I’m currently working my way through Friends for the 77th time in my life and, while it has not aged well in its attitudes to certain things (toxic masculinity + slut-shaming + fat-shaming + Ross being a decent person) – I still love it. The most prolific thing I take from this current re-watch is that Rachel was so well-suited to Joey – and I wish they’d ended up together. In Paris, living their dreams with Emma in tow.
Anyway, it has also stoked the Jennifer Aniston fires and I am fully entrenched in a massive crush on her right now. Which is both good and bad. Great because what a handsome babe she is, a deeply likeable actress with superb comic timing. Also terrible because she’s in a lot of movies that aren’t always worthy of her. Which doesn’t stop me watching the fuck out of them, obviously but I’m mostly watching for my girl.
These are the JA vehicles I’ve (mostly) enjoyed recently:
Jen plays stripper Rose who teams up with her dodgy neighbour David (Jason Sudeikis) to pull off a drug-smuggling mission across the Mexican border. They rope in a couple of local kids to help them pose as an ordinary family on vacation – with hilarious consequences. Sort of.
This film has a really good cast, including Emma Roberts, Kathryn Hahn and Will Poulter so it’s not all bad. If you’re watching mainly for Jennifer then there’s nothing to be disappointed about. While there are moments of slut-shaming Rose’s chosen career path which are not cool – and there’s a scene set up just so Jen has to strip for a bunch of sleazebags – her character proves she’s more than just a tight bod and good hair. There have been better showcases for her comedic skills, which we’ll look at below but I will give it:
3 swishy Rachel cuts out of 5
Did you know America’s Sweetheart is very good at playing super bitches? In this Christmas movie, she is hard-faced Carol, sister of company boss (and fuck up) Clay (T.J. Miller). Hellbent on shutting down the Chicago branch of family business Zenotek, she gives Clay one night to seal his final deal – if they can get financial wizard Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance) to sign with them, the branch is safe.
Little does she know they’re doing it by throwing the year’s biggest and best party, something she’s expressly forbidden. Luckily, Carol’s safely on her way to London so will never know… right?
Jen looks amazing and really gets her chops around the film’s snarkiest character with some amazing lines. Sorry but one of my highlights is her saying “Fuck you” to a kid in the airport lounge. As Carol loosens up somewhat and slowly comes round to Clay’s way of thinking, she’s even better. Don’t even get me started on her single-handedly taking down an army of Russian henchmen with her bare hands.
This film also boasts a who’s who of American comedy gold AND the ethereal goddess Olivia Munn but it’s all about Carol for me.
3.5 swishy Rachel cuts out of 5
Murder Mystery (2019)
Audrey Spitz is a hairdresser married to NYC police officer Nick (Adam Sandler). She enjoys salon gossip and murder mystery novels – and dreams of the European break her husband has been promising her since they tied to knot. On their 15th wedding anniversary, Nick presents her (in a panic) with her fantasy honeymoon – and things take an intriguing turn when Audrey makes the acquaintance of Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans) on their flight.
When Charles invites the couple to join him and his fucked-up family on their yacht for the weekend – and there’s a brutal murder – the Spitz’s find themselves embroiled in a real life mystery that they must solve or have it pinned on themselves.
I bloody loved this film and I’m not sorry. As with so many Adam Sandler flicks, it’s not the purest form of comedy but it has heart. Sandler and Ms Aniston have decent chemistry and I’ll go into that more below but this is a fun romp which features one of my fave movie tropes – amateur sleuthing.
4 swishy Rachel cuts out of 5
If I believed in guilty pleasures, which I don’t, this would be one. Since I believe in owning everything that you love, I stand by my absolute adoration for this stupid movie, which is my favourite of the bunch. Jen is Katherine, assistant to man-child plastic surgeon Danny (Adam Sandler, again).
Danny, meanwhile hooks the ladies by pretending to be unhappily married to a made-up wife who abuses him (I know, it stinks). When he meets much younger (I know), much hotter Palmer (Brooklyn Decker), he decides he wants to make it a more permanent thing. He tells his new beau that he’s divorced which would be fine, except Palmer is a good girl who wants to meet the ex-wife to make sure everything’s cool.
In steps Katherine as fake ex-wife, Devlin. Her two children, Maggie and Michael also negotiate themselves into the melee and Danny finds himself with an instant former family. Fake Devlin of course has the best wardrobe ever and is also faux-bitchy – and I love it, especially when they accidentally bump into the real Devlin (Nicole Kidman), Katherine’s frenemy from college.
No prizes for guessing what happens in this rather obvious romantic comedy but I’m game. And, while so much of it is problematic – and Sandler films in general are often the same – it reminds me why films like The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates worked so well. He is capable of being a sympathetic character when he wants to be and I wish he’d bear that in mind.
Again, I think the chemistry between the two of them is convincing and realistic, even if the plot isn’t. And I root for them to get together every time.
4.5 swishy Rachel cuts out of 5
So that’s my mini Aniston-retrospective. I just think she’s very cool and she’s getting better every day. Her recent turn in Dumplin’ was really touching and frankly, I can’t wait to see what she does next. So much has been written about Jen in the media and I think it’s so unfair that it still follows her around – I think she’d be fascinating to get a drink with and I wouldn’t even bring up Angelina.