Heigl cover

Defending Katherine Heigl…at the expense of Jennifer Aniston

During what will hopefully be converted into a roundtable discussion about the posters for the upcoming movie What to Expect When You’re Expecting – which quickly devolved into ‘I’d hit that’ speak, much to Kelly Stitzel’s dismay – someone jokingly asked, “How is Katherine Heigl not involved with this?”

It’s a fair question. This would seem to be right up Heigl’s alley. Perhaps she wasn’t interested in playing another pregnant woman after her breakout performance in Judd Apatow’s 2007 hit Knocked Up. Indeed, you could make an argument that she resisted the project for that very reason, that doing the movie would give people the impression that she’s trying to cash in on her former glory. The most likely reason, of course, is that the scheduling didn’t work out.

It’s also quite possible that they simply didn’t want her.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Heigl is on a bit of a skid at the moment. Her last three movies, Killers, Life As We Know It, and New Year’s Eve, were loathed by critics and died mercifully quick deaths at the box office (though Life As We Know It somehow managed to break even). The two movies before them, 27 Dresses and The Ugly Truth, were commercial hits, if not critical ones. (I, for one, like 27 Dresses.) The Heigl backlash even popped up in Friends with Benefits, when Mila Kunis saw a poster for an upcoming romantic comedy and shouted, “Shut up, Katherine Heigl!” (This joke actually works on two levels, since Heigl beat out Kunis for the part of Alison in Knocked Up.) This string of bad luck does not look as though it’s about to be broken, either; Heigl’s latest film One for the Money, in which she plays literary gumshoe Stephanie Plum, was not screened for critics. Groupon is also running a discount ticket deal for the movie, a la The Lincoln Lawyer. That’s some bad juju right there, and the strange thing is that the trailer for One for the Money actually makes it look like a decent flick. If anyone can fill the shoes of the wise-cracking Stephanie Plum, you would think it’s Heigl.

Perception, however, is nine-tenths of the law when it comes to Hollywood stars, and right now, the perception – and therefore, reality – is that Heigl is nearly finished, from rom-com darling to box office poison in a mere four years, a precipitous drop in comparison to movie princesses of the past (Meg Ryan had a good 12 years as America’s Sweetheart™, which included her share of bad films along the way). Now, I know that there are several instances in which Heigl did not help herself (we’ll get to those, I promise), but overall, this seems wildly unfair. Does the backlash stem from the general lack of quality of her movies, her willful personality, or a combination of the two? If it is any one of those three, then there is someone else who by definition should be riding this train alongside her, but to date is not.

Jennifer Aniston.

Let’s review: both are rom-com actresses with spotty box office track records. Both are tabloid fodder. (Heck, Aniston has her own wing in the Tabloid Hall of Fame.) The one key difference is that people love Aniston, while Heigl is viewed as being difficult. And why is that, exactly? That’s the funny part, because if anything, it should be the other way around.

Let’s have a little fun here, shall we? Let’s break down Heigl’s best and worst qualities, and see how they stack up against Aniston’s. Let’s start with the one big pro, and then the cons.

She is very good at what she does

There isn’t a single actress on the planet who plays angry funnier or cuter than Katherine Heigl. There is a scene in The Ugly Truth where she’s directing Gerard Butler to get off the set after shooting one of his chauvinist rants, and she’s positively hilarious. If you don’t value that as a skill, you should; doing the angry/cute thing is not as easy as it seems. Take, for example, Leslie Mann – of whom I’m quite fond, for the record – in Knocked Up. When she flips out on Paul Rudd, it’s not funny – it’s sad, because you walk away from the scene thinking that his character is trapped in a marriage to a nasty human being. But more on that later.

That is not Heigl’s only skill, though. Towards the end of The Ugly Truth, she’s won the man of dreams, only to realize he doesn’t really love her; he loves the woman Butler’s character suggested that she pretend to be. Heigl then describes what she’s really like to the man, in all of her neurotic glory, then says, completely demoralized and broken, “And who would love someone like that?” It’s a heartbreaking scene in an otherwise unwatchable movie. You had to think that even Heigl knew that she was not making a masterpiece when she saw that she had to shoot a scene where it looked like she was giving a guy a blowjob in the bleachers, but she still gave this movie everything she had.

Aniston, meanwhile, is rarely the best thing about any movie she does. In fact, someone should invent a drinking game around Aniston grabbing her rack, a move where she’s essentially saying to the world, “As long as I’ve got these, I’m still going to get work.” (To be fair, that philosophy has worked well thus far.) Instead of making a bad movie better, she is often the source of the problem (ahem, The Bounty Hunter). She knocked it out of the park in Horrible Bosses, but where Heigl will at least try to rise above bad material, Aniston seems content to wallow in the muck.

So there’s the pro. Now Let’s look at the cons.

She has a big mouth

Guilty as charged. It does appear that the comments she made on David Letterman’s show about the long work hours she endured on the Grey’s Anatomy set were out of line (the producers insist those long hours only existed because they accommodated her request to do press for a recent film), but the bit that seemed to seal her reputation as a loudmouth diva was when she dared to suggest that Knocked Up is perhaps just a wee bit sexist. And come on, where the hell does she get off saying bad things about the movie that made her a star?

There’s just one small thing: she’s absolutely right.

The female characters in Knocked Up (I’m referring to Heigl and Mann, who’s married to Apatow) are shrill, humorless succubi. In fact, I’d argue that most of Apatow’s female characters are underwritten and oversexed, but that’s another column for another day. What Heigl said about the movie wasn’t untrue, but she came across as ungrateful, and no one likes an ungrateful movie star…unless he’s a dude. Guys talk trash about their old movies all the time, and no one bats an eye at it. If Heigl’s Ugly Truth costar Gerard Butler came out and said that 300 was crap, would anyone make a big deal out of it? No, they wouldn’t. Seems a little…sexist, don’t you think? Yes, well, now you know how Heigl feels.

Aniston, meanwhile, has never taken heat for saying anything out of turn in the press. She has always been very careful to maintain her image as an American Sweetheart™, and she has been rewarded for this by an adoring public. This is hilarious, because in reality Aniston is a ruthless, cunning, stone-cold killer when it comes to promoting her “brand.” If Heigl wears her heart on her sleeve, Aniston’s is secured behind six inches of steel in a vault surrounded by a moat filled with crocodiles. She doesn’t make a single move without first analyzing it from 17 different angles for its potential impact on her Q factor. Look up each time the tabloids went nuts over Jen’s new boy toy, and you’ll see that each one of them lines up with the opening of one of her films. Aniston hasn’t had an unguarded moment, or made an uncalculated move, in over a decade. This makes her arguably the fakest celebrity of all time, which is saying something considering the asshats that we call celebs today.

Her characters are high-maintenance pains in the ass

So were Reese Witherspoon’s, for the most part, and no one’s held that against her. Also, women are complicated. It’s actually nice to see one refuse to play the bimbo or the fool. As for her role in Killers, well, that was just bad casting. She had no business playing a naive shut-in with no self-esteem.

She’s hell to work with

I wouldn’t know anything about that firsthand, and even if she were, using that as a measuring stick to determine which actors to like or dislike is a hypocritical copout. (Psssst: Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Edward Norton, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Christian Bale thank you for not holding this quality against them.)

Her movies are bad

This is mostly true. However, Aniston’s made five times as many bad movies as Heigl has, and she continues to be forgiven. And it’s not as if there are great romantic comedies being made all around Heigl; the genre is suffering a drought, and a girl’s gotta work.

I am not saying that Jennifer Aniston deserves to suffer what Katherine Heigl is going through at the moment. Ideally, both actresses would be treated equally; they are paid to entertain us, and that is all that should matter. But let’s get some proper perspective on them: what Heigl has said and done, in the grand scheme of things, is pretty innocuous, while far greater Hollywood crimes have, for the most part, gone unpunished. Not to mention, the Heigl backlash sends a dangerous message to little girls everywhere that if they want to succeed in life, they should keep their mouths shut. Aniston, meanwhile, is being rewarded for her steely grasp of the media machine, and how she worked the power of her image into a sustainable brand, long past her career peak. She’s not even known for being an actress anymore – she’s known for being a celebrity, and with an entire generation of kids who crave fame more than love, achievement, or happiness about to overtake the entertainment business, that sends an even worse message than the one about keeping quiet.

When it comes down to it, I think the reason people dislike Katherine Heigl is because they’d be scared to death to be friends with her, because if they were doing something she disapproved of, she’d make sure they knew it. Most people don’t want to be friends with that person, but the fact is everyone needs at least one person like that in their lives, because it works both ways. If you were being a bully, she’d tell you to step off. If you were being too passive, she’d tell you to stick up for yourself. She could use some work in the diplomacy department, yes, but who do you want on your back in a bar fight, the person who says the right things in order to please everyone, or the one who will fight to the death to defend your honor? (See: Heigl’s public shaming of Isaiah Washington after he called Grey’s co-star T.R. Knight a faggot.) Heigl may be neither of those people in real life, but based on her comments to the press, she’s far closer to the latter than she is to the former, and I find that admirable. Aniston, meanwhile, is still an enigma, 17 years after most of us met her for the first time. Oddly enough, this earns her a few bonus points for keeping her private life private – at least until such time as it’s convenient for her to sell this or that scoop to a tabloid in order to advance her career – but that raises the question: why do people like her so much, when after nearly two decades in the spotlight, we still know next to nothing about her?

Fight the good fight, Katherine. In an industry that is referred to as high school with money, it’s nice to see someone on the fringe of the popular clique look at the other popular kids from time to time and say, “Wow, you guys are douchebags.” If you ever find yourself in a bar fight, I will totally have your back.




  • http://robertcashill.blogspot.com BobCashill

    The Brad Pitt divorce was the best thing that could have happened to Aniston. It made her a martyr, and she’ll play peekaboo about boyfriends and babies and wallow in “does Brad still love her?” titillation from here till kingdom come. The tabloids love that attendant drama.

    Careerwise it’s a race to the bottom for both these actresses. Based on Details’ absurd crowning of Aniston as “the sexiest woman ever” I assume men like her, which may be why she has more hits than Heigl. You don’t have to drag them to see her crappy movies. (Me? I was always more of a Lisa Kudrow kind of guy. Kristen Wiig is my new standard-bearer for TV-turned-movie actresses.)

    I haven’t seen a Heigl flick since Knocked Up, and watched Aniston’s recent Sandler picture only because I happened on it on cable in the fall. (That was a desperate afternoon.) Better scripts and better movies would help both their causes. At 43, Aniston, in particular, needs to do a Sandra Bullock changeover to more grownup movies–hits or flops the ones she’s making have no lasting cachet whatsoever. But the tradewinds of gossip favor her so long as she doesn’t commit to anyone, keeping us all (or Us all) in “suspense.”

    As for Heigl, this just in. She’s in bad shape; thank God, you, David, are keeping the brand alive with your commendable study: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2012/01/star-market-revisited-is-it-over-for-katherine-heigl.html?mid=379698&rid=422565032

    For all its problems actresses must miss the studio system. Do Aniston or Heigl have the facility, resiliency, or just plain moxie of a Barbara Stanwyck or a Bette Davis or a Joan Crawford? Is there a there there? The reality is, who’s to know?

  • http://robertcashill.blogspot.com BobCashill

    The Brad Pitt divorce was the best thing that could have happened to Aniston. It made her a martyr, and she’ll play peekaboo about boyfriends and babies and wallow in “does Brad still love her?” titillation from here till kingdom come. The tabloids love that attendant drama.

    Careerwise it’s a race to the bottom for both these actresses. Based on Details’ absurd crowning of Aniston as “the sexiest woman ever” I assume men like her, which may be why she has more hits than Heigl. You don’t have to drag them to see her crappy movies. (Me? I was always more of a Lisa Kudrow kind of guy. Kristen Wiig is my new standard-bearer for TV-turned-movie actresses.)

    I haven’t seen a Heigl flick since Knocked Up, and watched Aniston’s recent Sandler picture only because I happened on it on cable in the fall. (That was a desperate afternoon.) Better scripts and better movies would help both their causes. At 43, Aniston, in particular, needs to do a Sandra Bullock changeover to more grownup movies–hits or flops the ones she’s making have no lasting cachet whatsoever. But the tradewinds of gossip favor her so long as she doesn’t commit to anyone, keeping us all (or Us all) in “suspense.”

    As for Heigl, this just in. She’s in bad shape; thank God, you, David, are keeping the brand alive with your commendable study: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2012/01/star-market-revisited-is-it-over-for-katherine-heigl.html?mid=379698&rid=422565032

    For all its problems actresses must miss the studio system. Do Aniston or Heigl have the facility, resiliency, or just plain moxie of a Barbara Stanwyck or a Bette Davis or a Joan Crawford? Is there a there there? The reality is, who’s to know?

  • http://robertcashill.blogspot.com BobCashill

    The Brad Pitt divorce was the best thing that could have happened to Aniston. It made her a martyr, and she’ll play peekaboo about boyfriends and babies and wallow in “does Brad still love her?” titillation from here till kingdom come. The tabloids love that attendant drama.

    Careerwise it’s a race to the bottom for both these actresses. Based on Details’ absurd crowning of Aniston as “the sexiest woman ever” I assume men like her, which may be why she has more hits than Heigl. You don’t have to drag them to see her crappy movies. (Me? I was always more of a Lisa Kudrow kind of guy. Kristen Wiig is my new standard-bearer for TV-turned-movie actresses.)

    I haven’t seen a Heigl flick since Knocked Up, and watched Aniston’s recent Sandler picture only because I happened on it on cable in the fall. (That was a desperate afternoon.) Better scripts and better movies would help both their causes. At 43, Aniston, in particular, needs to do a Sandra Bullock changeover to more grownup movies–hits or flops the ones she’s making have no lasting cachet whatsoever. But the tradewinds of gossip favor her so long as she doesn’t commit to anyone, keeping us all (or Us all) in “suspense.”

    As for Heigl, this just in. She’s in bad shape; thank God, you, David, are keeping the brand alive with your commendable study: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2012/01/star-market-revisited-is-it-over-for-katherine-heigl.html?mid=379698&rid=422565032

    For all its problems actresses must miss the studio system. Do Aniston or Heigl have the facility, resiliency, or just plain moxie of a Barbara Stanwyck or a Bette Davis or a Joan Crawford? Is there a there there? The reality is, who’s to know?

  • http://robertcashill.blogspot.com BobCashill

    The Brad Pitt divorce was the best thing that could have happened to Aniston. It made her a martyr, and she’ll play peekaboo about boyfriends and babies and wallow in “does Brad still love her?” titillation from here till kingdom come. The tabloids love that attendant drama.

    Careerwise it’s a race to the bottom for both these actresses. Based on Details’ absurd crowning of Aniston as “the sexiest woman ever” I assume men like her, which may be why she has more hits than Heigl. You don’t have to drag them to see her crappy movies. (Me? I was always more of a Lisa Kudrow kind of guy. Kristen Wiig is my new standard-bearer for TV-turned-movie actresses.)

    I haven’t seen a Heigl flick since Knocked Up, and watched Aniston’s recent Sandler picture only because I happened on it on cable in the fall. (That was a desperate afternoon.) Better scripts and better movies would help both their causes. At 43, Aniston, in particular, needs to do a Sandra Bullock changeover to more grownup movies–hits or flops the ones she’s making have no lasting cachet whatsoever. But the tradewinds of gossip favor her so long as she doesn’t commit to anyone, keeping us all (or Us all) in “suspense.”

    As for Heigl, this just in. She’s in bad shape; thank God, you, David, are keeping the brand alive with your commendable study: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2012/01/star-market-revisited-is-it-over-for-katherine-heigl.html?mid=379698&rid=422565032

    For all its problems actresses must miss the studio system. Do Aniston or Heigl have the facility, resiliency, or just plain moxie of a Barbara Stanwyck or a Bette Davis or a Joan Crawford? Is there a there there? The reality is, who’s to know?

  • http://robertcashill.blogspot.com BobCashill

    The Brad Pitt divorce was the best thing that could have happened to Aniston. It made her a martyr, and she’ll play peekaboo about boyfriends and babies and wallow in “does Brad still love her?” titillation from here till kingdom come. The tabloids love that attendant drama.

    Careerwise it’s a race to the bottom for both these actresses. Based on Details’ absurd crowning of Aniston as “the sexiest woman ever” I assume men like her, which may be why she has more hits than Heigl. You don’t have to drag them to see her crappy movies. (Me? I was always more of a Lisa Kudrow kind of guy. Kristen Wiig is my new standard-bearer for TV-turned-movie actresses.)

    I haven’t seen a Heigl flick since Knocked Up, and watched Aniston’s recent Sandler picture only because I happened on it on cable in the fall. (That was a desperate afternoon.) Better scripts and better movies would help both their causes. At 43, Aniston, in particular, needs to do a Sandra Bullock changeover to more grownup movies–hits or flops the ones she’s making have no lasting cachet whatsoever. But the tradewinds of gossip favor her so long as she doesn’t commit to anyone, keeping us all (or Us all) in “suspense.”

    As for Heigl, this just in. She’s in bad shape; thank God, you, David, are keeping the brand alive with your commendable study: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2012/01/star-market-revisited-is-it-over-for-katherine-heigl.html?mid=379698&rid=422565032

    For all its problems actresses must miss the studio system. Do Aniston or Heigl have the facility, resiliency, or just plain moxie of a Barbara Stanwyck or a Bette Davis or a Joan Crawford? Is there a there there? The reality is, who’s to know?

  • http://robertcashill.blogspot.com BobCashill

    The Brad Pitt divorce was the best thing that could have happened to Aniston. It made her a martyr, and she’ll play peekaboo about boyfriends and babies and wallow in “does Brad still love her?” titillation from here till kingdom come. The tabloids love that attendant drama.

    Careerwise it’s a race to the bottom for both these actresses. Based on Details’ absurd crowning of Aniston as “the sexiest woman ever” I assume men like her, which may be why she has more hits than Heigl. You don’t have to drag them to see her crappy movies. (Me? I was always more of a Lisa Kudrow kind of guy. Kristen Wiig is my new standard-bearer for TV-turned-movie actresses.)

    I haven’t seen a Heigl flick since Knocked Up, and watched Aniston’s recent Sandler picture only because I happened on it on cable in the fall. (That was a desperate afternoon.) Better scripts and better movies would help both their causes. At 43, Aniston, in particular, needs to do a Sandra Bullock changeover to more grownup movies–hits or flops the ones she’s making have no lasting cachet whatsoever. But the tradewinds of gossip favor her so long as she doesn’t commit to anyone, keeping us all (or Us all) in “suspense.”

    As for Heigl, this just in. She’s in bad shape; thank God, you, David, are keeping the brand alive with your commendable study: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2012/01/star-market-revisited-is-it-over-for-katherine-heigl.html?mid=379698&rid=422565032

    For all its problems actresses must miss the studio system. Do Aniston or Heigl have the facility, resiliency, or just plain moxie of a Barbara Stanwyck or a Bette Davis or a Joan Crawford? Is there a there there? The reality is, who’s to know?

  • http://www.bullz-eye.com Anonymous

    Thanks for the link to that piece. I still think she has her good points.

  • Andy

    Loved the article. Lots of truths. So much stuff gets written about Heigl which is just factually wrong as well.

    A couple of point I would argue as well – lets take Life As We Know It which made over $100m worldwide. The movie cost $35m to make. How is that breaking even? No movie costs twice as much to promote as it did to make. New Year’s Eve had the biggest A-list cast of all time – can’t really pin that on Heigl. Also its made $150m worldwide on a budget of $56m.

    Also don’t buy this – she is a pain to work with – that not true. You won’t find anyone who will say that who has worked with her. Some may have been critical of her comments but never about her work ethic,  professionalism or behavior on set.

    The fact is some of her movies haven’t been very good – which is a shame because she is 10 times the actress Aniston is. Watch some of her performance which won her an Emmy and two Golden Globe nods for Grey’s Anatomy and you’ll see her films haven’t touched on what she can actually do.

    I think she gets treated really poorly by the media and critics for “minor crimes”. They have turned her into some kind of hate figure, which is a shame because she seems like a thoroughly decent person.

  • AKSchampion21

    This is extra funny because Heigl’s newest movie is a total rip-off of The Bounty Hunter, except backwards. It is unfair to be a pariah for the things you say about the movies you’ve been in, but I don’t think there’s a particular “defense” for her, since 90% of the movies she’s been in are absolute garbage. I think it’s a good thing that people aren’t seeing her movies because maybe the studios will think twice about churning out those kind of stupid fluff films. However, I’m as dumbfounded as you are about the success of Aniston. It’s probably mostly because of Friends and the fact that she always has a bankable co-star. 

  • Stupid

    Or you can just skip all the bulshyte and just flat out say I HATE JENNIFER ANISTON so therefore, I will blame all of Heigl’s problem on her no matter how misconstrued it is. That saves a lot of space and peoples time reading useless and bias articles.

  • http://www.dpsinfo.com LaurieMann

    The problem with Aniston is she’s basically still playing 25 year olds.  She’s one of those actresses who’s seems either terrified of or just incapable of playing an adult.  We went to see One for the Money, which we thought was somewhat fun, and I’d never seen a Heigl movie that I’d liked before.

  • Lisbeths

    I’ve always found Aniston’s characters very relatable; but Heigl, God, I can’t even look at her trailers. She always looks so smug, like “look at me, look how cute I can be!!”

  • http://www.popdose.com Michael Parr

    If I’m being completely honest, I can’t stand either of them and have willfully avoided any project either is involved in.

  • http://www.popdose.com Michael Parr

    If I’m being completely honest, I can’t stand either of them and have willfully avoided any project either is involved in.

  • http://www.popdose.com Michael Parr

    Signed, Jennifer Aniston’s biggest fan?

  • http://www.grayflannelsuit.net/ Chris Holmes

    I’m not sure how going after Jennifer Aniston is supposed to convince me that Heigl is OK. The fact is Aniston spent a decade playing one of the most popular and admired (in a pop culture way) characters on one of the most popular shows of the last few decades. I had hoped she could move on to an artistically satisfying film career, but that’s life.

    Heigl was on a similarly positive track for a few years until she decided to employ a scorched earth policy against some of her fellow actors and (even more stupidly) Shonda Rhimes. That was the start of me being soured on her, to the point that I actively rooted for her character on the show to die.

  • http://www.popdose.com Michael Parr

    Rhimes certainly gave it right back to her, making Heigl’s character one of the most despicable excuses for a human being ever to grace a primetime soap.

  • http://www.grayflannelsuit.net/ Chris Holmes

    Indeed. Pissing off your boss is a bad idea. Pissing off your boss when they can control how millions of people view you is a worse idea.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KEJ7FPURBUJLMG3MCBR2WGFX44 AH

    1.  I’m no Aniston fan.  Most of her movies are bad.  That said, she’s been in more good movies than Heigl, and is a better actress (not saying much).

    2.  Aniston seems like a pretty nice woman, whereas Heigl is a smug b*&ch.  During the writer’s strike, she basically said they didn’t “need” the Grey’s Anatomy’s writers.

  • JonCummings

    A pal of mine had a small part in Life as We Know It, and says Heigl was nothing but professional and a complete sweetheart to him. He thinks she’s aces. On the other hand, my wife hates her acting (and her face!) so much that she refuses to see anything Heigl is in.

    As for Aniston, like probably a whole lot of people, I tend to wipe the slate clean after every mediocre-to-bad movie and hope she does better next time. Let me know when Heigl has two performances as worthwhile as aniston’s in The Good Girl and Friends with Money.

  • JonCummings

    A pal of mine had a small part in Life as We Know It, and says Heigl was nothing but professional and a complete sweetheart to him. He thinks she’s aces. On the other hand, my wife hates her acting (and her face!) so much that she refuses to see anything Heigl is in.

    As for Aniston, like probably a whole lot of people, I tend to wipe the slate clean after every mediocre-to-bad movie and hope she does better next time. Let me know when Heigl has two performances as worthwhile as aniston’s in The Good Girl and Friends with Money.

  • JonCummings

    A pal of mine had a small part in Life as We Know It, and says Heigl was nothing but professional and a complete sweetheart to him. He thinks she’s aces. On the other hand, my wife hates her acting (and her face!) so much that she refuses to see anything Heigl is in.

    As for Aniston, like probably a whole lot of people, I tend to wipe the slate clean after every mediocre-to-bad movie and hope she does better next time. Let me know when Heigl has two performances as worthwhile as aniston’s in The Good Girl and Friends with Money.

  • JonCummings

    A pal of mine had a small part in Life as We Know It, and says Heigl was nothing but professional and a complete sweetheart to him. He thinks she’s aces. On the other hand, my wife hates her acting (and her face!) so much that she refuses to see anything Heigl is in.

    As for Aniston, like probably a whole lot of people, I tend to wipe the slate clean after every mediocre-to-bad movie and hope she does better next time. Let me know when Heigl has two performances as worthwhile as aniston’s in The Good Girl and Friends with Money.

  • JonCummings

    A pal of mine had a small part in Life as We Know It, and says Heigl was nothing but professional and a complete sweetheart to him. He thinks she’s aces. On the other hand, my wife hates her acting (and her face!) so much that she refuses to see anything Heigl is in.

    As for Aniston, like probably a whole lot of people, I tend to wipe the slate clean after every mediocre-to-bad movie and hope she does better next time. Let me know when Heigl has two performances as worthwhile as aniston’s in The Good Girl and Friends with Money.

  • JonCummings

    A pal of mine had a small part in Life as We Know It, and says Heigl was nothing but professional and a complete sweetheart to him. He thinks she’s aces. On the other hand, my wife hates her acting (and her face!) so much that she refuses to see anything Heigl is in.

    As for Aniston, like probably a whole lot of people, I tend to wipe the slate clean after every mediocre-to-bad movie and hope she does better next time. Let me know when Heigl has two performances as worthwhile as aniston’s in The Good Girl and Friends with Money.

  • JonCummings

    A pal of mine had a small part in Life as We Know It, and says Heigl was nothing but professional and a complete sweetheart to him. He thinks she’s aces. On the other hand, my wife hates her acting (and her face!) so much that she refuses to see anything Heigl is in.

    As for Aniston, like probably a whole lot of people, I tend to wipe the slate clean after every mediocre-to-bad movie and hope she does better next time. Let me know when Heigl has two performances as worthwhile as aniston’s in The Good Girl and Friends with Money.

  • JonCummings

    A pal of mine had a small part in Life as We Know It, and says Heigl was nothing but professional and a complete sweetheart to him. He thinks she’s aces. On the other hand, my wife hates her acting (and her face!) so much that she refuses to see anything Heigl is in.

    As for Aniston, like probably a whole lot of people, I tend to wipe the slate clean after every mediocre-to-bad movie and hope she does better next time. Let me know when Heigl has two performances as worthwhile as aniston’s in The Good Girl and Friends with Money.

  • Anonymous

    It all comes down to a problem of casting. Apatow put Heigl on the major motion picture map by casting her in a fitting role: That of a shrill, unlikable person who has room for a genuine character arc leading to a softer, more flexible disposition. Then the studio system got a hold of her and decided that Leading Lady = Ray of Sunshine That Everybody Loves. Heigl plays a shrew like nobody’s business but it takes a keen writer and director to maneuver her into a sympathetic position via storytelling. Viewers know she plays her characters as sour, venomous harpies, so any attempt to make her into a source of “awww” rings false.

    Compare this to Aniston, who may be the cinematic equivalent of beige wallpaper but certainly isn’t offensive, or Meg Ryan who has, if I may list–

    1. Matched Tom Hanks step for step in downright congenial aw-shucks-ness

    2. Made lactose intolerance freakin’ adorable

    3. More than earned every second of screen time beside Billy Crystal

    Aniston and Ryan both spent a solid decade being filmic Build-A-Bears. Heigl has only ever been Queen Bitch Barbie. 

  • Anonymous

    It all comes down to a problem of casting. Apatow put Heigl on the major motion picture map by casting her in a fitting role: That of a shrill, unlikable person who has room for a genuine character arc leading to a softer, more flexible disposition. Then the studio system got a hold of her and decided that Leading Lady = Ray of Sunshine That Everybody Loves. Heigl plays a shrew like nobody’s business but it takes a keen writer and director to maneuver her into a sympathetic position via storytelling. Viewers know she plays her characters as sour, venomous harpies, so any attempt to make her into a source of “awww” rings false.

    Compare this to Aniston, who may be the cinematic equivalent of beige wallpaper but certainly isn’t offensive, or Meg Ryan who has, if I may list–

    1. Matched Tom Hanks step for step in downright congenial aw-shucks-ness

    2. Made lactose intolerance freakin’ adorable

    3. More than earned every second of screen time beside Billy Crystal

    Aniston and Ryan both spent a solid decade being filmic Build-A-Bears. Heigl has only ever been Queen Bitch Barbie. 

  • Stephenweidler

    For some reason, I think this guy doesn’t like Jennifer Aniston……

  • Stephenweidler

    For some reason, I think this guy doesn’t like Jennifer Aniston……

  • Stephenweidler

    dude, I’m not a fan of Jennifer Aniston, but this article was obviously bashing Aniston. I actually think shes a pretty good actress (definitely not a Helen Mirren or Judi Dench) but she’s watchable. He made a point however of intentionally bashing her in every way possible, hardly any of them being actual objective points. I mean, if he had had some objective case against Aniston, that would be one thing. But most of his points seemed to be that he just didn’t like her. 

  • Stephenweidler

    dude, I’m not a fan of Jennifer Aniston, but this article was obviously bashing Aniston. I actually think shes a pretty good actress (definitely not a Helen Mirren or Judi Dench) but she’s watchable. He made a point however of intentionally bashing her in every way possible, hardly any of them being actual objective points. I mean, if he had had some objective case against Aniston, that would be one thing. But most of his points seemed to be that he just didn’t like her. 

  • Anonymous

    very true article…i thought i was the only one with this opinion….

  • RobertBottom

    That “ungrateful” image wouldn’t be so hard to swallow if she actually had any principles to go along with these airs that she puts on regarding her career. Stop taking such hack roles if you’re too good for them Katherine!
     
    Jennifer Aniston was in much more danger of being typecast (see: “friends” persona) than Heigl ever could have been. Please. If you have talent, and you have some clout, then no more excuses.

  • JT

    Andy, what you don’t realize is the box office total doesn’t go entirely to the studio that made the film. If you take into account the millions spent by the distributor on marketing and the fact that the theaters that screen the movie keep about 55% (this number depends on various factors but it’s a ballpark figure) of that box office, then you can see why a movie has to make so much in box office for the studio to then be able to cover its production (and marketing costs) and hopefully make a profit.

  • JT

    Andy, what you don’t realize is the box office total doesn’t go entirely to the studio that made the film. If you take into account the millions spent by the distributor on marketing and the fact that the theaters that screen the movie keep about 55% (this number depends on various factors but it’s a ballpark figure) of that box office, then you can see why a movie has to make so much in box office for the studio to then be able to cover its production (and marketing costs) and hopefully make a profit.

  • http://robertcashill.blogspot.com BobCashill

    At this point, those two Aniston performances are 6-10 years in the past. She’s overdue for a credible role. 

    One for the Money (from a novel that predates The Bounty Hunter) received a predictable critical pounding but it looks to do OK for at least a weekend. She hangs on as the Heiglian analysis continues.

  • http://robertcashill.blogspot.com BobCashill

    At this point, those two Aniston performances are 6-10 years in the past. She’s overdue for a credible role. 

    One for the Money (from a novel that predates The Bounty Hunter) received a predictable critical pounding but it looks to do OK for at least a weekend. She hangs on as the Heiglian analysis continues.

  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    The most damning point of all this is probably that Heigl’s greatest sin is likely that she is public with everything most actors are in private, not just Aniston. In a society of gladhanders, she’s not impulsive as much as she’s vocal about it.

    It’s exactly the point you made, so no, I don’t find myself especially smart in reasserting it.  

  • ASFan

    Here’s the problem regarding her comments about Knocked Up. She says the women in that movie were uptight. That’s fine. The problem is that all of her movie characters since then have been more uptight than the ones in Knocked Up. So frankly she comes off as a hypocrite.

  • superjesus

    Apatow’s female characters are criticized unjustly. No they arent funny like the male ones, or even all that sympathetic in comparison, instead they are grounded. They are the wise characters. The ones who think before they act. Heigel’s complaints are against that. One thing Heigel can learn from Aniston is humility. Aniston has made a ton of shitty movies yes but, she also tries to find good smaller movies to make. Heigel only aims for one type of movie. As for why male stars can get away with being pricks and she cant, well the truth is, they dont. Bale was damn near crucified for his actions. People overlook DDL’s ‘style’ because hes just that damn good (if Heigel had that talent, shed get a pass just like him). Penn? He routinely gets lampooned for being an asshat. Oh and one more thing about her being a bitch to work with. All the people mentioned, well their dicks for a legit reason, to improve their craft. They all either have oscars or they have oscars noms. When Heigel brings home at least a nom, then she can get a pass to be a bitch too whom ever she wants.

  • superjesus

    To anyone whos seen a Heigel movie, you are

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  • Gary

    Jennifer Aniston’s only made 5 times as many bad movies as Heigl because she’s been around that much longer. Katherine Heigl has been in 7 movies since Knocked Up, and honestly, Knocked Up is the only one that’s remotely good. Jen’s no Meryl Streep but she’s still got quite a few good movies. I’d take The Iron Giant, Office Space, The Good Girl, Marley & Me, Horrible Bosses, or Friends With Money over ANY of the crap Heigl’s churned out after Knocked Up. Heck, even Bruce Almighty, Management and He’s Just Not that Into You were better than anything Heigl’s been in since 27 Dresses. Sheesh.

  • just me

    Goodness me who is this two penny “writer” trying to disguise his hatred for Jennifer Aniston behind such an insipid article? The whole premise and the tone of this garbage speaks volumes about Mr. Medsker’s utter lack of creativity and talent. Mr. Medsker – while I give you credit for being a little street smart by adding Aniston’s name to the headline and thereby guranteeing yourself some clicks, I advise you to go back to high school and get yourself an education and only then think of ever penning another article. 

  • just me

    Goodness me who is this two penny “writer” trying to disguise his hatred for Jennifer Aniston behind such an insipid article? The whole premise and the tone of this garbage speaks volumes about Mr. Medsker’s utter lack of creativity and talent. Mr. Medsker – while I give you credit for being a little street smart by adding Aniston’s name to the headline and thereby guranteeing yourself some clicks, I advise you to go back to high school and get yourself an education and only then think of ever penning another article. 

  • just me

    Goodness me who is this two penny “writer” trying to disguise his hatred for Jennifer Aniston behind such an insipid article? The whole premise and the tone of this garbage speaks volumes about Mr. Medsker’s utter lack of creativity and talent. Mr. Medsker – while I give you credit for being a little street smart by adding Aniston’s name to the headline and thereby guranteeing yourself some clicks, I advise you to go back to high school and get yourself an education and only then think of ever penning another article.