The other day, I was re-watching an episode from “The Big Bang Theory” where Penny and Leonard are arguing over whether or not to see the new Jennifer Aniston movie or a movie about dams, which got me thinking. Is Jennifer Aniston in enough movies to qualify for such a statement?
I mean, the answer if obviously “yes.” She’s super famous. I just needed something to think about on my 20 minute drive to work the next morning, during which I recounted a few in my head… I also thought about her in my favorite roll for her: Rachel on “Friends.”
When I was a teen watching “Friends,” I felt like I related more to the quirky character of Phoebe. Now, as a young adult in her 20’s, I find myself relating more to Rachel as I am now floundering my way through adulthood in the same sort of way she did. I’ve thought up some examples:
• Remember when FICA was taking all of her money? Me whenever I look at a paycheck.
• Remember when she ate cheesecake off the floor? I have no food shame either.
• Remember when she was a bridesmaid and the back of her dress got stuck in her underwear? That’s why I always wear cute underwear — underwear I wouldn’t be ashamed to have on during a car wreck, or that train wreck of a wedding.
• Remember every time Rachel tried to cook? I do not even have a stove in my apartment right now.
• Remember when she sang “Baby Got Back” to her baby? You should hear what I sing to my dog.
• Remember when she didn’t take crap from anyone — not her dad, not her dad’s money, not her ex-husband-to-be, not Ross when they were “on a break,” not Ross when he said his “unagi” was better than their self-defense class, not when Phoebe and old college friend referred to Rachel as a bit “vanilla,” not any boss or job she had to go through to get to where she wanted to be in life? Well, my motto tends to be, “I do what I want.”
• Remember when she got off the plane? I hate flying!
It also just so happens that my daydreaming about Jennifer Aniston coincides with the “Brangelina” — the once dreamy, Hollywood couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt who once had an affair while Pitt was married to Aniston — break up.
Remember when Brad Pitt appeared on an episode of “Friends” and was just as big of a jerk on that episode as he was in real life? Well, I’m a little petty, and I’m not all that heartbroken after news of his pending divorce.
Granted, that episode and real life aren’t totally translatable, but Pitt’s character had an “I hate Rachel Green” club with Ross, and I don’t know what could be more of an “I hate Jennifer Aniston” club than to cheat on her with a beloved human rights activist and the “Tomb Raider.” And Pitt and Aniston — unlike possibly Ross and Rachel — were most definitely NOT on a break.
In honor of my intense love of “Friends” and the end of Brangelina, here are my top, go-to Jennifer Aniston movies:
1) “Along Came Polly” (2004)
A classic romantic comedy, Aniston’s character Polly helps Reuben Feffer (Ben Stiller), a former classmate, loosen up and enjoy life a little, albeit it is an awkward process for Reuben.
The movie even begins with Reuben on a honeymoon with his new wife Lisa Kramer (Debra Messing), and she cheats on him with the scuba instructor. ON THEIR HONEYMOON. So, clearly, things are not going his way and he needs some help.
2) “Just Go With It” (2011)
This is a fun romantic comedy where Aniston’s character Katherine gets talked into pretending to be the ex-wife-to-be of Danny (Adam Sandler), so Danny can cover up a lie with his current, younger, straight-up-foxy girlfriend. They find out, like most romantic comedies, that love was right in front of them all along, but it is fun to watch them get to that point.
3) “The Break-Up” (2006)
This movie embodies all of the pent-up passive aggression that can happen in a long-term relationship if those issues don’t get addressed. Again, like most Aniston movies, it’s fun.
4) “The Bounty Hunter” (2010)
Another fun romantic comedy where bounty hunter Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) has to go collect his ex-wife and reporter Nicole Hurley (Aniston).
5) “We’re the Millers” (2013)
This is like the very R-rated version of “Just Go With It” as it involves a fake family helping a drug-smuggler. For fans of comedies like “Step-Brothers,” “The Hangover,” or “21 Jump Street,” this will fit right on that list.
6) “Horrible Bosses” (2011)
Anison is also in another comedic role in “Horrible Bosses,” which is along the same lines of humor as “We’re the Millers,” but not as good. It is still a trip and a good movie to watch one night after any children in the house have gone to sleep.
7) “Leprechaun” (1993)
This is movie is basically if the character Rachel from season one of “Friends” got dropped in a dusty, old house in the desert as well as in a scary movie from the 90’s.
Beware, the movie is rated R. I started watching this movie before I knew that and before I knew what it was really about. I then read the description on IMDB.com, which says, “An evil, sadistic Leprechaun goes on a killing rampage in search of his beloved pot of gold.”
Then I was like, “WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO…”
The idea is really simple and kind of genius, I guess. A very bad Leprechaun wants his gold at any and all costs. The movie takes something cute and turns it into a nightmare, although it is a nightmare from the 90’s, so it’s actually still a little quirky and fun. It’s still going to give me nightmares, though. There was still gore and creepiness and reasons to not watch this alone, which was another mistake I made.
What I take away from this movie: “It’s not nice to take coins from a Leprechaun.”
THAT, and I will never think of Pogo sticks the same way.
8) “Bruce Almighty” (2003)
Let’s face it, Aniston’s character Grace Connelly had to put up with WAY too much crap from Jim Carey’s character Bruce Nolan. She should have been the star of the movie, not Carey. Grace also should not have gotten back together with Bruce as he’s kind of a narcissist at worst and selfish at best, which is part of the premise of the movie but makes for a bad boyfriend. Bruce isn’t such a bad guy in the end, but Grace still could have done better.
9) “The Switch” (2010)
It is an interesting concept — a woman using a sperm donor to get pregnant ends up with the wrong donor, so to speak — but the plot is somewhat formulaic and predictable. It is still a cute movie, though, if you can get past how the premise of the movie is basically a violation of Aniston’s character. Still, it is an easy watch, and they may — or may not — find out that love was in front of them all along.
10) Aniston’s critically acclaimed roles
Let’s face it, I prefer lighter, romantic comedies over a heavy drama pretty much any day, but here are three films that are a bit more dramatic than the earlier ones that Aniston for which received praise for breaking out of the romantic comedy roles that I so love: “The Good Girl” (2002), “Friends with Money” (2006), and “Cake” (2014).
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (937) 451-3336