Jennifer Aniston Films with a little less Hollywood and far more worth watching…
At large, a film starring Jennifer Aniston is usually a pretty nondescript one. As an audience we generally don’t expect a film featuring the ex-Friends actress to venture outside of the Rom-Com, Chick Flick genres. Very few of her films are particularly notable and, barring the most recently, Horrible Bosses, The Break Up, in which she stars alongside one of my favourite comedy actors Vince Vaughn and Derailed alongside Clive Owen, as likeable as she is and as amazing as her body is, her films don’t tend to be particularly memorable.
It would appear that Jennifer Aniston is the go to girl for lighthearted undemanding mediocrity. And for that very reason, in preparation for my Saturday night in alone, alongside my pizza and Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie purchase yesterday, I also bought myself a film in which Jennifer Aniston starred in – Friends With Money
Aside from seeking lighthearted entertainment, I suppose like the aforementioned films The Break Up and Horrible Bosses, I was also drawn to Friends With Money because of Jennifer Aniston’s co-stars, namely Frances McDormand. I discovered McDormand in one of her many appearances in the Coen brothers‘ films Fargo, and have ever since considered her a credible actress.
Friends With Money
I found Friends With Money to be pleasantly surprising. Although the cast is pretty Hollywood, there’s a nice indie tone to the film. Jennifer Aniston plays Olivia, an ex-teacher currently working as a maid, who hasn’t figured out what she really wants to do with her life just yet. Unlike her friends, Aniston has no children, no money or husband and has to circulate beauty halls to blag herself samples of Lancome and Chanel face creams, that she otherwise cannot afford to buy.
However, what makes this film particularly notable to me are the issues residing in Aniston’s friends and their marriages. McDormand is tired of life and always angry, Catherine Keener is growing intolerable of her clearly loveless marriage and both McDormand and Keener believe the richest couple of the group, Joan Cussack and Greg Germann, are in a sexless marriage. Of course, only those behind closed doors know what’s going on behind closed doors and we soon learn that Cussack and Germann are not only very rich and very happy, but they do very much have sex.
…It’s not an epic film, nor is it majorly profound – but it is a film that holds a little more weight than most Aniston films and a film that I really quite enjoyed enough to want to add it to my Charms of a Dandizette film list.
Another Aniston film that may be a little less Hollywood and more obscure is her role in The Good Girl 2002. Aniston stars alongside Jake Gylenhaal and John C Reily, both known for their appearances in indie films; Gylenhaal in Donnie Darko and John C Reily most recently in Cyrus. It is to be noted that I have a distinct love for art house film, so The Good Girl being an independent film is by far my favourite Jennifer Aniston film.
In the film Aniston plays thirty year old Justine. She works as a shop assistant in a parodied Wal – Mart supermarket called Retail Rodeo and lives a mundane life in a small town, married to her procrastinating husband played by John C Reily. As a means of escape, Aniston, bored and trapped in her life, ends up having an affair with her new co-worker played by Gyllenhaal. For those, like myself, that are fans of J.D Sallinger or are at least fans of The Catcher in the Rye, this film is a particular treat. Gyllenhaal amusingly believes that he is Holden Caulfield and doesn’t seem to be able to tear himself away from a copy of the novel. Holden and Justine eventually fall in love with each other, leading Justine to seriously start questioning her marriage, her happiness and the life that she has been trapped in.
For those who prefer their films with a little less Hollywood, Friends with Money and The Good Girl are definitely worth a watch…