Question of the week: does Jennifer Aniston ruin every movie she’s in?

So lovely wife and I settled down last night to watch He’s Just Not That Into You, an ensemble rom-com about modern dating etiquette. We were on something of a roll, having watched the totally awesome Inception the night before, as well as the surprisingly not bad ensemble rom-com Valentine’s Day at the weekend.

Now, on paper, this should have been awesome, too, because

  1. It stars the likes of Ben Affleck, Justin Long, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Connolly, whom we love 
  2. It has Bradley Cooper in it, whom we love and is on my wife’s "list"
  3. It has Scarlett Johansson in it, whom I love and is on my "list"
  4. They’re actually in scenes together

Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper in He's Not That Into You

As lovely wife puts it, "it should have been like that episode of Coupling when Angus Deayton and Mariella Frostrup meet". 

But it wasn’t. It was an awful, awful movie and we switched off after about half an hour. Belatedly, we realised what the problem with it was: it also starred Jennifer Aniston.

Now here’s the thing. I think Jennifer Aniston’s a great comedy actress. She was great in Friends, she was great in Dirt, she was even great in that one episode of Cougar Town. However, with the unique exception of Office Space, every film I’ve ever seen her in has sucked very very badly. Strangely though, it’s never been her fault. It’s simply been everything else about the movie. Much like Katherine Heigl, it seems, her mere presence in a movie – never a TV series – is enough to mysteriously turn the script, the direction and sometimes even the other performers into total cobblers, even while she’s remained just fine.

So this week’s question is:

Is Jennifer Aniston an evil movie talisman? Does she ruin every movie she’s in? Or are there exceptions to the rule? And can you think of any other evil movie talismans if she is?

As always, leave a comment with your answer or a link to your answer on your own blog




  • Mark Carroll

    It may be quite a different phenomenon, but I’ve thought similar of David Duchovny.

  • Perhaps it’s just because I’m a sucker for dogs, but I don’t think Marley & Me was bad.

  • MediumRob

    @mark: Evolution was okay, but the two X-Files movies were rubbish. I forget if that one with him and Michelle Forbes was any good.
    @brian: Haven’t seen it but Mark Kermode is usually trustworthy and his review means I’m unlikely ever to see it –

  • SAF

    There’s nothing wrong with Jennifer Aniston. You are quite simply wrong. 🙂
    Now, Nicholas Cage, well, you’d have a point there. I struggle to think of a good Nic Cage movie since Leaving Las Vegas.

  • I just don’t bother seeing movies with her, but that’s not only just because of her. But it’s the type of thing that if enough people only say “I don’t see Jennifer Aniston movies”, even though there are other factors, the studios are only going to notice that one aspect.
    She’ll be back in TV full time in a few years…..

  • MediumRob

    “There’s nothing wrong with Jennifer Aniston. You are quite simply wrong. :-)”
    I said there was nothing wrong with Jennifer Aniston. Since you say I’m wrong, that must mean there’s something wrong with Jennifer Aniston. Aha ha ha ha ha! 😉
    “Now, Nicholas Cage, well, you’d have a point there. I struggle to think of a good Nic Cage movie since Leaving Las Vegas.”
    Kick-Ass. But otherwise they’re a bit hard to find.

  • Mark Carroll

    I had things like “Return To Me” and “Playing God” in mind, I may have given up by the time “Evolution” came along, but I note it gets a whole 5.9 on IMDb!
    I didn’t actually think the X-Files movies were all that terrible, but it annoyed me more that the series was cancelled just when we were getting past all the tiresome Mulder-centric stuff and it seemed to be getting not-too-bad again (though I generally like Robert Patrick in pretty much anything he does). Perhaps I should give something like “Things We Lost in the Fire” a try but, eh, life’s too short, I’m too busy rewatching things like “The Creature from the Pit” and being amazed at how laughably phallic Erato is.
    I just asked my wife, “what’s the last good film that Jennifer Aniston was in?”. Immediate answer: “Office Space”. (-: We still have an Initech-logo mug in the kitchen somewhere.

  • SAF

    “I said there was nothing wrong with Jennifer Aniston. Since you say I’m wrong, that must mean there’s something wrong with Jennifer Aniston. Aha ha ha ha ha! ;-)”
    Shucks, I may have needed to rephrase. 🙂
    “Kick-Ass. But otherwise they’re a bit hard to find.”
    Ah, haven’t seen Kick-Ass yet. Will be novel to see a Nic Cage movie that doesn’t *suck* ass. (But I guess that’s one way they were trying to keep bums on seats.)
    SAF

  • Bassygalore

    I think Jennifer Aniston just chooses bad movies, though it could be that not much of quality comes her way. I mean, she’s beloved by many because of Friends, but I don’t think she’s a strong enough actress to *really* carry a movie. They are only going to offer her either indie films or something of “lesser” quality. Those are my two thoughts anyway…

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