Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Garner In Need of Career Counseling

Why isn't Jennifer Garner a bigger star?

After blowing up with "Alias", she turned her Emmy-nominated turn as Sydney Bristow into what seemed to be a sure-fire feature career. She's not only gorgeous and athletic, she's likeable. You want to cheer Jenny on, whether it's as the grieving daughter in "Daredevil" or in the saccharine sweet "13 Going on 30." You want to her get the guy. You even want her to divorce the guy, when the guy's a creep like Jason Bateman in "Juno."

Why isn't Jennifer Garner a bigger star?

At first glance you would think it's because she's been largely out of the scene the past few years starting a family with hubby Ben Affleck. Nothing wrong with that if that were the case, but it's not. 2008 was the first calendar year without a Jenny Garner project since her "Alias" breakout. In 2007, she co-starred in "The Kingdom" and "Juno." The latter was obviously a sensation but "The Kingdom" was an underrated thriller that didn't find the audience it deserved, mostly because anything to do with the war on terror became box-office poison.

No, family life isn't why she's not the star she should be. It's because she's being wasted in crap like "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," a putrid RomCom opening May 1st. I caught an early screening for 'editorial consideration,' which is industry speak for screenings for show producers like myself to decide who they want to try and book from the film. I had a feeling from the trailer that Matthew McConaughey would be doing his usual 'fratboy ladies man w/a drawl' schtick, and I was right. His career is bleeding out too, but it's from a self-inflicted wound, so no advice for him.

But Jenny ...ahh, Jenny Jenny ('Who Can I turn to?' Sorry, couldn't help myself). You need to fire your manager/agent/palm reader/barista...whoever brought you this script. Because there's no way a smart girl like you read the script for this steaming pile of dog dung and said, 'this is a perfect comeback vehicle. Sign me up!'

A twist on "A Christmas Carol" that's set during the winter but NOT Christmas? Set around a wedding weekend at the stereotypical lavish estate with every stock character cliche from Hollywood's romantic comedy playbook?? Seriously, didn't the fact that it co-starred McConaughey, the King of brainless chick flicks the past few years, trigger any warning bells?

I at least hope you cashed a fat check for this.

I get the whole 'you do one for them, and one for you' business strategy in Hollywood. Its worked for lots of people, like George Clooney. But if you're going to pick a nice fluffy better be a good one. All you need to know about "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" is that my wife - a McConaughey fan, FYI - wanted to walk out 30 minutes in. Walk out. OF A FREE MOVIE!

Why isn't Jennifer Garner a bigger star?

Beats me, but here's what I would tell her if she asked me for career advice over iced caramel macchiatos (she strikes me as a fan of that type of drink):

1) Pick better scripts. Let me repeat myself: PICK BETTER SCRIPTS! I know, easier said than done. But its certainly not impossible to do. Just ask Christian Bale. Or Angelina Jolie. Even Rachel McAdams.

2) When in doubt, pass on anything Matthew McConaughey's attached to.

3) Leave the romantic comedy genre behind. You've taken three swings ("13 Going on 30", "Catch & Release" & now "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past") and whiffed. Head back to the dugout, grab new lumber and look for a better pitch your next at-bat. Comedies are fine, especially when Ricky Gervais is writing/directing it. So "This Side of the Truth" (due out in Sept) sounds very promising. But if Ricky hands you a re-worked draft that finds you in some cheesy embrace with the movie's man-candy, burn it and stay in your trailer until they rewrite it.

4) Focus on dramas. Flex those thesp muscles, baby! Look how well "Juno" did. I'm encouraged by one of your upcoming projects, "Be With You." A romantic drama is right in your wheelhouse.

5) ACTION! You kicked your hubby's ass in "Daredevil" and God knows, you were unbelievable in the climax of "The Kingdom." Find a script that shows off your athleticism and your sensitive side. There has to be some good action movie scripts out there for strong women. Get your team to dig 'em out, use your "Alias" experience to fine-tune it, and make it work, girl! We need more female action stars, and since Angelina has 5 kids and you only have 2, you're in perfect position.

There you have it. Free advice, from someone who wants you to achieve the stardom you very much deserve.

Why isn't Jennifer Garner a bigger star?

Who really knows, but I know she should be.


Anonymous said...

I agree she should have passed on this rom-com, after the success of Juno I thought she would make better choices.
I know you said the movie was bad, but was she atleast good in it?

mavila said...

Yes, she was actually good in it but not even she could save this floating turd of a film. its that bad.