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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

Cameron Diaz: hideously old, and ugly too?

Speaking of hating the Farrelly Brothers

What the fuck?

Malin Akerman, the actress who plays Ben Stiller’s crazy girlfriend in The Heartbreak Kid, is a very pretty gal, but she’s absolutely terrifying in one regard: she’s a damn near clone of Cameron Diaz, who, waiiiiit just a second, was Stiller’s costar nine years ago in There’s Something About Mary, which is much the same kind of awful as the Farrellys’ new opus.

Just look:

That’s Akerman on the left in each pairing, and Diaz on the right.

If the Farrellys wanted to reunite Stiller and Diaz, why not just cast Diaz again? Oh, that’s right: Diaz is now over 30, but Akerman is still in her 20s.

It’s okay for Stiller to get older, I guess, but his female costars have to stay the same age: nubile.

As you can see for yourself, Cameron Diaz today is a hideous old hag:

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  • The depressing thing about Diaz’s case (besides the ageism you’re alluding to) is how terrifyingly skeletally *thin* she’s become. Look at her in The Mask — how sexy and curvy and reasonably shaped she is — and then look at any picture of her from the last five years. She’s starved herself to keep getting work; damning testament to Hollywood’s insistence on refugee chique as the only standard of feminine beauty.

  • MBI

    You picked kind of a weird-looking picture of Diaz there, it’s almost comes across like you’re being sincere rather than sarcastic. Not that she looks like a hag or anything, but it’s not that flattering either.

  • Perhaps Malin Akerman is British. ;-)

  • Katie

    I had the exact same thought when I first saw the trailer for this movie – Malin Akerman looks exactly like Diaz.

    And of course Diaz got scary thin, how else is an actress suppose to keep herself on top? Just wait, give Scarlett Johansson a few years and all her gorgeous curves will be gone as well.

    These (ageism and weight) are the two worst double standards in the industry and its terribly insulting to everyone.

  • Just wait, give Scarlett Johansson a few years and all her gorgeous curves will be gone as well.

    Blasphemy… (MaryAnn will probably understand why I say this.)

    And yes, Cameron Diaz was at her peak of beauty in The Mask.

  • MaryAnn

    Perhaps Malin Akerman is British. ;-)

    She’s some sort of Scandanavian.

    You people really think that recent pic of Diaz is unflattering? Geez, you’re harsh.

  • amy

    The woman sounds like Cameron Diaz too which is even weirder. Obviously, “get a young Cameron Diaz” was the casting order.

  • MBI

    Okay, maybe I am being harsh. I’m judging on Cameron Diaz standards, not the standards of an actual human being.

    But in defense of the Farrelly Brothers, I doubt age was a factor. Likely a larger factor was that how the Farrellys’ career has dropped while Diaz’s has took off in the past decade. There’s Something About Mary was her star-making role and now she’s in the A-list. She wasn’t really famous before then, remember; her only success were supporting roles in Jim Carrey/Julia Roberts vehicles. Meanwhile, the Farrellys have made two middling successes and then two flops since There’s Something About Mary, and they probably can’t afford Diaz, particularly in a supporting role, nor would Diaz accept.

  • Harsh? It’s the cheeks and the jaw-line that cause the abreaction, at least for me. That’s the face of a woman in her fifties (not in itself a bad thing at all; some are lovely) trying to look as though she’s in her forties (which never works well).

    And sure, I’m judging on shallow aesthetic grounds: that’s all I have to judge on in this context (and perhaps more to the point it’s all a casting director will judge on). I have no idea what Diaz is like as a person, and I’m never likely to find out.

  • Judas

    If Farrellys’ decision for Stiller’s co-star have come from exclusively that MBI posted “they probably can’t afford Diaz, particularly in a supporting role, nor would Diaz accept” they could get an actress with thereabout Stiller’s age, but they didn’t.
    Therefore, there’s a second parameter. Farellys’ ideas of ageism. So they’ve copied the old tested successful formula (similarity and age [26th year old Diaz at that time]) from “There’s Something About Mary”. Personally I doubt if this formula will work again as well successfully, because of the bigger difference of age between Stiller-Akerman than then Stiller-Diaz.
    I agree with the previous participants, Diaz has become too thin. I don’t think so, if Diaz being thinner is doing to her self purposely. As an actress my opinion for Ms. Diaz is not very good one (I’ve rated as “b” class).
    Anyway I personally believe Diaz has an extremely good asset “her natural bright smile”. Even Diaz’s premature anilities and with lot of wrinkles on her, I’ll still find her very attractive woman and choose her as my girlfriend despite of younger Akerman (that’s a dream!!!!!).

  • Mark

    Personally, I’ve never found Cameron Diaz to be all that attractive. Heck, I don’t find the younger girl in those pictures all that attractive, either. Then again, blonde’s aren’t my thing.
    I won’t go near this movie. I will admit to laughing quite a bit at Something about Mary, though. It think that movie just hit at the right time.

  • MaryAnn

    Imagine any of us having this conversation about a male actor…

  • Judas

    posted by MaryAnn (October 5, 2007 4:57 PM)

    Imagine any of us having this conversation about a male actor…

    Why what difference?

  • MaryAnn

    The difference is, men’s bodies and appearances are dissected like this, not subjected to the same criticism as this.

  • Judas

    posted by MaryAnn (October 5, 2007 5:22 PM)

    The difference is, men’s bodies and appearances are dissected like this, not subjected to the same criticism as this.
    ————————————————————————–
    That’s unfair.

  • MaryAnn

    I meant, of course, that men’s bodies are NOT dissected like this, but I think that was clear.

    In what way is that unfair?

  • Judas

    I have the opinion that we should criticize equally both sexes (male & female) at the same extend.

  • Cameron Diaz was always an ugly, shrill, unfunny actress. The problem is that her ugly, shill, unfunny male costars like Ben Stiller keep getting top billing.

    I have never really understood why.

    As for me, I can easily imaging myself having a conversation like this about a male actor, because I have many times.

  • dg

    I think that Logan’s Run crystal thingy was blinking in the palm of her hand. Hollywood had to run her out.

  • MaryAnn

    I have the opinion that we should criticize equally both sexes (male & female) at the same extend.

    Oh, I get you now. You’re saying it’s unfair that we DON’T treat men and women the same way, not unfair that I pointed this out. I misunderstood.

    Cameron Diaz was always an ugly, shrill, unfunny actress.

    I think she has the potential to be quite an effective comic actress. But Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with funny women, but “funny” is not part of what women are supposed to be.

    Ugly? Jesus, what must you think of ordinary women?

  • MaryAnn

    As for me, I can easily imaging myself having a conversation like this about a male actor, because I have many times.

    So have I. But the larger culture does not. Women’s bodies are fair game. Men’s bodies are not.

  • amanohyo

    I don’t think much of Cameron Diaz’s looks or acting skills either, but I don’t think she’s ever been given much to work with, scriptwise. I remember initially liking her frumpy character in Being John Malkovich… and then being disappointed when she was given practically no development at all and transformed into a plot puppet (literally). Funny how that happens to female characters in almost every mainstream comedy. Come to think of it, I think the movie which gave her character the most development was the first Shrek. That’s just sad.

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with female/male eye candy, but I taught lots of funny girls in high school; I knew funny girls in college, I have a few funny friends now who happen to be women. Surely, there are some funny actresses out there who could carry a scene? It seems as if, in America at least, the fastest way to become a famous female comic is to be “edgy” and/or trash other female celebrities (see: Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman). I think they’re both funny, but I wonder if they would be as popular if they bucked the trend and started making fun of male celebrities a little more often.

    Oh, speaking of funny ladies, I stumbled on a cool series called Girls Who Do Comedy in which Dawn French interviews several great comics (mostly British) about what it means to be a funny woman. It’s not a series of stand up routines, just interviews about their lives. Some might find it boring, but I wish it went on for several more episodes. And Margaret Cho’s impervious mask of make-up scares the bejeebus out of me. Maybe she’s trying to make some kind of cultural statement, I don’t know. It’s scary. Marilyn Manson scary… almost Elizabeth Taylor scary…

  • 1) I think ordinary women are quite often much more beautiful than Diaz is! I’m sorry, I was too hard on her, but I loathe her and nearly every movie I’ve seen her in. And I think she doesn’t look like an actual human being.

    2) You’re right about funny women, they are generally not given good roles unless they make them for themselves. Amanda Bynes is a brilliant comedic actress but her movies are almost all unwatchably bad. Same with Anna Faris, whose biggest roles to date have been in the atrocious Scary Movies (and incidentally, she did a dead-on parody of Ms. Diaz in Lost in Translation).

    3) What “larger culture”? Oh you mean the one where Ben Stiller is a big star? Yeah I try to have as little to do with that cesspool as I can, and I would advise any other reasonably intelligent person to do the same.

  • MBI

    Personally, I think Ms. Akerman looks more like Kirsten Dunst. Her voice is exactly like Diaz though.

    For some reason, I’m reminded of a series of videotaped lectures I saw in college from a woman explaining how advertising objectifies women. The first was made in the early ’80s. In the last, most recent lecture, she noted that the culture had made some real headway towards equality, in that men were starting to be objectified just as hard.

    I don’t remember her exact words, but it was something like, “This… this isn’t the progress I was looking for.” And for some reason that memory always makes me laugh. Equal treatment for all!

  • Josh

    I admit I found the resemblance a bit disturbing myself but come on MaryAnn. Do you have to read the “men are sexist and evil” slant into everything? I am sure they don’t consider Diaz too old for the role. For crying out loud. Is Drew Barrymore any younger than Diaz? She was in Fever Pitch.

  • MaryAnn

    Actually, yes, Drew Barrymore IS younger than Cameron Diaz, as you could well have determined for yourself. And Barrymore was *just* under 30 when *Fever Pitch* was made.

    If you want to be taken seriously here, please don’t say things like: “Do you have to read the ‘men are sexist and evil’ slant into everything?” I absolutely, positively do NOT do that. But when it sounds like a duck, I’m gonna call it a duck. And this is hardly an issue that the Farrelly Brothers have cornered — this is typical of Hollywood on the whole, an industry in which men are allowed to age naturally but women may not. It’s not as if I discovered, in this post, some deep dark secret that no one else was away of.

    Hollywood IS sexist, and it IS run almost entirely BY men for an audience of teenage boys and young men. Those are simple facts.

  • Kim

    Now here’s a fact: What men find attractive in women is different from what women find attractive in men. You can call that unfair if you wish — hell, let’s all call it unfair. But unfair Mother Nature has seen fit to make two sexes who on the whole are very different from each other. I guess we can reduce the amount of objectification for women in the world, that seems like an attainable goal, but if you want equal beauty standards, I’m not holding my breath.

    And hey, the next time some bullshit fashion magazine makes you feel like shit, you can at least take solace in the fact that you’ve never worried if your paycheck was too small for the opposite sex to like you.

  • amanohyo

    Great Odin’s bristling beard! Can no blog escape defilement at the artless hands of the spambot horde? Who would actually fall for this idiocy?

    To Kim: I don’t think anyone here is claiming that the biological standards of beauty for two heterosexual people of the opposite sex should be identical. It would just be kinda nice to see movies broaden their representations of the female side of the population. Older women do exist, unattractive women do exist, many of them are really funny, many of them have incredible acting skills, many of them were able to find work before they hit thirty. Where the hell are they now?

    It’s easy to point fingers at biological differences, but the mainstream acceptance of older male actors and wholesale abandonment of their older female colleagues has very little to do with biology and everything to do with socialization in a patriarchal world. Your life as a human being, your values, your desires, your beliefs, are largely established by social pressures.

    But that’s kinda controversial, and anyway, we’re both off topic (me, moreso than you). The main complaint has nothing to do with what men and women find beautiful. It’s more of a cry of frustration that almost every mainstream movie continues to be produced, directed, and marketed by men to target audiences of men (or man-boys). It’s getting old for me, and I’m a man. I can’t even imagine how pissed off I’d be if I was a woman. Look at the imdb top 250 for Zeus’s sake! How many of those movies are about a bunch of guys doing “manly” things? How many have anything even remotely close to a well-developed (personality, not bosoms) portrayal of a woman, even an attractive one? And a normal looking woman, a woman over thirty? Do they even exist? Looking at the list, I’m not really sure.

  • MaryAnn

    the mainstream acceptance of older male actors and wholesale abandonment of their older female colleagues has very little to do with biology and everything to do with socialization in a patriarchal world.

    The way Hollywood depicts men and women — and the ways it choses not to depict them — also has little to do with how real people, even in our patriarchal world, relate to one another. Shockingly, there ARE men in the world who find women over 30 attractive, who don’t find fake tits and no body fat attractive, in short, who DON’T buy into the ideal of feminity that Hollywood is selling.

    I would simply like to see mainstream pop culture reflect what real men and real women actually find attractive in one another.

    you can at least take solace in the fact that you’ve never worried if your paycheck was too small for the opposite sex to like you

    Perhaps those men who worry about that should reconsider whether they’re making the best decision in choosing to woo women who look primarily at a man’s paycheck. The bullshit goes both ways, Kim.

  • MBI

    Regardless of the larger point, Cameron Diaz is a ludicrous example to hang it on. Cameron Diaz is one of the biggest, highest-paid A-listers in Hollywood, and she was number 19 on Maxim’s Hot 100 for 2007. So she’s doing well for herself. Also, Malin Akerman was probably the best choice for the role, she was very good in it. Granted, she was doing something reprehensible, but she did it very well.

    “It’s more of a cry of frustration that almost every mainstream movie continues to be produced, directed, and marketed by men to target audiences of men (or man-boys).”

    Maybe it’s just my own skewed perception, but for every dumbass Dane Cook comedy, I seem to see an equally dumbass chick flick. Maybe it’s not an equal 1:1 ratio, but let’s not pretend that there aren’t a lot of movies targeted exclusively to women.

    And sorry, as an Asian male, whenever I see complaints about women being treated unfairly by the movies, I just laugh and laugh.

  • I think that every man I know regards the over-thin “model”-look as unattractive. Then again the people I know are probably not the typical audience for movies…

  • MaryAnn

    Maybe it’s just my own skewed perception, but for every dumbass Dane Cook comedy, I seem to see an equally dumbass chick flick.

    Yeah, and they are written, directed, and produced almost exclusively by men, too!

    And you cannot say that I have not railed against idiotic chick flicks when they deserve it, which is most of the time. Because they don’t portray real women either. And the still make up a much smaller porportion of the overall theatrical film environment than movies aimed at young men and teenage boys do.

    And sorry, as an Asian male, whenever I see complaints about women being treated unfairly by the movies, I just laugh and laugh.

    Why? Because Asian males are not fairly represented on film either? If everyone who’s not male and white is treated poorly by Hollywood, no one should complain about any of it? What kind of sense does that make?

  • Or maybe he was saying that what passes for sexism in America is a lark compared to how Asian women are treated. I don’t think that’s what he was getting at, but it’s a good point. I think he was trying to say that at least women are the leads in some movies, however flawed, while Asians are relegated to buddies or villains.

  • MBI

    Yeah, I wasn’t trying to say you should shut up; just making a snide more-oppressed-than-thou comment.

  • MaryAnn

    Well, all us oppressed should be banding together against the oppressor, not sniping at one another. I mean, c’mon, isn’t that obvious?

  • Mary T.

    Just a note: Drew Barrymore may have starred in Fever Pitch, but she was also the producer. Perhaps that had something to do with it?!

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