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precarious since 1997 | by maryann johanson

weekend box office: Jennifer Aniston all broken up

Jennifer Aniston, looking like hell

Pity poor Jennifer Aniston — she just can’t get a break. Her new movie, The Break-Up, performs amazing well at the box office this past weekend, astonishing the people who think about these things by raking in $39 million and beating X-Men: The Last Stand, which dropped 67 percent and still made $34 million. But who steals her thunder this newsy Monday? Why, the woman who stole her man, too, by announcing that she and Brad would donate to charity all proceeds from the sale of the inevitable and unavoidable pictures of their new baby. Why doesn’t the bitch just donate both kidneys to dying orphan puppies while she’s at it?

And anyway, if Jen is so perfect, as Caryn James points out in today’s New York Times:

She projects the same high-maintenance Jennifer Aniston style — the trademark sleek hair, the natural-looking makeup, the body so toned you wonder how many hours a day a person can spend with a trainer — whether she’s supposed to be a con woman posing as an executive in “Derailed,” an obituary writer for The New York Times in “Rumor Has It” (trust me, no one here looks like that), or a woman so demoralized she quits her teaching job to clean houses in “Friends With Money.”

Along with that polished look, she exudes coolness and self-possession even when the part calls for warmth or vulnerability. She did warm and vulnerable winningly in the cult movie “Office Space” (1999). But lately all her characters uncomfortably resemble the one who made her rich and famous, the feather-brained Rachel on “Friends,” who thought being pretty was her full-time job. It’s as if she has substituted a movie-star pose for acting.

Carrying an off-screen persona into movies often works, of course. It does for Mr. Vaughn, whose regular-guy routine, the working-class demeanor and untoned bod, suits his “Break-Up” role. But even if we assume that the characters’ romance was an upscale-downscale attraction of opposites, Ms. Aniston’s gleaming self-assurance in the film is intrusive. After the breakup and a supposedly excruciating night, she arrives at the art gallery where she works and is told by her style-conscious boss (Judy Davis) to go home because she looks terrible. Except she doesn’t look anything like terrible; she just has her hair pulled back in a very chic ponytail.

then why did Braddy baby leave her?!

Even Al Gore is after her! Must everyone remind her — as Keith Olbermann just did on MSNBC’s Countdown — that his silly global warming movie, An Inconvenient Truth, which expanded to 77 screens on Friday, jumped 382 percent, and that even though it made a comparatively paltry $1.3 million over the weekend, that works out to $17,615 per screen… and The Break-Up’s per-screen was only $12,759?

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