate money for elective procedures and shit, which is called getting a job. I doubt anyone is going to want to donate to help you "become a woman" "Julie Love"

jbryant said...

Naz: I'm guessing you're not thrilled that the next Alex Cross movie is going to star Tyler Perry.

Naz said...

jbryant, Tyler Perry?...really???? I'm disappointed.

I tend to like the movie to stay as true to the book as possible. No wonder I'm always disappointed in the movie.

D. McEwan said...

"mcp said...
D. McEwan said...
Hold on! Let us look at the career of Dame Julia Elizabeth Andrews, DBE. In many of her roles, she's played real, sensual women going back to "The Americanization of Emily" not to mention "10" and "Victor Victoria." And what was the role that made her famous? A nun? A nanny? No! Only the most famous feisty flower girl in history, Eliza in "My Fair Lady."


I have the same problemns with The Americanization of Emily, as I had with the films I cited. I have seen 10 exactly once, as the movie, to put it mildly, didn't reach me. To me, it was like it was about Martians. Therefore, it's hardly surprising that I had completely and utterly forgotten Julie was even in it. Who did she play? I remember Dudley and Bo and nothing else, and to me, Bo was a 1 at best. (The cornrows alone destroyed any trace of desirability.)

Are you trying to tell me that Julie's (highly unconvincing) performance as a reverse-transvestitite in Victor/Victoria was SEXY? Really? I have seen that movie many times. I very much like it, though primarily for Robert Preston (Preston also completely steals S.O.B.), and I found Julie's scenes with Garner no sexier than Preston's scenes with Alex Karras. In both cases, I was glad the sex was kept off screen. Who can watch the scene where Garner peeps at Julie in her bath without MAJOR cringing?

Julie first became a known performer in My Fair Lady if you were an adult who lived in New York. I was 6 when it opened, and living in Los Angeles. I never saw her as Liza Doolittle, so it did zilch to imprint my first impression of her. I saw her first like 90% of America did, in Mary Poppins.

Nor have I ever found Liza Doolittle a sexy role. A guttersnipe who needs a bath before you'd let her sit on your sofa, grows into one of those English ladies who never seem to exist in a world where there is such a thing as sex. At the end, she rejects the man who actually wants to sleep with her, and settles for a sexless relationship with a "Confirmed Bachelor" (How many songs about hating women does he need for you to get the point, women do not ring his chimes?) who rooms with another man. They have not so much as a kiss, and in EVERY production I have ever seen of My Fair Lady and of Pygmalion (Which I saw Peter O'Toole play on Broadway in 1987), even in the movie, where they certianly have a total babe as Liza (Ah, Audrey) there is never the slightest trace of sexual chemistry between Higgins and Liza. She'll keep on fetching his slippers, and he'll keep on sleeping with Pickering.

That Blake Edwards found her sexy is obvious, but that doesn't mean I have to share his depraved tastes. To many of us, it's always going to be "Ew!"

Cadavra, I so totally agree with you about Ralph Finnes in The Avengers. Voldemort was not John Steed, the most-charming, unflappable man on earth. As a teenager, I wanted to be John Steed. I wanted to dress like him, live like him, and have his style. (And MCP, Dame Diana Rigg is what a hot English woman with real sex in her veins is all about!) Ralph Finnes was the worst imaginable casting. But then, this is a movie that cast James Bond as supervilliain.

I had less of a problem with Shadow of a Vampire, which I quite like, but only because Malkovich pretty much always annoys me. His acting affectations really grate.

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

Late to the party, as usual.

Anyway, I respectfully differ. I thought she sold it.

Bad casting was Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Progru said...

According to Jackscribe: "There's been only one successful crossover from TV to film as an actor (Lisa Kudrow)"...

I am going to take it that you are, at most, ten years old. Because there is no other excuse for not knowing Steve McQueen (WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE), Clint Eastwood (RAWHIDE), or John Travolta (WELCOME BACK, KOTTER). To name only the most super-extremely obvious ones.

Larry V said...

Progru, I wonder if Jackscribe meant that Lisa Kudrow was the only member of the Friends cast to transition successfully to a movie career? Though for the life of me, I can't see the logic in that claim (and I have no problem with Lisa Kudrow, who is talented and funny.) Whatever you might think of Aniston as an actress, she is the one who has had the starring roles in the high profile films.

Granted, many of those roles haven't shown her at her best, but she is the only Friends cast member I'd call a "movie star" of any sort, at this point.

Johnny Walker said...

It's true that Aniston is a hard sell as an EVIL sexy woman, but as a sexy woman, I was very convinced. She knows how to do funny, even when she's not wearing a top. She managed to do her own brand of wanton lust, and it was playful enough to work for me.

Also, to be honest, Aniston was only a minor problem compared the film's others.