The A-List Mythology

I don't deny she's cute, just not a movie starIs Jennifer Aniston a superstar, asks Entertainment Weekly in the latest issue. Just asking means there is an assumption that she should be, a "c'mon, look at her, she's Jennifer Aniston!" attitude. It's part of a belief that some actors can be placed into any project and the result will be a blockbuster, that ticket buyers will fall over themselves just to see the "star" no matter what the film is about.

If that were the case, wouldn't A-listers like Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Will Smith always have been superstars, right from their first film? No, you have to earn it and keep it by making smart choices -- either compelling stories or at least the kind of cheese that works for you.

Ever since Friends began, Aniston has been tagged for future glory. When her fairytale marriage to Brad Pitt collapsed, many thought she would get a box office boost á la Nicole Kidman, but there is a huge difference: Kidman can act and picked roles in films like The Hours while Aniston is a light weight and picks films like Rumor Has It.

Of course anytime you point this out a Team Aniston fan tells you she has talent, just look at The Good Girl, just as EW does. Fine, she slummed it in one indie. Now name another. Sly Stallone did the same in Cop Land to rave reviews, subsequently returning to gems like Driven and he is now making another Rambo. One film isn't a career.

EW even tries to credit her with box office hits, citing Bruce Almighty and Along Came Polly, but these are Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller vehicles, and she was just along for the ride.

Aniston is reportedly commanding $9 million per film, so I don't deny that someone thinks she's worth it, but she's not going to be a huge draw until she works her way up through some more small, supporting roles. Rachel made her bigger than life, but she's tiny on the big screen.

1 comment:

  1. I've wondered about Aniston's alleged star power myself. Obviously, whatever she's paying her management and PR people, it's not nearly enough, because they're creating a lot of something out of a lot of nothing.

    In fact, I think this effect was magnified when she and Brad Pitt were married. They were often labeled as one of Hollywood's "power couples", and I would think, based on what? You've outlined her lack of drawing ability, and looking at Pitt's filmography, he doesn't do particularly well when he's the focus of a film vehicle.