When 'The Good Girl' goes bad: Will audiences embrace a naughty Jennifer Aniston?

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In the raucous new comedy Horrible Bosses (in theaters today) Jennifer Aniston pulls off, in addition to her clothes, some rather impressive comedic feats. Playing against-type as a sexually aggressive dentist, she not only holds her own against a top-notch boys club, but she also silences her skeptics who argue she’s nothing more than a hair-do.

Even though Aniston is one of the most famous faces in the world, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a trace of her sweetness in Horrible Bosses. (And no, not because her hair looks different.) While the 42-year-old has done some fine work in lighter fare like Marley & Me, The Break-Up, and The Switch, it’s sometimes difficult not to see Aniston, or more specifically, traces of her Friends character Rachel Green. Heck, even in the cult classic Office Space, her chain restaurant employee, Joanna, seemed a close cousin to Central Perk-dwelling Rachel.

But in Horrible Bosses, that persona is long gone. While Aniston has always been funny (she has an Emmy to prove it, and even the folks at SNL thought so), she’s downright ballsy in her role, sexually harassing her employee, played by Charlie Day. Their interaction is arguably the strongest — if not funniest — storyline in the flick.

Though critics are applauding her brave performance, it still remains to be seen whether her fans will like this version of Aniston. While she has played un-sweet before — in the 2005 thriller Derailed, she was a seductive con artist who blackmails Clive Owen — that film famously tanked at the box office. Even when her sweetness was tempered with a little darkness, in indies like The Good Girl and Friends With Money, audiences stayed away despite relatively warm reviews. Does that mean audiences prefer Aniston as they know and love her, or was she simply not given better material before?

Aniston herself admitted she had a blast letting loose in the risky role and straying from her typical work on the big screen. As she told EW, “I had such a great time doing it. It was ridiculous fun. I never get that kind of fun stuff. It was great! You do tend to get locked into parts that you play, you know what I mean? People forget that there are other parts in there.”

Do you hope she takes on more parts like this, or do you prefer she return to her rom-com roots as soon as possible? I personally vote for the former, but at this juncture in her career, Aniston is once and for all proving she’s up for a challenge.

Read more:
Jennifer Aniston on her ‘Horrible Bosses’ character: ‘I never get that kind of fun stuff’
Jennifer Aniston reminisces about ‘Friends’ finale on ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’
‘Horrible Bosses’ trailer features Jennifer Aniston ‘fooling around’


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  • e4ia

    I have never understood all the negativity towards her. Yes, she has been in some lousy movies, but when she is in a good one, her talents really shine.

  • Bug

    Let’s be clear…if the movie does well that is a great to the ensemble cast. This is not a jennifer anniston movie – and she is nothing but a hair do. very limited actress!

    • Bug

      “that is a NOD to a great ensemble cast”.

    • @Bug

      Let me be clear as well…that’s your opinion, not a fact.

    • Lee

      Since she is the one getting the most rave reviews for the movie–I think it will be remembered as a Jennifer Aniston movie. Get over it. You Anniston-haters need to get a life.

      • really tho?

        she’s getting rave reviews? lol

      • Lola

        @really tho:
        Look at every single critics’ reviews on rottentomatoes and then post a comment, dumbsht

      • Betty

        After reading the reviews it seems that Charlie Day is getting most if the recognition, but Anniston deserves some of the rave reviews she’s gotten.

    • Bree

      Great ensemble cast, which includes Jennifer, no?

      Limited compared to who? Jolie? Jolie is NOTHING without special effects. Her attempts in doing comedies are laughable.

      • m1

        Yes, but in dramas and action films she’s fantastic.

      • Cat

        Why bring up Jolie?

  • Rob

    Is it a coincidence that for her “bad girl” role Jen sports a decidedly Angelina Jolie-style cut and color?

    • Maria

      Oh please… Enough with comparing her with angelina

    • Angel

      Oh yes because she’s the only brunette in the world -rolls eyes-

  • DRG

    This is the THIRD post EW has made about this movie today. Could the fact that this is a movie produced by EW’s parent company Warner Brothers have anything to do with that?

    • Lee

      Or maybe it’ll be the highest grossing movie this weekend.

      • DRG

        Pure speculation.

  • Kate

    is anyone else over her? she is a sub-par actress.

    • Laura

      Not over her, she’s better with age. A great comedic actress is hard to find and she is very talented — although bad scripts selections.

  • lmao

    Is this a rerun? it feels like every time she’s promoting something it’s “omg jennifer as you’ve never seen her before” and she’s half nude or whatever. this is not the new Aniston. she is always half naked in ads. SNOOZE

  • Sue1

    The movie looks funny, and the whole cast seems to shine. Never understood the hatred toward Aniston, or the constant Jolie references. I’m so over THAT.

  • tracy bluth

    Not really related, but when will Charlie Day’s PopWatch category be revealed?

    • punch drunk fool

      hahaha yes! Charlie day was soo funny in that movie! Also I’m not gonna lie I never liked aniston but she was actually kinda good as a sexual harraser haha. pretty hot when all she wore was the labcoat (dentistcoat?) and argued that shes not naked haha

      • Krystal

        THIS movie was sooo funny. I wish there was more with Jennifer Aniston because her character was ridiculous. It really was Charlie who stole the show even though he basically played Charlie from It’s always sunny.

  • Lee

    I for one say it’s about time Jennifer Aniston played a different character. And kudos to her for getting rave reviews for playing against type. I hope she continues to challenge herself more with different characters. I wish more actors in Hollywood would have the guts to do that too.

    • bee

      “I hope she CONTINUES to challenge herself more with different characters.” uhm this is Jennifer Aniston we’re talking about right?

      • Lena

        Yes, it is.

        con·tin·ue
        verb /kənˈtinyo͞o/
        meaning: Carry on with (something that one has begun).

      • people

        Look, people arguing on EW with witty comments and insults again! haha

  • JJ

    Jen is a very talented and creative actress. She is a funny, sweet, positive, and happy person. No wonder so many unhappy people dislike Jen. I love Jen’s personality, and will never have enough of her. Wish Jen a long happiness.

  • Betty

    I thought she was awesome in this movie and I am not usually impressed hy her. Actually my favorite Aniston movies are The Good Girl and Friends with Money, so I guess I like her better in darker roles

  • BrandonK

    She was great, and the movie was great! I think it’s tied for funniest movie of the year with “Bridesmaids”. So funny. And Charlie Day is adorable.

  • ali

    This movie is soooo hilarious! All the characters were great. Jennifer really shined. Love her look! Got to be funniest movie this year!!!! Go see it!!!!

  • Rod Steel

    If she had so many fans her movies would do a lot better at the box office.

  • tg

    I don’t think she’s ever been good in anything, including Friends. The only thing she was even remotely believable in was The Break Up, in which she played a nagging, hateful, entitled b****. I don’t get it with her. Who cares?

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