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Not Ugly = Not Good

by Kasey McDonald August 28, 2008 2:16 pm
Not Ugly = Not Good

It looks like Hilary Swank is setting herself up for another box-office disappointment. The Oscar winner has acquired the rights to produce and possibly star in an adaptation of Emily Griffin's 2005 novel "Something Borrowed." The book tells the story of a Manhattan attorney who gets involved with her best friend's fiancé after her 30th birthday. The problem here is that the character Swank will likely play, that of Rachel the Manhattan lawyer, is a good-looking girl. When Swank just puts on a dress for a movie, it generally doesn't do very well. (See: P.S. I Love You, Freedom Writers.)

Swank's bread and butter, for better or worse, is when she plays characters that are A) boyish (Boys Don't Cry), B) down and out and... a little boyish (Million Dollar Baby), or C) famous, but boyish (I predict she is going absolutely rock the part of Amelia Earhart in the upcoming biopic Amelia). I mean, she played the cute Carly Reynolds on 90210 and got kicked off the show. Normally, I'm one of those people who abhors the fact that beautiful actresses get the parts of average or not-model-type people and have to don fat suits and prosthetics (I'm looking at YOU, Charlize Theron) when there are scads of actors and actresses out there with absolutely loads of talent, but perhaps not an A-List body or face, who could totally use the work. But when it comes to Hilary Swank, I prefer her in parts where she chameleons into the role, precisely because she chameleons into the role. You never look at her and think "that's Hilary Swank in prosthetics" (I'm looking at YOU, Charlize Theron), you just see the character. Whereas when the trailer for P.S. I Love You came on when I was in the theater, I heard about five people turn to their friends and say "Why is Hilary Swank in a dress?"

The rights deal for "Something Borrowed" also included the rights to the book's sequel "Something Blue," but I doubt they'll get to use them.

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