Dear Hollywood: Shut up, Jennifer Aniston

By Gus Bode

The headline to this column says it all.

Jennifer Aniston really needs to just shut her mouth.

Apparently, she used to be married to this guy named Brad Pitt. Four years ago, they broke up. Now, Elle magazine is finally asking her the tough questions about that brutal breakup, asking for her side of the story. She responded, ‘I don’t owe anybody my side of the story. There are no villains and there’s no heroine in the story. It’s just not the case.’

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Great. She’s clearly over this guy. We know, we’ve heard her say it in a million interviews and a million sit downs with Oprah where she cried about her problems.

Yes, divorce is a terrible thing. But it was four years ago and people are still treating it like it’s the hottest thing in Hollywood. The camera cut to Pitt and Angelina Jolie not once, but twice while Aniston was on stage presenting Oscars to animated films. That’s just cold.

Now, in the same Elle magazine interview, she said that at age 40, she wants to start doing more fun roles. She suggested that she would love to be a Bond girl. She’s certainly pretty enough to be a Bond girl, but this is not the kind of role she should be taking in her career.

For that matter, what has Aniston done with her career since ‘Friends?’ Nothing. She’s been in successful movies, but she hasn’t done anything truly substantial or worthy of mentioning later. Does anyone watch ‘The Break Up’ or ‘Marley and Me’ and think, ‘Gosh golly, she sure is a phenomenal actress!’ No.

But the thing is, she could be. She certainly has the skills to do something more than dumb romantic comedies with Drew Barrymore. Barrymore at least earned the right to be in dumb rom-coms by taking on a series of challenging roles in the 90s. Aniston doesn’t challenge herself, ever. She’s content to be the funny girl who the klutzy guy falls in love with.

It’s a symptom that becomes common with many Hollywood actresses. They start off in meaty roles in independent films and then go mainstream and safe. Queen Latifah did it. Ice Cube did it. To some extent, Tom Hanks did it. And Aniston never really did anything else, so why are we still talking about her like she’s relevant?

‘Marley and Me’ was her first movie since ‘The Break Up.’ In that time, she made numerous appearances in the media for no real reason.

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If she wants to revitalize her career, she needs to take juicier parts and shut up about Pitt. People might still care about their doomed relationship, but they really shouldn’t. It’s over and done with. Move on, America. Move on, Jennifer.

And please, if you think about talking about your past again, just remember to shut your trap about that guy you married that one time.

Wes Lawson can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 275

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