With Jennifer Aniston’s recent engagement, her love life may be hot, but her career? Not so much. The Queen of romantic comedies, two of her last four films bombed at the box office. Wanderlust, (where Aniston met future husband Justin Theroux) – released this past February, brought in a paltry $17 million – and 2010’s The Switch, took in just $28 million.
Of course, considering that Aniston makes around $8 million per film, it doesn’t really matter if her films flop or not. She’ll still be famous, in-demand, photographed, and fodder for the tabloids. And with a net worth of $130 million, she doesn’t have to worry about “doing without” anytime soon.
Taking a closer look at her films, though, one can’t help but wonder why Aniston doesn’t choose better roles; some of the movies border on soft porn. Can’t she do any better? Or will audiences not take her seriously in more challenging roles?
Of her most recent flop, Wanderlust, the family friendly site Movieguide.org writes: “Besides adultery and some graphic sexual dialogue, it contains abundant foul language, including many strong obscenities and profanities. It also has some very explicit nudity.” It’s fair to say that this is very common in today’s films, and not unexpected since it did garner an “R rating.
In the flick, Aniston plays the wife of a Manhattan couple. When her husband loses his job, they decide to move to Atlanta with relatives, but along the way stop at a hippie commune and decide to stay there.
In their review, Movieguide writes, “Wanderlust has a Romantic, pagan, rebellious worldview, with very strong false theology. The hippies not only commune with nature, they also repeatedly credit Mother Earth, Mother Nature, and a female God with providing the beauty of the world.”
Bringing in only $17 million, it is Aniston’s least successful film out of her last four.
Prior to Wanderlust was Horrible Bosses, which brought in $118 million at the box office – the most money out of Aniston’s last four films – but it is nothing to be proud of. In that flick, Aniston plays a female boss who daily sexually harasses her male dental assistant who is engaged to another woman.
Writes Movieguide: “The story goes too over-the-top and is filled with very strong foul language and bawdy situations that become abhorrent.
“The filmmakers seem to pile on every swear word they can and all in all, the panoply of bad human behavior shown is far too over-the-top to be enjoyable by most discerning viewers. In fact, they may wonder if they need a shower to clean off all the junk coming from the screen. Ultimately, Horrible Bosses is degrading to both mind and spirit.” Emphasis added.
Out of Aniston’s last four films, I only tried to watch Horrible Bosses, and found I couldn’t agree more with the above review. I was disgusted; especially when Aniston makes a comment about “fingering” herself. I should have turned it off then, but made the mistake of watching it a little longer – not much longer. I further agree with their notion of wanting to take a shower after seeing it. Call me a prude – I’m proud to be one.
It astounds me that a movie like this can rake in $118 million. How is this kind of entertainment enjoyable? If I was going to watch that, I might as well watch porn. Close enough. But this is the kind of garbage Hollywood churns out repeatedly.
In Just Go With It, which brought in $103 million, Aniston is an office manager to a plastic surgeon. She gets involved in a scheme to pass herself off as her boss’s ex-wife, in an effort for her boss to win over a younger, beautiful woman.
“The movie has many crude jokes, mostly about sex and body parts,” writes Movieguide. Why does Hollywood think rude, crude sexual jokes are funny? Maybe to a teenage boy, but this kind of humor is tacky and senseless and is a sad commentary on what is acceptable in our society and what people find entertaining.
In the box office bomb The Switch, Aniston, who also executive produced the film, portrays a woman who decides to get pregnant through artificial insemination. The man in love with her, whom she is not in a relationship with, switches the sperm she was going to use for his, without her knowledge.
US Weekly wasn’t too kind in their review, writing it “…treads on all-too-familiar ground; there isn’t an exasperated hair flip we haven’t already seen 100 times.”
Ironically, Movieguide gave the film a fairly decent review, noting its pro-fatherhood and pro-marriage messages stating, “It ends up having a rather positive message,” and that the film is “far better than expected.” That’s good news for conservative and Christian moviegoers who are bombarded with pro-homosexual and anti-traditional family messages in many movies. But bringing in only $28 million, audiences didn’t go for it.
Aniston is currently filming We’re the Millers, where she plays a stripper who gets involved in smuggling drugs with her costar.
Sounds just lovely, and it doesn’t seem like Ms. Aniston is making better choices in her roles.