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What Jennifer Aniston's Best Friends won't tell her

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Mark Kermode | 15:20 UK time, Friday, 2 October 2009

She's been in and continues to be in a ton of movies including the wonderful Office Space, The Break Up (co-starring with Vince Vaughn no less), Derailed (alongside Clive Owen and Vincent Cassel no less), Along Came Polly (with Ben Stiller, no less), Marley and Me (about which the less said, no less) and this week (with Aaron "Harvey Dent" Eckhart no less), Love Happens... and yet there is something about Jennifer Aniston that doesn't quite ring true on the big screen...



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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Great T-shirt!

  • Comment number 2.

    This is so interesting, I was convinced that the problem with Jenny is that she never, ever, changes her hair. She has been rocking the centre part - pin straight look since Friends, unrelentlessly. I really don't that that helps out her situation either.

  • Comment number 3.

    She looks stupid, that's what it is. She visibly has nothing going on.

  • Comment number 4.

    Perhaps she'd be more convincing as a movie actor if she stopped playing cardboard cutout "Rachael five years after friends" characters. I for one would love to see her play a helicopter pilot.

  • Comment number 5.

    I agree with Baublerod it is the fact that she is still playing exactly the same character as she did on TV!

    not looks but she is still playing the skitsy cute girl next door (who is also a bit on the annoying side).
    Also I hate to say it but I cannot get over how needy she seems...

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm in agreement with all here.
    Jennifer Aniston can only be, play and live like Rachel Green from 'Friends'.

    Even when she's being interviewed, you're just waiting to hear canned laughter and applause in the background.

  • Comment number 7.

    To be fair to her (whilst simultaneously agreeing with Dr. K), she's not the only 'friend' to be similarly typecast and thus useless in films. Can anyone honestly provide an example of an ex-castmember who has gone on to greater things since the end of that particular show?

  • Comment number 8.

    I think your wrong on this occasion. I think the reason why Jennifer Aniston doesn't work on film compared with her better televisual roles is because of her facial expressions combined with acting. In my opinion Aniston is better looking than her former love rival Angelina Jolie, however, her acting isn't have as good. For instance, in roles she plays such as Along came Polly and Bruce Almighty, she comes across as less than genuine, and unfortunately she's usually cast in soppy love story films such as marley & Me, so the simpatico is never there. I actually think her best film performance is in The Break Up, as you see on occasion in the film her angrier side. Basically I think Aniston should add more personality to her film roles. I think however, if she were to be cast in an ensemble film by a director such as Wes Anderson, she would probably be good. they should give her a character to play.

  • Comment number 9.

    What I know is, is that when I saw the trailer for "Love Happens", when the caption 'Jennifer Aniston' appears over image, my thought was "No s***."

    As for whose image is suitable for TV or film, is there a definitive criteria for a cinematic physicality? What about people who want to make films that are true-to-life as possible?

  • Comment number 10.

    Get ready Mark, because Friends: The Movie will be coming out soon.

    I like Jennifer Aniston, but she's like the B movie version of Sandra Bullock, she accepts rolls that Sandra Bullock turns down.

  • Comment number 11.

    I don't think there's anything actually wrong with Aniston's face. It's the texture of her acting. She's like Michael J. Fox, or Sarah Michelle Gellar (who oddly did great cinematic work on her television show Buffy) and a whole host of others They're not bad, really, I mean they've got solid skills in the line delivery department, but they're just so TVed; nothing about Aniston's face, despite an appealing quirkiness, is bigger and bolder than life. She's like your pretty sister. Obviously you know she's attractive, you have eyes, but she's almost a relative. Since you see her all the time, like a kitchen table or a couch, it doesn't mean anything to you. Movie stars and great actors are always a little whacked, wonderfully off. They have a kind of dream singularity to their features that mold themselves into your wickedest, most wonderful dreams--Aniston's ex-husband's second wife for instance, Angelina Jolie, or Charlotte Rampling, or even Anne Hathaway and, gulp, Meagan Fox. These ladies aren't really any more attractive than Aniston objectively, or all that much better technically, it's just that their beauty blasts all over you, writhes with something radiantly, neurotically more. They have a special ache, a messy caricatured aliveness. What's wrong with Aniston, when you come down to it, is really a great compliment: she's just too normal for the screen.

  • Comment number 12.

    Thanks for clarifying about Fish Tank. Sight & Sound listed it as 2:35:1 which confused me, having seen it in 1:33. I was puzzled in the cinema, since the shots seemed so perfectly composed for the smaller ratio; It just surprised me t'see a modern film shot in that ratio, so I suspected the cinema had cut half the image off.

    Regardless, the cinematography's awesome.

  • Comment number 13.

    i agree
    i think it's mainly to with her acting style, which she has carried over from her television work.

    television, especially sitcoms, are very economical in terms of how they're telling a story and especially in terms of acting. there's very little room left for subtext in sitcoms. acting styles, and facial expressions, tend to be very broad and express the major emotions as economically as possible.

    film acting is far more layered and the best of it is as concerned with subtext as it is with with text. I find film acting to be far richer and more rewarding, and tends to be a lot more subtle and often its at its best when something is not said.

    Jennifer Aniston, while she has been very charming and funny in Friends, doesn't translate well to film because her acting and facial expressions are far too broad, her face is too blunt. It may be fine on a smaller screen but when you put her face on the big screen, then it quickly becomes uninteresting.

    I suppose it also come down to star quality, whether an actor's face has a wide spectrum of shades which keeps the viewer interested and whether it also has that special energy to illuminate and sparkle in a darkened room.

    Broad acting doesn't necessarily mean over the top acting. Some of the best and most interesting acting can be over the top. Stanley Kubrick often demanded over the top acting rather than real acting because he found it more interesting. For example Jack Nicholson and James Cagney have given amazing over the top performances.

  • Comment number 14.

    Maybe it's not her face, but rather her acting sensibility itself... She acts as if she were in a TV series all the time and so, that vibe gets carried on into the cinema as well.

    Why blame the face itself rather then what it portrays?

  • Comment number 15.

    I agree with you Mark, though I've never seen any of Aniston's work on the big screen, even when her films are shown on telly continously, my problem is this:

    1. Her facial expressions are too exaggerated. For comedy, especially sitcoms, it's fine. But as Zampano so articulately explained, film often requires a layered and nuanced performance. Flashing a fake toothy grin or a sad frown, without any real sadness there doesn't seem any different to what you see in drama performances in primary/secondary school, for me. In other words, she's limited as an actress. EXTREMELY limited. It's too late for her to change now as old habits are stuck with you when you reach adulthood, permanently ingrained in your brain.


    2. When she presumably in character, she never feels genuine. You know those fake smiles people have when they're keeping up appearances? Yeah, she has that. Like a demented doll ready to kill you in your sleep, something about her on screen that I can't put my finger on feels forced, as if she thinking loudly in her mind 'please LIKE ME!'. Contrived is an understatement, as far as I'm concerned.


    3. She plays pretty much the same, slightly varied version of Rachel. Her smiley, relatable girl-next-door shtick has got very old. Consequently, any time I see her in a film, she never feels like she's acting cause the role time and time again feels familiar.

    So, there's probably much more concerning her acting that doesn't translate well in cinema, but the bottom line is: she's a mediocre actress at best whose typecast till the end of her days.

  • Comment number 16.

    Re JOEL-C: Whilst no-one from the show has been better afterwards, Jen gets the gold medal for appearing in (and being pretty good in) Office Space, one of my favourite films. I can't think of a film I even vaguely like starring any of the other Friends. Any ideas anyone?

  • Comment number 17.

    And can I add: Mark himself while no Men's Health cover star(and so what? Look at what happened to the host on Extreme Male Beauty when he went for that look - didn't suit him), isn't ugly.

    Nor is Adrian Chiles, who Frankie Boyle keeps banging on looks like Shrek. Boyle can be very funny, but needs to stop throwing insults at him.

    End rant.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm sure most people would disagree with me, but I feel exactly this way about 'Knocked Up'. When I went to see it at the cinema I couldn't avoid the sneaking feeling that my TV had just expanded and been moved into a movie theatre. I can't put my finger on what it was, but something about that film screamed 'TV movie' at me. Perhaps Katherine Heigl has the same problem as Jennifer Aniston?

  • Comment number 19.

    To be fair to Aniston (who in the later years was one of the reasons to keep watching Friends) the material she's lately been ploughing her trade in tends to lend itself to television -- which is partly her fault and her agent and the fact the audience still turns out for this stuff.

    And she's not really playing Rachel-lite in these films. Rachel was (ultimately) an independent woman whereas in most of these things she's stuck playing the girlfriend or ex-girlfriend with the bloke's plot arc ultimately taking agency in story terms. She's the one being attained rather than doing the attaining.

    She can be very good; her turns in Friends With Money and The Good Girl are brilliant and she has all the trappings of being a film star and it could be because she's playing the independent woman again. If they were still making the kinds of proper women's films Molly Haskell wrote about, Aniston would be plying her trade most successfully in them.

  • Comment number 20.

    Dr K, are you suggesting that Love Happens wouldn't have been rubbish if it had had, say, Sandra Bullock or Katharine Heigl in it? (Or Kate Hudson?) I haven't seen it and have no intention of, but I'm guessing from the poster and description that it still would have been a bit whiffy.

    Maybe it's not to do with the face itself - which I cheerfully acknowledge is very nice - but its size. When it's on TV her face is, more or less, the same size as a real face in real life, and that's the level she works on best, as some kind of vaguely real person. But when it's magnified to the size of even a modest multiplex screen it's too big: it doesn't work in the way that macro-photographed ants aren't as creepy or annoying as ants that look regular size. The best actors and stars can do "larger than life", but others (including Aniston) do "life-size, but blown-up".

  • Comment number 21.

    Well she wasn't in the Queen, but, as you say, that was televisual too. So unless you're saying Helen Mirren has a face or acting style for television acting and not for films there must be another reason.

    Surely the key word is 'cinematography'. The films mentioned are televisual in style and size. They are simply shot, on a small scale, lacking depth. Even low key films will stretch things cinematicly. Jennifers' films don't.

    Having said that, I feel Helen Mirren isn't as great a film actor as others (and herself) make out, so I'm willing to concede you (or other posters) may have a point.

  • Comment number 22.

    I don't know that Jennifer Anniston would be any more effective on TV than she is on the big screen. The problem seems to me not to be intrinsic to her facial features but rather that she has not grown as an actress. I rather fear she would be disappointing on a TV show as well. She was perfectly cast for her role in Friends but over the arc of the whole show did she really change much as an actor. An actor doesn't have to be traditionally attractive but they do need charm, charisma, and that inner light the makes them fascinating to watch. Love Happens would be a terrible film with Susan Sarandon in it but at least you would get to watch Susan Sarandon while listening to crap writing. Jennifer Anniston simply does not light up the screen and lacks the acting ability to make up for her blandness.

  • Comment number 23.

    I always thought she was a shoe in for a Sheryl Crow biopic. That might be the answer to all your problems Mr K. Jennifer Aniston in oscar winning form with finger skills on the fret board to put Jimi Hendrix to shame. :)

  • Comment number 24.

    I have always had the same problem with Tom Cruise...I just don't get why he's such a big box office star. Hands up, he may be a great and wonderful person in real life, but it just doesn't translate for me on the big screen. He always comes across to me as someone rather shifty and lacking empathy. (That's not to say that other actors play unsympathetic and self-indulgent characters and still engage you - Robert Downey Jnr. in Iron Man for instance)
    Take the recent War of the Worlds, I loved the movie but he's performance just left me cold. The same with Minority Reports.

    Is it just me...I wonder what you think, is it time for review of Mr Cruise's filmography dear doctor?

  • Comment number 25.

    I was reading through the comments and had to stop at vanveen15. He/she so eloquently articulates what both I and a few other close friends have been trying to say for a while now.

  • Comment number 26.

    The problem with Tom Cruise is that he's too earnest, too keen. Particularly in his more recent roles - say from Collateral onwards - there's a strange creepiness to him, like he's begging you to take him seriously. Maybe it's to do with all the brouhaha over his Scientology, but it's difficult to watch him without feeling a little squeamish.

    Mark, since Love Happens this is clearly a TV programme as opposed to a film, will be it be joining Charles Dickens's England on your 'Bride Wars Challenge' list?

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm convinced Jennifer Aniston is a man, look at that Adam's apple.

  • Comment number 28.

    I agree with a lot of the commenters here who point out Jen's acting is too broad, lacking the layers of subtext found in movie acting.

    She can always do a competent job in her roles, But at the end of the day there is nothing going on behind her eyes. Just a hollow performance. If you are going to do a movie like 'Love Happens', the casting directors really should look to casting actors with that special bit of magic. Think of Shirley MacLaine in 'The Apartment', on the surface a very simple movie, but there was that intangible magic about Shirley which made it all work.

  • Comment number 29.

    Shirley Maclaine is great in Being There :)

  • Comment number 30.

    To Beezdog80. I agree that Ms. Aniston actually was pretty entertaining in Office Space, but I think the friend I like the best would have to be Lisa Kudro. She's the kind of snazzy comedian who was able to take all those hideous non-jokes on Friends (a show I loathed) and make me laugh. She hasn't done all that much good work, but some of her line readings have stuck with me for years. And frankly, I thought the much under rated female office film Clockwatchers was a terrific little movie, far better than Office Space; Kudro was both funny and affecting in it.

  • Comment number 31.

    Mark must be the wittiest man on the Radio.
    I crossed paths with him recently on the train, except for one thing, if I had, I would have walked out of the front of the train.

    His comment about his face being very good for radio is so witty, I had the biggest front of mainframe laugh that I have had for a long time.
    How does somebody put in to words what I have been trying to think of how to say for some time? Seriously we can't all be coarse rugby players.

    Marks' turn of phrase is the product of looking for one or two or three liners in film for years, remembering them all, and then realizing that there are people about who specialize in such wit.
    If he went to the dictionary of quotations I have got, he would be lost in a morass of victorian boredom. Please will he recommend a good film dictionary of one liners... or two... or three.... there may even be a film!

  • Comment number 32.

    I agree with the person that said Jennifer is the low-budget Sandra Bullock. They both look like every other girl you'd see on the street in America, and neither of them take any great risks in the characters they depict. What makes Bullock better is that she is actually funny (she was great in Speed 2!) and much bit better at playing the "average girl" than Jen. I'd also agree that she has a "movie face".

    Oh faces! I just don't think Jennifer Aniston has the ability to act out a range of emotions; she always has that same dour expression on her face. I have a hard time believing she isn't just "playing herself" in all these films -- how else do you explain that almost all her characters have the same boring haircut as her and wear the same sort of clothes she's been wearing for the last 15 years or so?

    For some odd reason, Friends was a huge hit in the UK, much bigger than it was in the states, but *news flash* it was a ridiculous show (I lived in New York for 7 years, no one lives like that), full of bad actors, and saccharine/slapstick scenarios. The fact that all of the Friends' stars' attempts at "second acts" have been, by and large, massively stinky failures really bares that out. I think rather than Brits trying to figure out why Jennifer Aniston isn't any good in films, they should go back to that tv program and try to figure out just what it was that made them think she was any good in the first place...

  • Comment number 33.

    Can I just say that although Fish Tank did indeed look like a film, it was still an absolute stinker. There was a lot of promise at the start then suddenly, out of nowhere, it turned into a complete farce.

    I also don't get what was supposed to be so good about the acting. The girl who was playing Mia was about as convincing as a bad toupee, the same goes for her little sister who couldn't deliver a postcard nevermind a line. The only character I actually believed in was Michael Fassbender's one until he seemingly gave up and strayed into a very melodramatic performance.

    I also thought the film was trying to be controversial just for the sake of it, without any good reason at all. I think this was done to try and mask the fact that everything else had been done before. It's rubbish. Why does everyone like it?

  • Comment number 34.

    Love Happens? It has to be the worst movie title of the year. My god even the girls are gonna stay away from this one.
    Poor old Jen eh she heading the way of Kate Hudson, one painfully bad romcom after another.Shame really cause i remember a small indie flick called 'The Good Girl' this was back in the day when she appeared to be tryin to do something a little off track.

  • Comment number 35.

    Apart from Woody Harrelson (Cheers) and Devito and LLoyd from Taxi (a quick wiki shows that they were both in One flew over the cuckoo's nest which I had completely forgot) can anyone think of a sitcom star with a successful and well regarded post sitcom movie career?

  • Comment number 36.

    You are right about Jenn being more suited to television, but I don't think that it's because of her face. She is a "type-cast" actress and is only capable of playing Rachel from friends. No matter what she does, her character is always the same.

    This in itself is not the issue. Take Ben Affleck for example. He is excellent at playing arrogant prats who you want to inflict physical pain on. He does it very well. But ask him to play a different character, one that is capable of being a nice guy and the result is Pearl Harbour!! Either way, you still want to inflict physical pain on him.

    So being type-cast isn't necessarily the issue. The issue is that the character she plays works very well on TV but not in cinema.

  • Comment number 37.

    The problem is that she is too closely associated with her TV character. Whether you loved or hated it, Friends was a massively popular show which quickly entered the zeitgeist. Aniston become an instantly recognisable image of television. This is why The X-Files and the Simpson’s movies didn't work on the big screen; the image of the characters and the show are too closely associated with television that it can't escape it.

    This is the reason why Firefly translated so well to the big screen, it wasn't part of TV's image and could therefore escape it trappings and become cinematic.

    Also shouldn't we be more worried by Aaron Eckhart's appearance in what looks like a boring, generic rom-com? It's like the John Boorman issue. We expect Aniston to do with sort of thing but Eckhart is a brilliant actor with the range of top performances. Why is he appearing in rubbish like this?

  • Comment number 38.

    Part of Jennifer Anniston's problem is that her public image like that of Tom Cruise tends to overshadow her work. Even if she completely changed her look for a film she would still be Jennifer Anniston as she seems to lack that chameleon like quality that makes for a great actor. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who had gone from sitcom to film successfully. Jason Isaacs manages to work creditably in both mediums and I am sure there are other British Actors who do so. American actors in general seem to be less flexible. Johnny Depp started out on TV mind you. Candice Bergen was dreadful in films but fantastically successful on Murphy Brown. Was she a televisual actress or did she just mature and become a better actor?

  • Comment number 39.

    13 said: "television, especially sitcoms, are very economical in terms of how they're telling a story and especially in terms of acting"
    ...
    "film acting is far more layered and the best of it is as concerned with subtext as it is with with text."

    -

    relating to the above post, I think it's perhaps time that particular cliche be pricked. Film doesn't automatically equate to 'depth of character' - similarly television shouldn't invoke feelings of shallowness.

    Film is more akin to a short story, whereas broadly TV drama (yes, including sitcoms) can accomodate significantly greater narrative depth and character development. By it's nature, film has to achieve it's aims within a 3 hour window, whereas a television programme (or series) can incorporate several hour's worth of material, allowing greater time for development. Compare and contrast 'Traffik' the series with 'Traffic' the film; in addition, might it be instructive to compare Godfather II with The Sopranos' or perhaps 'The French Connection' with 'The Wire'?

  • Comment number 40.

  • Comment number 41.

    23. Problem is, would anyone want to make a film of her life?

  • Comment number 42.

    33. Mongoose of Death.

    NNNNooooo....!!! (or perhaps 'Do not want', paleomeme-followers)

    Farce? really? Are we on the same planet?

  • Comment number 43.

    Same hair, same clothes, same face, same performance and in many many ways same film.

    i think what the problem is that she guarentees a certain audience as "that Rachel off of friends" and casting her is an easy way of selling a bad movie, it's her image as a TV star that the film makers want hence same hair ect and i think that this film will become a tv movie embarrasingly fast and will make a shed load of money from tv and dvd sales, in effect the cinema release is of little importance and only used as a marketing tool to sell the tv rights.

    its all about the money baby!!!

  • Comment number 44.

    Roger Ebert proposed pretty much the same idea in his review of Marley & Me back in december. Not only does she have a face for TV, in my opinion she has great comic timing and delivery and is extremely well suited to TV comedy - so why she continues to bang her head against the wall of Cinema is anyone's guess. Go back to TV Jen, you obviously produced your best work there.

  • Comment number 45.

    @charlygordon - I'll give you THREE sitcome stars who have had successful film careers

    Will Smith (Fresh Prince of BelAir)
    Ron Howard (Happy Days)
    Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies)

    heck, I'll throw in Robin Williams (Mork and Mindy) to round it out.

    Alas, no such actresses come to mind...still thinking.

  • Comment number 46.

    Michael J. Fox (Family Ties)
    Tim Allen (Home Improvement)
    Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show)

  • Comment number 47.

    Totally disagree. This is just prejudice. If you watch CSI New York for long enough and see Gary Sinise in a film now you think of the TV character. She plays her characters restrained and low key, that's a problem. Maybe she's trying too hard not to be Rachel, but her comic timing is excellent and going on about her 'face' is pretty silly. It's about her acting if anything and I think if other not-so-great actors and actresses had come out of a career in television you'd be saying the same thing.

    They did a psychological experiment giving people two glasses of beer, one with balsamic vinegar added and one with nothing added. When they weren't told about the vinegar they favoured the balsamic beer, when they were told they universally hated it and preferred the normal beer. That's what you're doing with Jennifer Aniston and you've been doing it for years. It's annoying. Cinema is better than TV....we get it...

  • Comment number 48.

    Just to clarify, I think Aniston has shortcomings as an actor, but they are shortcomings that are shared by many actors, it's not really anything to do with her TV career. The fact that she had a decent TV career is definitely a reason why she may be favoured above other more talented actresses but that still isn't anything to do with her 'face' or being only suited to TV.

    She's also in the news a lot (and very attractive) which helps her get roles, but her lifestyle may be another reason why she isn't setting the world on fire. Lots of distractions. She looks like she's phoning it in sometimes, but she does have qualities as a comedic actress and can carry a bit of drama too.

    With TV we have time to develop a kind of (imaginary) rapport with an actor and can forgive various shortcomings, while the actor has time to develop a real rapport with their colleagues and improve their performances. A lot of actors enter the public imagination more with their TV roles than their cinema career (as long as they have good writers). Gary Sinise is good on CSI:NY although he was never more than a decent cinema actor. The same can be said of Kiefer Sutherland, Martin Sheen and any number of actors who were okay on the big screen and loved on the small screen.

    I've seen quite a few Aniston films I enjoyed. Along Came Polly, Friends With Money, Office Space and Bruce Almighty and she was good in all of them. Personally I find her watchable even if she isn't fulfilling her potential.

    But lets look at Sandra Bullock. As discussed previously there is a lot of affection for her and yet she's been in a string of bland and sometimes terrible films. I'm willing to bet that if she'd come off a succesful sitcom career she'd be derided by Kermode as being unable to carry a feature.

    By the way I'm surprised no-one has mentioned George Clooney, Marisa Tomei or Bruce Willis. Loads of them actually if you look. But why are there more male actors who seem to have made the transition than men? Because good female roles are rare, they're often poorly written and as men we tend to identify with and take more interest in the male roles. I'd love to know if women are as dismissive of Aniston as male cinema critics, armchair and otherwise. Then there's the age thing, spend a few years on TV and you're already out of the loop unless you're a gossip mag megastar like Aniston.

    So please. She's not the best actress in the world and has been in some pap films. But that's it, she can be good too. Her TV career should be a complete irrelevance in judging her films.

  • Comment number 49.

    JENNIFER ANISTON IS A MAN!!!!!!!! LOOK AT THAT ADAM'S APPLE!

  • Comment number 50.

    Hello Duncan, speaking as a woman who spends a lot of time talking to other women. I think the answer is yes women are as dismissive of Jennifer Anniston as Men. Your point about the lack of material for female actors is well taken. It is interesting to me anyway that there are so many men who seem to make the transition from TV to Film and it is harder to conjour up females. Judi Dench has finally popped into my head. It may be the difference between American television and British television comes into play here. There is a definite flatness for me that dominates most American sitcoms and dramas. It is rare to find one that has real grit and texture to it. It worries me that this seems to be the case for much of mainstream American film. It is almost as if in becoming so good at the technical aspects of making movies Hollywood has forgotten fundamentals like charachter,pacing,and dialogue. I would be truly curious to see Jennifer Anniston step out of her usual role the question is would anyone else be and would any studio make a film that didn't bank on her predicatability

  • Comment number 51.

    i enjoyed 'the good girl' starring jenny

    i've never seen 'friends' nor do i watch much tv(except boxsets)but was'nt george clooney a regular on tv?

    i actually enjoy watching great tv on dvd rather than going to the cinema because it gives me more enjoyment

    it allows the medium to breath

  • Comment number 52.

    Her films fail because she looks like a donkey and acts like one, too. Though donkeys are nice, I wouldn't build a romantic comedy around one.

  • Comment number 53.

    @ olamina

    Spent the whole day today thinking how ill thought out my post was and just how many movie stars did start in sitcoms! Would Bruce Willis count too for moonlighting?

  • Comment number 54.

    J_O_E_L_-_C - your argument doesn't really hold

    and those comparisons are completely subjective

    for me godfather II is superior to the sopranos and french connection is superior to the wire, especially in terms of acting

  • Comment number 55.

    'Jennifer, you know you're in trouble when you're upstaged by a labrador!'

  • Comment number 56.

    Dear Mr. "Good Dr. Kermode",

    I have been your most pimptastic fan/fiend addict since 2 years ago when I heard you on the interweb putting the smackdown on Tom Hanks and The Da Vinci Rubbish like nobody else.

    Even Armond White here in the States can't be the Pimp Contrarian as yourself, because he just comes across as an embittered black guy ranting about "white people movies" (such as when he slammed David Fincher's Fight Club by calling it "the ultimate whiteboy fantasy").

    See, he lacks your playful comedy and your wit.

    I laughed my arse off at your Gweneth Paltrow impression on the Iron Man review.
    YOur quip about Jeff Bridges and his "Upside down head" = classic. This was my favorite.

    Ignore the haters.

    Keep doing the impressions.

    If Mayo gives you arse, I will put him in a sandwich and eat him. Because you, Dr. Kermode, have what even that blimey bloke Jonathan 'Wossy' lacks... 'The Pimpness.'


    Dr. Mark Kermode is the Pimp.

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    I share the good doctor's dislike of Jennifer Aniston on film but I disagree with his conclusion here as to why. I refuse to believe there is something about her face per se that means she can not work in film. I don't think anyone by definition of their appearance is doomed to fail in film.

    I think the problem is instead with her acting and that she has acquired a lot of mannerisms which work on the small screen but do not succeed on the big screen. So there remains hope, at some point with the right role and the right director who knows maybe she'll pull off a decent performance on celluloid.

  • Comment number 59.

    I usually agree with Dr Kermode but here I am going to disagree. Here is why, Jennifer Aniston as he rightly said was a TV star. He says unjustly that she has a face for TV, I disagree because she has not had a film that has allowed her to step away from her perceived role as Rachel from friends as all of her frinds have been romantic comedies or even in derailed seemed like they were TV movies put on the big screen. I do not blame Jennifer for this I blame her agent for not getting her better roles. Now here is why I say that Bruce Willis was known for Moonlighting before Die Hard so he had a face for TV but his role in that film changed the way people saw him. Johnny Depp lucked out in getting Tim Burton interested in him and changing the perception of him as teen idol TV star into film star. So I think that Jennifer needs a role like that something that is out and out a film, terry gilliam, ridley scott, christopher Nolan could get something out of her then she would no longer be rachel she would be jennifer aniston film star.

  • Comment number 60.

    On the subject of the difference between Television and film I can't help but feel that the good doctor is just being a snob, the reason I say that is because no matter what medium something is commissioned for it is still a piece of filming. The only differences between Cinema and Television are Budget, Shooting time and Aspect ratio, but all of those can be overcome. I'd like to know the good doctors opinion on television programmes like Band of Brothers and the BBC production Criminal Justice. Band of Brothers has solved the budget and shooting time problems although I'm unsure what the aspect ratio was, It should give a similar type of Film a run for its money. Criminal Justice is on a lesser budget but demonstrated great story telling and in many ways is the Indie to Band of Brothers Studio Blockbuster.

    At the end of the day, has anyone seen these kinds of programmes on the Big screen? Because maybe it would improve the "Cinematic" Qualities of the programme to be given a large space it show its wares.

    Janus

  • Comment number 61.

    The biggest problem with TV is an episode is too short, a TV show has to be a minimum of 45 minutes so I can start to get a feel of the character.... their are exceptions like The Simpsons, Eerie Indiana (great kids show, basicly Twin Peaks for kids!), Futurama etc. my 2 favourite TV show of all are Twin Peaks and Max Headroom, both shows which episodes are 45 minutes +.

  • Comment number 62.

    Eerie Indiana . . . superb!

    Saw the trailer for Love Happens last night. Sums it up perfectly

  • Comment number 63.

    Dr, I share your dislike of Jennifer Aniston onscreen, but for me it is an even stronger emotion as for some reason I am just totally cold to her offscreen as well. I don't find her attractive despite her being very physically pleasing and the reason for this is that she isn't interesting as a person. She has no personality beyond being blandly nice, and all the characters she plays like Rachel from Friends are all very similar to what she's like in real life. Bland and nice. Not funny, or crazy, or witty, just nice. I've never seen her interviewed where afterwards I felt I knew more about Jennifer Aniston the person and thats the problem for me. This Rachel archetype she plays is like a cardboard cut out of a sort of ideal girl-next-door type figure, but really lacks personality to make her likeable as a person. You point out she was in Derailed, but apart from that, she's mainly in sickly sweet dross like Marley and Me and Along Came Polly, playing comfortable identikit characters with no personality, no flaws or imperfections to make them real people.

  • Comment number 64.

    I think that when you become such a well-known TV character in the public psyche (and you have little to no range as an actress) it is near impossible to reinvent yourself on the big screen. She always looks like Rachel and her choice of roles are not that adventurous. Maybe she should shave her head? Play a lesbian in a no budget independent film?

    Matt LeBlanc has the same problem, in fact he had surrendered to this early on hence the spin-off: 'Joey'.

  • Comment number 65.

    Aww, Mr. Kermode, trust me...if you could see the men who do radio over here in Canada...

    Aniston feels cheap. Maybe it's because every person on the planet first knew and connected with her as a telivison star. But I can't respect her as an actress because she is (in my mind) only capable of being locked in the final center of movie hell, the romantic comedy.

  • Comment number 66.

    Can't agree with Mr. Kermode. I've just seen Management, and she is wonderful in a difficult-to-believe role (as is Steve Zahn -- if only they hadn't started him off as a retard-stalker, the movie could have taken right off). Office Space was very good, the Good Girl was very good. How many good films do you think people make? Most actors have plenty of stinkers, because the great majority of films are badly written. The emphasis and money in the movie business go elsewhere. We obsess on the quality of Jennifer Aniston's movies because she's one of the highest-profile stars in Hollywood, forever on the grocery-store magazine covers. I bet she could have done, say, 'You Can Count On Me', and if she had, she'd have been considered for an Oscar. Those movies just hardly ever come along though.

  • Comment number 67.

    Watch Management. Jen is really good in it. She is just too pretty and in a generic way and that's her problem. She gets the roles that match this prettiness.

 

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