They bombard posters, billboards and shelves, ready to capitalize on Valentine’s Day, Christmas and even the New Year. Their appearances in the multiplex earn them extortionate amounts of money and their studios revel in the success of the all-important opening weekend. In the meantime, performers are tangled in a never-ending web of critically panned flicks and caught in a rut of repetitive type-cast roles. They are romantic comedies.
Now considered the Queen of the Rom-Com, Jennifer Aniston first graced our screens as the loveable, albeit ditsy, fashionista Rachel Green in the hit comedy series Friends. Her 10 year stint has, arguably, earned her the status as an “international treasure”, admired for her talent, beauty, classiness and she is apparently one of the nicest people in the entertainment business.
These factors make it more of a mystery as to why her filmography features incessant amounts of romantic comedies, including Along Came Polly (2004), The Break-Up (2006), He’s Just Not That Into You (2009) and Just Go With It (2011). These titles are just a snapshot of the films which feature Aniston in her type-cast role as a nice and desirable main character, who just happens to be unlucky in the love department. They were all financial successes, but panned among critics.
While Aniston has branched out into different and even villainous roles in the past few years, she never strays from comedy; she plays a reporter arrested for assaulting a police officer in The Bounty Hunter (2010) and the slightly disturbing sexual maniac, harassing her employee in Horrible Bosses (2011). Her performances have us hoping that she will star in more serious films, and force us to wonder why she accepts such similar roles.
There are several factors which could explain the reasoning behind this:
- Money: Aniston’s films are undoubtedly profitable which probably influences big pay cheques, and according to IMDB, she receives $8-10 million for each of her performances. However, she is worth an estimated $150 million which makes it unlikely that the pay is the deciding factor.
- Comfort: She worked on a comedy TV series for 10 years, is she just simply comfortable in humorous performances?
- Choice: By being known for her comedy roles and the infamous love story between Rachel and Ross in friends, does Aniston only get considered for films involving romance and humour? This is unlikely, as her profitability and reputation probably attract a wide range of scripts to her door.
- Preference: Last but not least, is it simply her preference to perform in romantic comedies? It could be her favourite genre; she could enjoy working with her funny co-stars such as Ben Stiller and Gerard Butler. While an ulterior motive is sought to understand the playing of the same role, it could easily be down to an innocent factor such as preference.
Jennifer Aniston is just one of a handful of performers who appear to play the same role over again; other victims include Katherine Heigel, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. Is there anyone else who you wish would stray from the same old roles and genres?