The other day, word hit that Winona Ryder had earned the honor of playing Kevin James' wife in the upcoming Ron Howard comedy Cheaters -- yet another case of the attractive woman and the extra-padded comedy man. Nothing new, quickly forgotten.

Then, however, I spotted Movieline's headline, "Uma Thurman's Newest Indignity: Forced to Audition for Role Given to Winona Ryder." The post led me to one of the spins on the Ryder casting news. Entertainment Weekly revealed that while Ryder won the role, she wasn't the only one up for the part: "Ryder beat out a slew of other actresses in her drive to land the part of Geneva, Kevin James' wife. She auditioned twice for the part, outshining the likes of Kate Beckinsale, Carla Gugino and Uma Thurman, who flew herself in for the audition."

You might remember that this news comes on the heels of Thurman's Motherhood making only $131.00 when it opened in the UK last month. First, she suffers one of the most embarrassing openings to plague a famous celebrity, then she loses a part to another struggling actress. To be fair, Ryder is probably a better comedic choice than Thurman, whose funny gigs often leave much to be desired -- such as My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and as much as I like it in a bad movies way, The Truth About Cats & Dogs. Ryder, on the other hand, has a number of successful and notable comedies under her belt.

Nevertheless, Uma is an Oscar-nominated actress who has kicked ass -- literally and figuratively -- in a number of roles. She was irresistible as June Miller; she oozed wonderful, understated charisma as Mrs. Mia Wallace; she navigated the future with ease as Irene; and (again) she kicked a whole lot of ass as The Bride. I'd be remiss not to also mention her notable turn in the one-room-three-star Richard Linklater indie Tape, with her then-husband Ethan Hawke.

So what's Ms. Thurman to do? Obviously Cheaters wasn't the next gig, so what is? It's easy to just throw Quentin Tarantino's name into the ring, and surely, if her career continues to be plagued, he will step in and do what he can. But that just makes her the "it" QT girl, and her talents do extend beyond Tarantino. I can only hope that Bel Ami reminds us of films like Dangerous Liaisons and Henry & June, which helped put her on the map.

But when Motherhood is tarnished with embarrassing box office takes, and Percy Jackson doesn't even make its budget back, Thurman will need a lot more than one good retro piece. What does she need to do to reinvigorate her career? What projects should she stay away from, and which should she fight for? Is Quentin her only hope?
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