CATEGORIES Film Fancy


Her public feud with Bill O'Reilly may be new, but everything else Jennifer Aniston does has a certain "been there, done that" quality to it. Take this week's 'The Switch,' for example. Even though its premise outrages O'Reilly, it's really nothing new. It's not even the only big-budget Hollywood flick about artificial insemination this year. J-Lo's 'The Back-up Plan' beat 'The Switch' to the punch with its April release.

While it's hard not to give Aniston props for standing her ground against the pompous windbag O'Reilly, you do have to wonder why all of her movies are so reminiscent of, well, other movies. I don't expect all actors to be constantly charting new territory, but it just strikes me as odd that even when Aniston ventures beyond her comfort zone, it's for a movie with a concept that's already been done by J-Lo. J-Lo who isn't exactly renowned for her bold, risqué choices (aside from that notoriously low-cut dress). It's one thing to be following in the footsteps of a trailblazer like Tilda Swinton or Meryl Streep. But J-Lo?
Her public feud with Bill O'Reilly may be new, but everything else Jennifer Aniston does has a certain "been there, done that" quality to it. Take this week's 'The Switch,' for example. Even though its premise outrages O'Reilly, it's really nothing new. It's not even the only big-budget Hollywood flick about artificial insemination this year. J-Lo's 'The Back-up Plan' beat 'The Switch' to the punch with its April release.

While it's hard not to give Aniston props for standing her ground against the pompous windbag O'Reilly, you do have to wonder why all of her movies are so reminiscent of, well, other movies. I don't expect all actors to be constantly charting new territory, but it just strikes me as odd that even when Aniston ventures beyond her comfort zone, it's for a movie with a concept that's already been done by J-Lo. J-Lo isn't exactly renowned for her bold, risqué choices (aside from that notoriously low-cut dress). It's one thing to be following in the footsteps of a trailblazer like Tilda Swinton or Meryl Streep. But J-Lo?



While I was trying to figure out how 'The Switch' is different from 'The Back-up Plan,' I also got to wondering how Aniston's 'Love Happens' is different from 'Sleepless in Seattle'. (Upon superficial inspection, it's practically identical. It even has one of the same supporting actresses!) That line of thinking prompted me to start pondering the striking similarities many of Aniston's movies have to other flicks. Here are the five that struck me the most.

'Love Happens' = 'Sleepless in Seattle'
Set in Seattle? Check. Woman trying to help grieving widower learn how to love again? Check. Frances Conroy from 'Six Feet Under'? Check. All we're missing is Meg and Tom...

'Management' = 'Fatal Attraction'

Except Aniston's character appears to welcome her stalker's creepy cross-country advances. Steve Zahn is considerably less frightening than Glenn Close, and let's face it, Aniston is no Michael Douglas. Did this even spend any time in theaters, or did it go straight to DVD?

'Marley & Me'= 'Beethoven'
Loveable but unruly dog turns a household upside down, causes its owners have some sort of life-changing epiphany and ultimately becomes an irreplaceable part of the family. Less drool in 'Marley & Me,' though.

'The Object of My Affection' = 'Chasing Amy'
Aniston's character tries to turn her gay best friend, played by Paul Rudd, straight. She almost gets him into bed, but when it comes down to the moment he doesn't go through with it. (Maybe he remembers that he's gay, and that gay people don't have straight hook-ups outside of Kevin Smith movies...)

'The Bounty Hunter' = 'Excess Baggage', with a hint of 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith'
Remember that movie from the '90s where Benicio del Toro kidnaps Alicia Silverstone, which somehow leads to a weird, twisted romance? Except this time around the kidnapper was actually married to his target at one point, which is reminiscent of the husband/ wife-trying-to-kill-each-other-then-falling-back-in-love plotline in 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith.'

What are your thoughts on Ms. Aniston's movies?