Educated people who watch movies in the eighth row (because that’s where critics supposedly sit) and read The New York Times have been said to be tracking Jennifer Aniston’s career to prove a theory that her romantic circumstances influence the movie roles she chooses. Our guts tell us they do, for the main reason because they do … but it’s time someone push the Life Alert button and predict the kind of movies we have to look forward to if Aniston keeps picking projects according to how much the main character reminds her of herself. We'll begin with her latest film:
In her newest movie, The Switch, Aniston plays a character that has no husband or boyfriend, which is decidedly inconvenient considering her time to have a child is running out. It's funny, cause that's the exact same situation the real Aniston wakes up to each and every morning (minus the stupendous dimmers that Brad Pitt personally installed in the house they lived in together, and the weighted knowledge that he now has six children that she did not give him). Aniston’s constantly reiterating how many more options there are in terms of how a person becomes a parent to the press, and in this movie, she plays a woman who (for lack of a better term) "takes her own advice" and heaves ho to mommydom. It’s obvious Aniston chose this role because she currently finds herself without a partner, and she's beginning to consider the likelihood she'll have to be a parent by herself if she wants to be one at all.
So if there were so many similarities between Aniston’s real life and her character’s life in The Switch, it’s fair to reason her future movie roles would continue to be from her real life too, right? Well, sure! Brett Favre’s the pope, right?! Here are a few roles that some love-struck paperboy surely plopped down on her "Suck it, Brad!" mat outside her door just this morning.
First on Aniston’s calendar would be a little film called The Party, which would be about a woman so depressed over her divorce that she throws herself a party, and only invites eligible and outrageously handsome men. This assumed plot is almost identical to the scores of men whose souls she sucked out through their ear canals when she attempted to make herself feel better after she made the irrevocable decision to divorce Brad Pitt. Of course, no one is capable of having a functional relationship immediately after a divorce, and Aniston’s character surely embraces this truth by giving each and every guy who walks through her door a heavy dose of PCP so they’re all virtually unconscious and, therefore, much more amenable to letting her vent and rant about her plagued relationship. In the morning, after the party's ended, they all are certain to wake up and find they’re each missing four fingers and their ties, and they all have Hitler mustaches made out of toothpaste smeared on their faces. Of course, Aniston's real-life PCP habits don't happen to be documented very well, but that doesn't necessarily mean they don't exist. So this gotta-be-produced flick is far from out of the running.
Then there’s The Survivor, which would be a darker film ... indubitably, Jen would feel her experience with The Good Girl and Derailed and maybe even the skills that allowed her to show up on set for Management on time would serve as the driving force for her involvement in this movie. It's not a thriller, per say, because Jennifer Aniston doesn't get scared. About the closest she gets to scared is a combination of suspicion and embarrassment, with just a hint of self-loathing, like the lemon peel that sits on the rim of a Cosmo. The Survivor would be about a woman who is the only survivor of a plane crash (undoubtedly yet another reference to what going through a divorce felt like for her, the the inevitable change of becoming much more evaluative and unsure of life once she can't rely on someone else to bring the mail inside). In an attempt to get through her PTSD and the numerous other phobias she gained from the experience, she enters very serious therapy, attends group sessions every day, and lights a blue candle for herself every night for a reason the director does not think we should be privy to (because his previous movie was remarkably uninformative and yet earned him worldwide praise). Despite the rules of the healing book provided by her counselor, which forbid dating anyone in her therapy group, she finds herself falling in love with a man who was hit by a train and somehow, and almost stupidly, survived. The movie would be about the two of them trying to experience the joys of a relationship, even though their stubborn pasts have made them almost unflinchingly somber and their act is nearly impossible to get together.
And finally, there will be The Paper, about a woman named Nicole who works at a newspaper in Chicago. Nicole is dead-set on advancing her career in journalism and has completely abandoned the family she once wanted so terribly, replacing it with the desire for a Peabody Award. But then she meets Ben, a charming and perfect fellow journalist. The two quickly fall in love and get married, and everything's honky dory because they even get a dog named Norman together. Then one day, Ben's boss assigns him an article that is way too large for him to write by himself, so he's partnered with Angelica, who happens to be the most beautiful and powerful and assertive and strapless dressy-wearing journalist at the entire paper. Ben is quickly ready to trade Nicole's "wool socks and Casablanca" nights for Angelica's vivacious and unpredictable lifestyle, and swiftly ditches his wife for the intriguing young temptress. Abandoned and devastated, Nicole begins to feed Norman nightcrawlers because she feels compelled to make herself seem more adventurous.
So are you picking up on my merit badge-worthy Morse code here? Jennifer Aniston is an actress who rarely, if ever, does a movie where she's pushed outside her comfort zone. Clearly her strategy is to stick to what she knows best, which are stories of romance where funny things happen, like a dishwasher overflowing or an ex-husband chaining her to a bed because he's a bounty hunter. Will she ever star in the Lady Gaga biopic we all know will happen before the Elvis one does? Never! Aniston wouldn’t even get a tattoo for Courteney Cox! But what about a movie where a woman sleeps with a musician and has his baby, or even one who masquerades as a doctor because she believes a patient at a hospital is her soul mate and accidentally kills an old woman so as not to blow her cover? Not to worry – she’s on both of those like a perfectly cooked pasta noodle that’s stuck to a wall.