In Hollywood there’s a belief that one bomb at the box office is just a fluke, but three in a row can ruin a career. The past three years have seen Jennifer Aniston in three romantic comedies that have not only failed to bring in the bucks at the box office, but have also been resolutely panned by critics.
That’s why we and critics everywhere are asking: Are both Hollywood and America over Jennifer Aniston? The Switch only made $8 million at the box office this weekend and producers are starting to grumble amongst themselves that she is no longer a safe bet as a leading lady. Why is that? We think it’s because Jen brings her personal baggage to these movies and we don’t believe she is really looking for love.
Escapism is the whole point of paying $10 to see a rom com. We want to believe that the female lead, who is usually a little kooky and mad cap funny, is truly in this to win it. She wants to get the guy in the end.
We don’t believe that about Jen anymore. We look at the screen and see the woman dumped by Brad Pitt, and John Mayer. We see poor, sad, Jen instead of a funny, quirky and aspirational in love character.
So should Jennifer Aniston stay in movies?
One producer flat out told us that Jen never should have made the move from television to movies in the first place. “I already said she wasn’t meant for movies, she simply doesn’t have the talent or star power. So no, it just reaffirms my current claim,” he said.
Her three recent romantic comedies Love Happens, The Bounty Hunter, and now The Switch have all been financial and critical failures for Jen.
“At this age, she hasn’t shown that she is capable of a serious role or Oscar level recognition. That is what is worrisome. In my opinion, she needs to take advantage of a gritty role and soon, otherwise she’ll continue to make mediocre romcoms with no real impact. What concerns me is that I don’t know if she is capable of a serious role – I think that Rachel may have been her big break because that’s just who she is in real life,” another producer told us.
But we don’t want to see Jen leave the movie business. We love her, just not as the female romantic lead. Where she shines on the screen is in more serious fare like The Good Girl, a drama where she played a down on her luck cashier (with less than perfect hair). We believe Jen has angst and that comes across on the big screen.
Lauren Lloyd, casting director and creator of Big is Good TV agrees with us that maybe Jen is simply picking the wrong roles.
“She has to do something that means something to her heart and that is a challenge. The concepts that she has for her films aren’t particularly gripping or interesting. When she did Marley and Me it was a hit because of the content. She needs to go back and find an incredible script that really means something. She should find something like the Good Girl and use her star power to do something that means something to her,” Lloyd said. “She just needs to be careful about not picking another one of those ridiculous romantic comedies.”
So maybe it isn’t a matter us giving up on her. Maybe Americans are simply imploring Jen with their wallets to make better choices. We won’t buy a ticket to your movies until you start to make some better career decisions. The critics haven’t entirely given up on Jen. They’re just waiting to see her in something where she can really shine.
“It is definitely choices. Aniston may be a one-trick pony, but in Office Space, The Good Girl and Friends with Money, she stretched a bit and it paid off. She needs to stop doing things like Love Happens, He’s Just Not That Into You, The Bounty Hunter and The Switch – Otherwise she’ll only have things like Marley and Me (her last big success, and not because of her) as her meal ticket – and that could become dog food very quickly,” says Joe Neumaier, film critic for the New York Daily News.
We posed the question to our readers earlier today. Why didn’t you see The Switch this weekend?
Number one answer: You think that Jen is overexposed (and it has nothing to do with all those mini-skirts)! That is something that might not be her fault. She can’t help that her face sells magazines so editors keep putting her on the cover, but it could be a warning to Jen to get out of Hollywood for awhile.
You guys also said that you also want to see her start mixing it up and playing different roles. You know we’re with you on that one!
But why else? What kind of movie would you see Jen in? Would you see her in anything?
— Kirstin Benson & Jo Piazza
Watch a video below of HollywoodLife.com‘s advice for Jen. Here’s how she can re-vamp her career — and her image: