Knives out for Jennifer Aniston as ‘Switch’ flops

Aug 24, 2010
Sophie Taylor

Former ‘Friends’ actress Jennifer Aniston still can’t seem to make a hit movie

Hollywood watchers love nothing better than putting the boot in to a struggling star, as actress Jennifer Aniston seems to be finding out. The knives came out for Tom Cruise this summer with his latest movie declared a turkey – and now it's the former Friends star's turn to be proclaimed a busted flush.

The difference of course is that Cruise was once box office platinum, while Aniston has – as many critics are keen to point out once again – never managed to capitalise on the fame she earned for 10 years in the world's most popular sitcom.

Friends wrapped in 2004, 10 years and 238 episodes after it started. Where are they now? Well, Matt LeBlanc (Joey) has not acted since 2006 while Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe) now produces the US version of Who Do You Think You Are?.

Matthew Perry's post-Friends career – he played Chandler - has included Emmy nominations for a part in The West Wing, but been comparatively low-key.

Courtney Cox (Monica), at least, is doing well on TV, with a starring role in Cougar Town and David Schwimmer (Ross) has directed successfully (Run Fatboy Run) and worked in theatre. But none of the five have managed to escape the long shadow of Friends for big screen success in lead parts.

Aniston has come closest, with a string of film roles – but has never scored a major hit. And her big screen successes have all been as a co-star – in Bruce Almighty with Jim Carrey, Marley & Me with Owen Wilson and The Break-Up with Vince Vaughn.

Now, her latest romantic comedy, The Switch (above), is officially a flop. Opening in the US this weekend, it took just $8m and languished in eighth place in the box office charts – as gossip blogger Perez Hilton put it: "Ouch!!!! She is just not a film star!"

"Another Aniston movie flops," was the Toronto Sun's succinct headline. "At what point will Hollywood give up on Jennifer Aniston?" wondered Forbes magazine. "Jennifer Aniston: Where should she go from here?" asked Entertainment Weekly.

And today Hilton has an answer for EW, with the news that Aniston seems to be capitulting: she will return to the small screen to join her old Friends co-star Courtney Cox with a guest role in Cougar Town, where she will play Cox's shrink.

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