Jennifer Aniston

Culture Warrior

Modern romance and the movies are arguably dependant on one another, as movies have a long history of affirming the idea(l) of the perfect relationship. Hollywood movies in particular have developed a mastery at the formula of bringing imperfect individuals together into perfect couplehood and framing marriage as the closure of all previous conflicts and difficulties. Many romance movies, thus, teach us what romance and couplehood are or, perhaps more dauntingly, what it should be. That romantic films are a staple in the box offices of commercial movie theaters to reparatory screenings or are marathon’d on television every Valentine’s Day is evidence of our ritual association of considering real-life romances in fictional terms. It is rare that movies, especially Hollywood, seem to do the opposite: reflect the distinction between ideal romance and the ostensible “reality” of relationships in all their complexity, grittiness, slow development, necessary problems, and (most of all) subtlety. Perhaps the most evident turns cinema makes in this direction is in the break-up movie, that rare narrative that situates itself as a disruption from the normal mode of portraying couplehood through representing its antithesis, the dissolution of a couple. The most recent example is Blue Valentine, the great Cassavetes-style, character-driven psychodrama about a couple who continue making the wrong turns and can’t make it work despite, or because, of themselves. Breakup movies from the light – (500) Days of Summer – to the heavy – Blue Valentine – often self-consciously (either by testament from the filmmaker like in […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spent the night in jail after trying to sneak in and see Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D. The cops didn’t believe him that he was trying to watch the latest remake of Thunderball. Sadly, they just saw a pervy looking fat guy squealing and crying with a group of thirteen year old girls. Fortunately, he had a chance to catch the other movies of the week, including Gnomeo and Juliet, Just Go With It and The Eagle. He also gives a little bit of love (what’s left of it anyway after spending the night in lock-up) to the Oscar-Nominated Shorts.

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There’s an unspoken agreement between Adam Sandler and American audiences… basically he guarantees to make (at least) one terrible movie per year, and they guarantee to make it a hit. Sandler’s reaped large sums of money from the arrangement, but it’s unclear what viewers get out of the exchange. If one was to hazard a guess though it’s probably the gamble that his next comedy may be his last a truly fun and well made movie. Well guess what… Just Go With It comes pretty damn close to being okay! Other surprises contained within this latest gem from the Happy Madison sausage factory include: Jennifer Aniston is the best part of the movie, and not just through the process of elimination! The child actors are talented and only slightly annoying! The funny sidekick (Nick Swardson) is less funny than the lead! Rob Schneider is nowhere to be seen!

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Romantic comedy makers, here’s some advice: When you’re pinpointing a male lead to star opposite a genre stalwart such as Jennifer Aniston, skew more toward the Jason Batemans of the world than the Matthew McConaugheys. The Arrested Development veteran’s appearance in The Switch, a top-notch valentine to New York City and parenthood being released during the summer doldrums, epitomizes the wisdom of this approach. As neurotic, repressed financial analyst Wally Mars, Bateman turns the standard leading male archetype on its head. Out of a morass of clichés, from the When Harry Met Sally components of the narrative to the big climactic reveal, he makes stability sexy, offering an appealing regular-guy counterpart in the cold war with Patrick Wilson’s dreamboat Roland for the heart of Kassie (Aniston). Beneath the bundle of obsessions and fears is a smart, lonely man fighting for self-respect and the right to feel happy.

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Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down weighs in on The Bounty Hunter, Repo Men and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

While Neil is hitting on indie rock chicks during the second half of the SXSW film festival, Kevin is left at home finding a guest host. So, he calls on Kelly Gingery from FlickChick.tv to help him out. They lament the problems with The Bounty Hunter and take wild guesses about Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Repo Men.

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The Bounty Hunter

The Bounty Hunter stars Gerard Butler as Milo Boyd as a bounty hunter (surprise!) who was kicked off the police force and now makes his living rounding up people who skip bail. Jennifer Aniston plays his ex-wife Nicole Hurly, a reporter on the trail of a story that just doesn’t seem quite right. Oh yeah, and she has a court date for assaulting a police officer. Predictable plots being the way they are, she misses the court date, which causes the judge to issue a bench warrant, and Milo jumps at the chance to take his ex-wife to jail and collect on the bounty.

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The Switch

The Switch is the newly renamed comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman about artificial insemination, mistaken identity, and the perils of sticking kitchen utensils up your bajango. It was originally called The Baster… a title that’s simultaneously better and worse then the new one.

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This week, Forbes released a rather bitch-ily worded article naming the top ten actresses that provided the best return on investment (ROI) for studios…

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lovehappens

Shockingly, Love Happens is a cliche-ridden, tepid romantic comedy featuring not-at-all convincing characters.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

The Fat Guys take a look at Jennifer’s Body even though Fox (that’d be the studio, not the actress) didn’t screen it for them. They also chew on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, help Matt Damon squeal in The Informant! and avoid Love Happens like the plague.

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Are Pumas the new cougars? Is Jennifer Aniston old? Is Wayne McClammy anyone you’ve ever heard of?

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When a self-help author arrives in Seattle to teach a sold-out seminar, he unexpectedly meets the one person who might finally be able to help him help himself.

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Jason Sudeikis can be seen weekly on SNL and “30 Rock,” and now he’ll be trying his hand at moving pictures with his first co-starring role. Can he make the jump or will his performances in The Rocker and What Happens in Vegas weigh him down?

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‘Management’ gives Steve Zahn the lead role he deserves, but it’s otherwise a standard coming of age dramedy.

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So there I was, watching Isla Fisher’s new film Confessions of a Shopaholic and being a little surprised as how likeable she is on screen in a leading role when it occurred to me… I’m probably never going to see her boobs again

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Have you ever tried Batter Blaster? Pancake/waffle batter in a pressurized can like whip cream? And it’s organic? Good stuff.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil bring on the fruitcake with their big, fat Christmas special. They question the correlation between Nazis and Christmas with the release of Valkyrie and The Spirit.

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FSR

FSR’s resident chubby film critic Kevin Carr runs down the reviews on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Valkyrie, The Spirit, Marley & Me and Bedtime Stories.

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spoiler-alert

People hate spoilers. And for anyone who runs a movie website, the topic of spoilers is always a red hot one. And for my part, I do my best to keep them off the pages of FSR. Once you pass into the real world though, I can no longer protect you.

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