Jennifer Aniston is beautiful, funny, and interesting, so why hasn't her film career gone the way it should have? She's done her share of small independents, inane rom-coms, and heartwarming big-budget romps, but she can't quite seem to shake her roots as a television actress or jilted woman. An A-list actress with admirers aplenty, how is it that Aniston hasn't yet reached the Hollywood hall of fame?
1. Laziness Is Not The Problem.
Jennifer Aniston is known for two things: her 10-year stint as Rachel on the enormously popular television comedy Friends, and her marriage to Brad Pitt, which ended in divorce and embarrassment as he left her for the exotic beauty Angelina Jolie. Try as she might, it'll be years before Aniston's able to shed the implications of either situation, though her recent spur of activity may help the process along. Aniston is a powerhouse, with at least seven projects in development, as well as three films slated to come out in the near future, one of them being Love Happens. Her latest turn was in the nauseatingly offensive He's Just Not That Into You, where Aniston take a chilling turn as a simpering career woman who demands a wedding ring in order to be fulfilled. Before that was the smash-hit Marley & Me and in fact, Aniston has put out a film or two a year for well over a decade. It isn't that she's not trying.
2. Money is Not The Problem.
The problem is not that Aniston cannot hold her own, monetarily speaking. Indeed the thing is, the films that she has appeared in have done remarkably well at the box office. Even the terrible Rumor Has It, or the embarrassingly bad Along Came Polly raked in the dough. One problem is that the huge successes that should define her career, such as Bruce Almighty or The Break-Up are almost impossible to remember as Aniston films. The Break-Up came along at exactly the right time and place for Aniston, still reeling from the actual break-up of her own marriage. She and Vince Vaughn fought it out for America to revel in, relate to, and laugh with.
3. Bad Acting Is Not The Problem.
But this isn't to say that she's a terrible actress. The surprising thing is what a good actress she is, often able to infuse a role with her signature mournful, somber, hopeful grace. Her turn as neurotic and chaotic in such stunningly good small independent films as The Good Girl or Friends With Money have proved definitively that despite her all-American blond good looks, Aniston is skilled and capable of handling more delicate or complicated roles. And so, much like Sandra Bullock in the past few years, Aniston has been casting about, hoping to lay hands on the magic combination of humor, sex appeal, and warmth, taking on a wide swatch of projects that neither excite nor surprise. Even in films that don't deserve to be taken seriously, Aniston is warm and funny, giving the script more than it warrants.
4. What It Is.
The problem is finally that no one is excited to go see a Jennifer Aniston movie. Through no apparent fault of the character she best plays, she has never taken the kind of chances or turned in the sort of performance that would win her that respect. While the films she participates in may bring in the box office bank, no one is swooning over themselves and rushing to the theater to catch her latest. Ultimately she picks films that people see, and then promptly forget. In a world of people fighting to get noticed or maintain a heightened level of celebrity, Jennifer Aniston is still looking for the right role, that special moment where the stars align and history is made. But until then, she's content to be that rare and elusive beast, the working film actress.