Tuesday, August 17, 2010

façade: Jennifer Aniston

OK, this is just between us, right?
Let's see....How shall I put this?....Oh, heck, here goes:
I ♥ Jen!
Now is the time to praise Jennifer Aniston.

Why?

Well, she has a pleasing, sturdy filmmography and, from where I sit, Aniston has been too-hastily (and predicatably) pigeon-holed by short-sighted, lazy media writers as a former TV star rather than as a popular film star.

Fact is, she's a solid actress, a terrific comedienne, a most pleasing screen presence and, by all accounts, one of the most generous people working in films today.


Anyone needing proof should contemplate a home-theater Jennifer Aniston Film Festival - and I heartily suggest that you seriously think about it. Here's a list of double-bills that I'd definitely pencil in:
-"The Break-Up" and "Friends with Money"
Two of Aniston's more recent films, both from a single year, 2006 - an impressive achievement.

The former is Peyton Reed's scathingly authentic look at the baggage that couples thoughtlessly bring into relationships, eventually paying the price.
It's an uncompromising, often harsh but very accurate examination of a relationship unraveling. In this comedy, the "jokes" hurt. They're unusually brutal. It's impressive that the astute script was written by two men, Jay Lavender and Jeremy Garelick, because they've created an amazingly empatheic role for Aniston who tears into it as if it were a raw slab of meat. Her performance here is auspicious, as she registers disappointment and frustration in counterpoint to co-star Vince Vaughn's glib, unfeeling self-entitlement. The guy definitely comes off worse here. The actual scene in which the pair breaks up - and extended argument played out in real time - is arguably some of the best screen writing in years. That scene alone, which runs about ten minutes, can stand on its own as a complete, self-contained movie.

Nicole Holofcener directed the second - a slender, shrewd inside-out take on Aniston's "Friends," where matters are less than egalitarian. Aniston bravely took on the role of the loser of the group - which includes Frances McDormand, Catherine Keener and Joan Cusack - and ran with it.

-"Love Happens" and "Management"
For reasons of commerce exclusively, Brandon Camp's debut film, Love Happens," was sold as a Jennifer Aniston romcom. Far from it. It's an Aaron Eckhart dramedy. Aniston hands the material - about a self-help guru, newly widowed, who has to learn to help himself - over to Eckhart; she is essentially playing a part that's in support to his star turn here. It's a serious film. There's nothing romantic or comedic about it. And it works because Eckhart is so commanding as a deeply flawed man. His scenes with Martin Sheen, playing his character's grieving father-in-law, incited my imagination. I could just see these two as father and son in a remake of "I Never Sang for My Father," played 40 years ago by Melvyn Douglas and Gene Hackman for Gilbert Cates. And Aniston would be great in the sister role originally played by Estelle Parsons. (I can dream, can't I?)

Playwright Stephen Belber (he of the Manhattan Theater Club and the Playwrights Horizons) wrote and directed "Management," a quirky, shaggy dog love story between a desperate man-child (Steve Zahn) and a jaded traveling saleswoman (Aniston) who supplies the tacky art that routinely litters cheap motel rooms but whose avocation is more green and more enlightened. She's obsessed with the environment. The film is wistful, intelligent and very small, and Belber handed Aniston a wonderful role - possibly the most fascinating woman's movie part in ages, bar none. But she stepped back and let the incorrigible Zahn, at long last, have his moment in the spotlight in "Management." Definitely worth a second look, now that the tabloid dust that usually surrounds Aniston has settled.


-"Rock Star" and "Office Space"
Two of Aniston's more eclectic titles - Stephen Herek's 2001 indictment of just how unhealthy and destructive show business can be to a person's psyche, and Mike Judge's gloriously anarchic and savage bludgeoning of the modern workplace. Released in 1999, it's a film full of guys - but Aniston shines as Joanna, an artless young woman who just doesn't wear enough of the required "flair" in her demoralizing waitress job.

-"The Good Girl" and "The Object of My Affection"
These two contain Aniston's strongest screen performances - as the blue-collar Justine in "The Good Girl," Miguel Arteta's astute 2002 art-house hit about a young woman who is trapped, stuck, immobolized (take your pick) and 1998's "The Object of My Affection," directed by Nicholas Hytner from a screenplay by Wendy Wasserstein, in which the actress plays Nina, a confused young woman who falls in love with a gay man (Paul Rudd).

-"Derailed" and "Rumor Has It"
Aniston starred in these two diametrically opposed films in 2005 - the first, a nasty bit of business by Mikael Håfström, with Clive Owen and Vincent Cassel, and the second a potentially promising reimagining of the story behind "The Graduate," which suffered an irrevocable loss when its first director (and creator), Ted Griffin, was dismissed after 10 days into principal photography and replaced by Rob Reiner. It never got its footing - and, sadly, remains a missed opportunity.

-"She's the One" and "Dream for an Insomniac"
Two from 1996 - Ed Burn's sophomore feature, an easy-going ensemble piece that also features Cameron Diaz, and Tiffanie DeBartolo's little-seen off-beat romcom with Ione Skye and Jennifer as BFFs. Worth checking out.

-"He's Just Not That into You" and "Marley & Me"

Earlier, I commented that Aniston may be the most generous screen performer today. She was a team player in the hugely entertaining ensemble film, "He's Just Not That Into You," and she indulged a dog (actually many of them) and the dog-eyed Owen Wilson in "Marley & Me." (And let's not forget those films she made with Eckhart and Zahn.)
”Marley & Me,"
of course, is a family-friendly mainstream film adapted from the John Grogan best-seller. It's a movie that was ready-made for the cineplex at your local mall but there's more than what meets the eye here. Director David Frankel, ably abetted by his game stars Owen Wilson and Aniston, apparently was not interested in doodling some mindless romp here, but was driven by something more serious, commenting in subtle ways on the profound relationship that a person can have with an animal in general and with a companion pet in particular. His film deals with the wordless affection and trust that animals can (and do) bring to relationships, qualities of which humans are only vaguely aware. And usually when it's too late.
It's a family film but a superior one, alternately endearing and disturbing as it shows scenes of family life, wherein a pet - first a little puppy, then a hulking giant - is always there, usually on the periphery of the action but, somehow, crucial to the action. His presence, casually taken for granted, is felt only when he is gone. Suddenly, life ... has ... changed. Sad."Marley & Me" earns its tears, largely because Frankel has given his film a generous exposition that's alive with many acute observations and details. The well-honed screenplay was written by ace scenarist Scott Frank ("Get Shorty," "Minority Report" and "Out of Sight") and indie filmmaker Don Roos ("The Opposite of Sex"). And in Wilson and Aniston, Frankel has two vanity-free pros who have chemistry to spare and play out their individual and shared foibles in a natural (and good-natured) style that would have been appreciated by Hollywood and critics of an earlier era.
No pretensions here.

-"The Iron Giant" and "The Thin Pink Line"
The first is Brad Bird's much-admired 1999 animation in which Aniston provided the mom's voice, and the second is - what? I'm not sure. It was directed by Joe Dietl and
Michael Irpino in 1998, a send-up of sorts, and apparently went straight to video. Huge cast. In addition to Aniston, there's Mike Myers, Janeane Garofalo, David Schwimmer, Illeana Douglas and Jason Priestly. The contributors on IMDb compare it to "Waiting for Guffman." Too much of a curiosity not to be included in my little at-home festival.
I left out a few Aniston titles - "Picture Perfect," "Till There was You," "Bruce Almighty" and "Along Came Polly" - largely because her roles in them do fit into the facile profile of Aniston's film career that's been offered up by movie pundits - the thankless "girlfriend" role.
Right now, Aniston is due out in the aforementioned "The Switch," opening Friday (20 August) in which she continues to define her singular screen persona - namely, a woman who's a looker and a good sport and who has a spikey edge that she makes no effort to conceal. The film's narrative sounds Aniston-made - calling on the resources of the actress who can be playful and in charge. And Jennifer Aniston is very much in charge.
Note in Passing: I would have loved to see what Aniston would have done with the role of Mariane Pearl in "The Mighty Heart," a vehicle that, reportedly, she and Brad Pitt optioned together when they were still a married couple - and which was originally developed with Aniston in mind.
Related reading: Kim Morgan of the fabulous "Sunset Gun" site and The San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle defend Aniston. Bravo! And LaSalle defines "Love Happens." And Carrie Rickey, Glenn Kenny and Tom Shone take on Wasson and Dowd (and their crackpot theories on romantic comedies) on their marvelous movie sites, "Flickgrrl, "Some Came Running" and "Taking Barack to the Movies," respectively.

78 comments:

Catherine said...

It's easy to take people who do their craft so effortlessly for granted. She's a natural - no histrionics. As a comedienne, I always thoughts that Aniston went down easy. Thanks for printing selected list of her titles. I forogt that she's been in some good ones.

Coffee Fiend said...

Jennifer Aniston continues to tear it up... even more than her ex-hubby Bragelina

shelley a. said...

At last! A voice of reason. I felt the same way about "The Break-Up." Pretty tough movie and what I liked about it is that it didn't cop you.

sanyal said...

yes... and the thing is..."The Break-Up" is very realistic... especially the ending... the fact that they do not get back adds to it...

wwolfe said...

That Bill O'Reilly line is a gem.

There seems to be a need for some lazy critics to choose a cinematic object of derision to whom they can make quick reference as a means of establishing their superiority. It's tiresome, but it says more in the end about those critics than their target. I appreciate you giving a fair reading to your film festival selections - it was a pleasure to read something thoughtful, rather than the literary equivalent of a snort of dismissive laughter.

joe baltake said...

Thanks, Bill. I'm personally weary of snarkiness passing for criticism today.

Dan J. said...

Well said, Joe. And I agree that "Love Happens" should have never been sold as a romantic comedy. I was very suprised at the low reviews it received, but saw the movie and enjoyed it. As I posted on Rotten Tomatoes, I gave an 80% rating, mostly for Eckhart's performance. I recommended this movie while it was in the theaters.

Atul said...

love happens is a romantic comedy drama in which jennifer aniston had played a very classic role , I like the movie only because of her.

Anonymous said...

Bill O' is a tragic figure.

Mitch said...

When "LOve Happens" opened and did less business than expected, the press blamed Aniston again. She made one too many romcoms this year, was the main complaint. Too bad the studio didn't sell the film for what it was, but then perhaps it would have done even less business. Thanks for the tip. Now, I want to see it.

Jeremy Hodge said...

That scene you mention in "The Break Up" is GREAT. It contains some of the best acting in recent years. "The Break-Up" really got a raw deal because, like you say, it's an uncompromising film on a subject everyone can relate to.

Nicholas said...

Joe! Excellent post on Aniston. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are good but the newer ones have a lot more creativity and originality. Keep it up!

joe baltake said...

Nicholas- Thanks! My blog always seems the same to me. I personally see no change in it (for better or worse). However, I have grown more comfortable with it and perhaps that shows and has affected my creativity.

Debbie Saluski said...

"The Break Up" could have been just another guy-comedy goofball, but Aniston and Vince Vaughn brought layers to it. I admire Vaugh in this film for daring to be unlikable and unsympathetic. He could have played the character as just a jerk, and I bow to Aniston for her toughness.

graham said...

Aniston will never be forgiven for having come out of TV. And exactly why do people look down on TV work so? Doing a show like "Friends" is essentially like putting on a stage play every week. That's the way it should be seen. Anyway, Aniston shouldn't be discounted. Starting with "Friends," she has always been a great comic actress.

craig richards said...

To expand on what graham just said, like a good stage performer, Aniston always came across as a good team player. Sure,an ensemble show like "Friends" requires that, but even in her film work, there's was a lot of give and take. Anyway, she seems to have chemistry with every one of her co-stars - and as you correctly point out, she's always generous with them.

John Kaiser said...

I haven't seen many of the movies listed, but I've always been partial to her performance in "The Object of My Affection". Great work from both Aniston and Paul Rudd.

Erich78 said...

Why do I always forget about "The Good Girl" and Aniston's work in it? Good film.

joe baltake said...

Erich78: I've no idea why "The Good Girl" has become a forgotten film. You're not the only one who has overlooked it. It was well-regarded at the time of its release, and so was Aniston's performance in it. I think "The Break-Up," "Friends with Money" and "Love Happens" are three other titles of which she can also really be especially proud.

Amy said...

Aniston seems to be someone used by some critics to work out their own personal issues. I'm not sure why someone gets picked for that uncomfortable role, but I'm happy to see you taking a more reasoned approach to a performer who's done a suprising amount of good work and with too little recognition.

Richard said...

I had planned to skip "Love Happens" because of the downbeat reviews. I was cautious. But I went in anyway and was really taken by it. No, it wasn't a romcom at all. Also, thanks for reminding me that one of my favorite movies of that year was "He's Just Not That Into You," got similarly negative reviews.

Kevin Deany said...

Great, great blog, Joe. Could not agree with you more about the special qualities of Jennifer Aniston.

I enjoyed the first three quarters of "Love Happens" very much, and thought it was one of the more affecting love stories I had seen in a long time. I can't forgive the last 20 minutes or so, which for me was one cliche after another (the achingly public confession, the slow clap, etc.)

It was so good up until that point that I wonder if the studio got cold feet and instigated some changes? But I thought Aniston and Echkart were both wonderful in it.

joe baltake said...

Kevin- I know exactly what you mean about those last few minutes of "Love Happens" and I think your theory of studio interference is spot-on. Still, I was able to forgive that flaw because it was so heartening to see a serious movie about a relationship between flawed people. No, not a romcom.

Jamie said...

The lack of maturity revealed in that single statement by Sam Wasson is truly jaw-dropping. I mean, it's so-o-o high school.

Paul M. said...

Good post. I checked out all the links you give and found this witty letter on the NY Times site in regard to the Dowd-Wasson dialogue. It says all there is to say:

"With a guy like Sam Wasson walking the earth, who needs romantic comedy? After reading this column, I feel like I walked into the middle of an unintentionally funny horror flick written and directed by Woody Allen.

"This self-proclaimed expert on cinematic love proudly admits that he is constantly asking himself and all his 'friends and lovers' why the genre is dead. Then, later in the column, he casually mentions he has a girlfriend, as he and Maureen Dowd are madly e-mailing each other back and forth over their mutual obsession.

I assume (I hope) this piece was meant to be a satire of the cultural bankruptcy of contemporary America. My favorite quote from Sam the Man: 'Every time I see Jennifer Aniston's or Jennifer Garner's face I wince.'

This whole column made me wince. I can only imagine how Sam Wasson's girlfriend will feel after reading it. Assuming, of course, that she even exists outside of his Holly Golightly-addled imagination."

Right on!

wwolfe said...

By the way, thanks for recommending Kim Morgan's blog. Terrific pieces on "Frances and Frances Farmer, as well as Lindsay Lohan. I've added her site to my bookmarks.

joe baltake said...

Bill- I agree. Kim is great. -J

MovieGal said...

Who couldn't like Jennifer Aniston?

Warren89 said...

Like Coffee Fiend, I also take a small pleasure in the fact that Jennifer Anniston continues to have better years, commercially (and sometimes also artistically), than Brangelina, Angie's Oscar win nothwithstanding.

Gwen said...

Warren is right. Brad and Jolie might make more "important" movies, but they usually fizzle. No business and so-so-reviews. Somehow, the Academy was infatuated with them. Aniston, on the other than, gives very naturalistic performances (the kind, alas, that don't break hearts and win Oscars) that I personally found much more appealing.

Dennis C. said...

Gwen: Pitt's "Benjamin Button" has a domestic gross of about $125 million - not great for a so-called "superstar," but nothing to sneeze at either. Bottom line: It did do business. Admittedly, Jolie's "Changeling" didn't do well but I received some good reviews. I personally didn't like it, mostly because of Jolie. I think Aniston is much more impressive in both "The Good Girl" and "The Break-Up," the latter especially.

Mark S. said...

AMEN JOE! Why must every new critic ignore all that is right with a performance or a film? Way too many "glass half empty" critics these days...
-mark

Moviezzz said...

Great piece.

I've always liked Aniston, but maybe it is the fact that her FRIENDS character inspired a hairstyle that critics just don't take her as seriously as they should.

THE GOOD GIRL shows that she is a fine actress. And not to mention on FRIENDS she proved to be a great comic actress as well, something that also doesn't get enough critical attention.

Elaine said...

I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that a comparison between Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Garner was somehow put forth as credible based on..what? Their similar hair color? Or just their first names? And yet my expectations of so-called professional commentary always starts out so much higher! I have always appreciated Jennifer Aniston's ability, if not always her film choices, which have run a little hot and cold, as can be said of many of her peers and predecessors. I think she has a lovely, calm, effortless style, that embraces comedy and romance, and has maintained decorum, preferring to keep her body and her business to herself, and I think that probably rankles with a lot of media hounds. Perhaps it also limits her opportunities. That would be a shame.

Marsha Coupé said...

Having never seen Friends, the first and only time I caught Aniston was in The Good Girl. Enjoyed the film, but was not especially captivated by anybody, including Aniston. I feel the same way about her as I did Meg Ryan, when she was America’s romantic comedy sweetheart. They both look boyish to me (or Ryan did before the surgical alterations turned her into Joan Rivers)

Did not realize she had made so many films. Based on your recommendations, Joe, I will give her another look and rent Management and Rock Star.

Gary said...

a agree, i'm a JA fan, epsecially when she's in off-kilter stuff like "The Good Girl" and "Management." I think she's an easy target but she seems to handle it all quite well. As for Bill O'Reilly, what can you ever say? I'd rather talk about Laura Schlesinger right now...

John Kaiser said...

Thirty-eight comments and counting, Joe. Looks like you should write about Aniston more often.

Janet P. said...

I am so sick of Aniston playing the perpetual ingenue. She's trying to be the girl from “Friends” and she's 40 years old. I know she's made a few attempts at extending her range - Derailed, for example. But she is what she is - a light comedienne, if you like that sort of thing. And I don't. I think she was good in “Marley & Me.” But I'm not a fan. She's probably a good friend to her buddies, has great hair, is holding up nicely, etc. But when I see her on screen, I only see the woman with the hair who makes forgettable movies. So I guess it's not just young males who put her down. Most of my female friends feel as i do about her. She should go away for a while. She's perfectly suited to the demands of TV situation comedies and there's no shame in that. If it's no broke, don't fix it. I do think she handled the Bill O'Reilly thing well. I loathe him and her pr staff did a good job writing her reply to him.

Paul said...

Joe- Hear! Hear! -Paul

Lynn said...

Great tribute! I think her response to Bill O’Reilly was absolutely perfect. Of course, I may be prejudiced as I think he his hate spewing idiot who makes up facts and uses sound bites to back up his misinformation! My sister just called on her way home from seeing The Switch to tell me how much she liked it and to say that it was really worth seeing. Keep up the good fight.

g.c. said...

And a good spiel on Aniston.

Susan Granger said...

With all due respect, Joe. I disagree....http://susangranger.com/?p=5076.
I am not young and I hope I am not snarky. Perhaps someday Ms. Aniston will concentrate more on her work than publicizing her diet, fashion and off-screen romances. Make no mistake about it - she courts all this publicity - it doesn't just 'happen' to her.

joe baltake said...

Susan! We agree to disagree on this. Bit it makes little difference if I agree or disagree, you wrote a professonal, balanced and tight analysis of the film. One can't ask for more than that from a critic.

Joan said...

I just read Carrie Rickey's Review of The Switch in The Philadelphia Inquirer and she agrees with you.

joe baltake said...

Joan! Carrie has very good taste. That and, you know, great minds think alike. -J

Dick said...

I love Aniston's work. I think she's great. And Bill O'Reilly is a right wing schmuck.

Patrick Stoner said...

Fair enough, Joe, and it's always obvious when there is a "piling on" effect from critics, whether it's with raves or knocks, but there's a more practical, if extremely tricky and often inexplicable side to this: a choice of scripts that WORK for you. Think of those who picked just the right things for THEM at the right time: Hepburn (both of them), Grant, Stewart, Streep, and Bullock. Then, there are those who seemed to alternate between films that yielded the results and those that didn't: Costner, Clooney, and--yes--Pitt. Aniston has not been as clever at matching her talents with her choices. This isn't a judgment about the quality of the movies themselves, but rather that odd moment of resonance between actor and role.

joe baltake said...

Good point, Patrick. However, the two Hepburns and Grant, unlike people like Clooney, Pitt and Aniston, worked under the studio system which trained, molded and looked out for them. The new breed of actors doesn't have that luxury. As for Streep, she's always been something of an anomaly, completely unto herself (but even she had something of a dry spell in the '90s, from which she has since rebounded sensationally). As for Bullock, frankly, I would put her on the same plane as Aniston, in that both are "win some, lose some" actresses. Bullock's Oscar this year (completely undeserved, in my opinion) will surely improve her chances at getting better roles in better films.

Roberta said...

Great site Joe.

George Anthony said...

When did Aniston-bashing become an officially sanctioned sport? I must have missed that email.
Enjoyed my visit to your site. Passionate indeed!

joe baltake said...

George! "When did Aniston-bashing become an officially sanctioned sport? I must have missed that email."

I just love that line. It says all there is to say about a petty situation among unformed, young movie critics and pathetic, parasitic celebrity gossips that has gotten way out of hand.

MarleneG said...

You go Joe! I like her style. She does seem to act effortlessly. You can't really say that about too many actors.

Dick said...

'rumor has it...' is the one of the worst films ever. ever! rob reiner should have been thrown in jail for such trash.

joe baltake said...

Dick- "One of the worst films ever. Ever!"? Really? Why do people always resort to that extreme, hackneyed phrase when they describe a film they don't like? Of course, you exacerbate matters by adding "Rob Reiner should have been thrown in jail for such trash." Fuzzy thinking, friend. It's just a movie. And I never implied it was a good one - only that it's a missed opportunity because the idea behind it is a good one.

Karen said...

I agree. I like Jennifer Aniston. She can be very funny and her timing is impeccable.

Steve said...

You go Joe! Thanks for putting your learned opinion out there!

susanyh said...

Joe, I agree with you completely. Except for the part about Maureen Dowd being "one of the crown jewels of the Times's op-ed section."

Susie said...

I agree with you. I don't think Jennifer Aniston deserves the latest...I do think she is a talent and isn't given enough credit.

Bruce said...

Aniston was never going to act in "The Mighty Heart." Check you facts. Aniston is an average actress. She makes millions of dollars. If she wanted or thought she could play anything other than Rachel, she would. I don't feel sorry for her. She deserves all the negative articles. She makes McMovies.

joe baltake said...

Bruce! I think you should check your facts. Maybe you don't see Aniston playing Mariane Pearl,but that was the idea when she and Pitt optioned the material - which apparently Pitt owned and took with him when they parted. Angelina Jolie was very good in the film but the fact is, Aniston would have been more interesting, more adventurous casting. If anyone else out there is fairly certain that I am wrong and can document it, let me know. I'm operating strictly on my memory here.

Patrick Stoner said...

Fair points, Joe, but I'll make this rejoinder to Grant and Hepburn (both in one of my top ten films, The Philadelphia Story): Hepburn's great comeback, in that film, was not only without studio help but also her way of forcing Hollywood to take her back, and Cary (as I'm sure he would have had me call him if we had actually met) so defied the studios and his--eventual-- fellow Academy members that it was more of his stubborn insistence on how his image should be maintained (like having the women flirt with him as he grew older, e.g., in that other Hepburn's great romantic thriller Charade--you know other examples) than any studio advice or guidance.

joe baltake said...

That's a great point, Patrick. Yes, stars were once protected by the studio system, fed roles, but many times, they were held back and had to rebel and strike out on their own. I guess that acting has always been a "survival of the fittest" situation and still very much is - only more so.

Tucker said...

Potent! Baboom!

joe baltake said...

FYI.

The estimable Daryl Chin weighs in on the on-going Jennifer Aniston lynch-mob mentality on his ever-fascinating site, Documents on Art & Cinema (http://d-a-c.blogspot.com/), and his this to say:

"I can't seem to shake it. Just watched 'The Ghosts of Girlfrends Past'; obviously, not a movie that i would watch in a theater, but i decided i should see it because it has Jennifer Garner, who (along with Jennifer Aniston) was an object of scorn in a recent column by Maureen Dowd. Jennifer Garner isn't bad, in fact, there are moments when she's very charming. In a way, i don't understand current critical standards (or the lack thereof). It's like the current critical animosity towards Jennifer Aniston: where is this coming from? But it's coming from the same mentality which Hollywood foists on everyone, in which there are winners and losers. So Angelina Jolie is a winner (especially because 'Salt' was a success) and so Jennifer Aniston must be the loser. And one of the problems with critics now is that so many critics want to be insiders, they want to know who's on top in the Hollywood hierarchy, they want to back the winner.

"It's kind of a hideous situation. And nobody wants to break the trend."

Sturges said...

Whenever I hear some moron complain in any way about Jennifer Aniston, I just think, "Have you seen The Good Girl?" and I mentally walk away...

joe baltake said...

Sturges! There are a lot of morons out there and most of them are professional critics who, for some bizarre reason, are operating as if they are celebrity gossip columnists. Frightening.

jim said...

Regarding Aniston, I have always been a fan. I live in Northern California and, on Saturday, as I was driving to Burlingame for an appointment, I heard the reviewer Jan Wahl on the radio and all she did was TRASH TRASH TRASH poor Jennifer. I was stunned that she, of all people, was criticizing Aniston's abilities as an actress.

There's no doubt in my mind that Aniston has talent.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, I believe, liked THE SWITCH; or at least its critic liked the Aniston/Bateman teaming.

joe baltake said...

Jim- I knew Jan very casually when I was reviewing from Northern California. She was very kind and welcoming to me and was very social in general - in short, an "up" person. It's hard to imagine her being nasty in one of her reviews, but I take your word for it. Maybe she was having a bad day. Or maybe she's bought into the new anti-Aniston agenda that so many critics (mostly young and mostly male) have today. The bottom line is that, years from now, no one will know who Jan or I was, but people will remember Jennifer Aniston.

Claire said...

Joe, I was going to write something in support of Jennifer Aniston, but you said it so much better to last poster. Critics may come and go, and will be quickly forgotten, but people in movies live forever. If my memory serves me correctly, what everyone is saying about Aniston is the same things that people once said about Doris Day. She faced the same ridicule in her day. Now we realize what a treasure she was. Thanks for putting it just right.

joe baltake said...

Claire- It's interesting that you bring up the Doris Day comparison because that's exactly what I said about Aniston in a post on Carrie Rickey's site,Flickgrrl

I guess great minds think alike.

Alex said...

People forget that Jennifer Aniston became a star, almost overnight, on "Friends." Arguably, when the show came on in '94, she was its most popular personality. She was 25. It ran for 10 years and her popularity remained. That is nothing to dismiss. Her critics can remain oblivious but she is a star. In the years since the show went off the air, she's experimented with roles. There are quite a few indies on her resume. The current hostility toward her says more about her critics than about this most likable actress.

Jen411 said...

I agree with Alex. Aniston is a young pro. I think she knows exactly what she's doing both in terms of her on-screen career and her off-screen life that makes the tabloids.

Mort said...

Your comments about Jennifer Aniston are incredibly articulate, hilarious, opinionated and inciteful all at once. It all came home in one piece.

walt said...

a nice piece you've done on Aniston

Tüpbebek said...

Thanks a lot!!!!
Soo good Page..
NIce post

Ramona said...

"Management" was brilliant and one of her most underrated films. Critics analyzed it as though it was another romcom when in fact it was a highly artful treatment of the most basic of human relationships - that of parent/child. Any doubts? Just notice how the movie opens and closes, and look at each relationship in the movie. it couldn't be more obvious and yet the critics missed it.

Beachbody said...

Big Aniston fan here! I just passed this onto a colleague who I had a bet with on Jennifer. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him, So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

Cheryl said...

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