Friday, March 19, 2010

The Worst Movie Actress, Ever?

I have hardly ever seen a movie starring Jennifer Aniston that was actually any good. She was OK, I guess, on "Friends," though to be honest, I would much rather have hung out with Phoebe and Monica (Courtney Cox) than Rachel. Monica was a world class chef (if a little OCD) and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) was a totally hilarious flake. Rachel, on the other hand, was just a whiny, self-absorbed bitch.

Its not that she's unattractive. In the picture to your left, she's actually kind of pretty. But she really has very little range. I honestly cannot imagine her playing Ophelia or Juliet (though I'm sure she probably attempted those roles in acting class - if she ever actually took one). Nor can I see her as one of Chekhov's Three Sisters or Nora in A Doll's House. Or any other 'serious' role.

Her movie career started with a very, very bad movie (1993's Leprechaun) and hasn't gotten much better since.

There was a string of forgettable TV roles and then along came NBC's "Friends" in 1994. Notable for its great writing and ensemble acting, "Friends" became a cornerstone of NBC's Must See TV Thursdays. Meanwhile, Aniston became most famous for a hairstyle which came to be known as "The Rachel." A hairstyle. Not her acting. A hairstyle.

For her next movie, she lucked out in a supporting role in Edward Burns' She's the One, though she wasn't particularly memorable in it. And the film was hardly as good as Burns' debut, The Brothers McMullin, though she somehow managed to earn top billing.

Then came Picture Perfect; The Object of My Affection (co-starring hottie Paul Rudd); a voice role in Brad Bird's underrated The Iron Giant; Bruce Almighty; Along Came Polly; a supporting role in Office Space and her first serious role in The Good Girl, an overrated domestic drama that had critics raving, but left audiences cold. Then there was the simply godawful thriller Derailed; another terrible rom-com called Rumor Has It; another attempt at drama with the flop Friends With Money which was followed by The Breakup; Management; Marley and Me and her current cinematic turd Bounty Hunter, co-starring Gerard Butler, the worst thing to happen to Romantic Comedies since Jennifer Aniston:

Finally (via), comes the trailer for her next movie The Switch, in which she plays a single woman who decides to impregnate herself with donor sperm, only to have her best friend (Jason Bateman - Oh, Jason... really?) switch his own donation for the one she chose. Originally titled The Baster (as in 'Turkey Baster' - Get it? **sigh**), The Switch is everything that's wrong with romantic comedies, today. The witty banter of Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn; Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell; Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert; hell, even Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, has been replaced with formulaic nonsense even a 10 year-old could tell you is rubbish. The Switch makes Dracula, Dead and Loving It look highbrow in comparison. See for yourselves:

Ugh! I need a shower after watching that. Drivel incarnate. And what the hell are Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum and Juliette Lewis doing in this mess?

So, is Aniston actually the worst actress working in Hollywood today? Probably not. She's certainly no worse than others of her generation. Is she the most over-paid? Most certainly. Does she make make poor decisions when choosing the movies in which she'll appear? Most definitely. I imagine that in another ten years, Ms. Aniston will be a footnote in film history, known best for being the first Mrs. Brad Pitt, than her prowess as a thespian. Maybe, just maybe, she'll fool us all and she'll one day appear as the quintessential Lady Macbeth. Ah... who am I kidding?

More, anon.


Unknown said...

Great article. Disagree with 2 points:

1) Aniston is a really bad actress. Not only a bad one, but a lazy one that does seem to like acting. Look at her roles... she plays them the same way, doesn't care and it's so lazy that doesn't even change the damn hair. Hair that she uses to play and cover her face.

2) Aniston is not pretty. She can be attractive with a good makeup artist, lighting and photographer. Her features are unfortunate. She looks like Dustin Hoffman with make up. And not even the plastic surgery she had trough the years, especially in the nose, helped her.

Aniston should thank Pitt because if it wasn't for him she wouldn't be still making movies.

Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON! And well said. I could agree more!!

Prospero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prospero said...


1. She actually can act when she applies herself; Iron Giant and The Good Girl are proof of that. I'll give you lazy, though.

2. I said that in that photo she was "kind of pretty." Unlike Courtnay Cox, who actually is pretty. She isn't classically beautiful like Grace Kelly, Catherine Deneuve or Sophia Loren. Nor is she a delicate flower like Audrey Hepburn or Mia Farrow. No, she isn't pretty. But she is not unattractive.

Anonymous said...

I think that she was OK in the Good Girl & Friends w/ Money and Office Space is a classic with or without her... a mediocre TV actress who has won over the public because Brad Pitt left her, she will always be ubiquitous in syndication but she should stop making films

Stephen said...


But, I disagree with my fellow commenters. Her work on FRIENDS was first rate & I thiught her work in the GOOD GIRL was committed & original.