The newest Jennifer Aniston movie opens this weekend, and we already feel weird saying that. If there is such a thing as an "Aniston movie," it's defined by terribleness, and almost certainly does not deserve its own categorization. But it's not like we can call it the latest Aaron Eckhart film, or the newest Brandon Camp picture, because those are both even more preposterous, so we're stuck with it. Luckily, we have zero plans to see the movie, because... well, there are several reasons, really.
If you were one of the over 52 million viewers who tuned in to see the last episode of Friends, wishing it could go on and on, and were elated when rumors surfaced of a big-screen movie, I have bad news for you: It isn't happening. If, on the other hand, you were one of the over 52 million viewers who tuned in to see the last episode of Friends, just to make sure it was really and truly finally dead, and were annoyed when rumors surfaced of a big screen movie, I have good news for you: It isn't happening!
Finally, another reason to go to Amsterdam! You know, besides the culture. Cinema Expo is happening this week in the Dutch city of sin, and the studios are unraveling their 2008-2009 slates for an international crowd. Here's what's been lighting up the message boards:
In a move that everybody who witnessed how well Beverly Hills Chihuahua did saw coming, the latest cutesy dog picture to come out of Hollywood, Marley & Me, came in at number one at the box office, with $37 million for the weekend, and a whopping $51.6 million since Christmas. Sure, sympathetic tabloid fodder Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson may have helped those numbers, but never underestimate the power of puppies (or puppy-dog eyes).
Proving this country loves nothing if not its dogs, Marley & Me held tight to its position at the top of the box office this weekend, adding $24.1 million, for a two-week total of $106.5. Impressive, yes? Indeed. Even for a dog film. According to Box Office Mojo, it's "the third-highest grossing dog movie on record," a coveted position, as we all know. It falls behind only Scooby-Doo (really? That movie?) and 101 Dalmatians, and is fast approaching the top of that list.
Jennifer Aniston has formed Echo Films along with Kristin Hahn, who has previously produced. The two have already started acquiring several potential projects, most of which will be tailored as starring vehicles for Aniston.
Most of the projects sound like the usual romantic comedy fare that Aniston seems most comfortable in, but being a Texan, the one that really caught my eye was Goree Girls. This one is based on a Texas Monthly article about women in a Texas prison who start an early all-female band. Aniston plans to play the woman who gets the ball rolling, inspiring the other gals to make like the jailbirds they are and sing.
I have to admit, I'm cringing just a little bit already. I kind of like Aniston, despite the extreme media overexposure of every aspect of her life that continues unabated. But can she pull off a convincing Texas accent? Or will she sound like Rachel Green pretending to be from the Generic South for some nutty scheme or another? Hahn previously produced The Departed, a film that was generally critically well-received, while Jack Nicholson's puzzling attempt at a Boston accent was frequently pointed out as a misstep. Jack and Jen are different people (obviously) but let's hope Hahn has the good sense to make sure her friend and star puts in the work the get the right cadence of a proper Texas twang.
Otherwise, it seems like an extremely apropos project for the new company. Aniston and Hahn said they chose to call it Echo because they wanted to make films about people finding their voices. When Aniston finds hers, will it make the audience want to lock her up and throw away the key?