Jennifer Aniston is one of the producers of the Toronto-bound Cake, a somewhat dark-toned, lower-budgeted drama, shot last spring in Los Angeles, in which she, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington and Chris Messina costar. It has to do with tragedy, morose moods, a pain-support group, a sudden departure, a mildly unattractive mousey appearance for Aniston and (here’s hoping) acerbic dialogue. Aniston occasionally steps outside her comedic comfort zone to make films of this sort (Life of Crime, Friends With Money, etc.), the difference being that this time she helped with the financing. Please don’t get me wrong — I admire Aniston for trying to expand her repertoire, and I intend to give Cake a chance. As much as I’m able to, I mean.
The problem is that I have an Aniston blockage. I’d like to submit to the idea of Aniston playing a dumpy, brown-haired downhead, but I just can’t. And it’s not because she’s worth around $150 million or something in that vicinity. Nothing wrong with Aniston being loaded, but I can’t quite do that suspension-of-disbelief thing. Not with her super-toned bod and frosted blonde hair and her SmartWater and Aveeno endorsement deals, and her unrelenting presence in the supermarket tabloids for the last…what, 15 years? And always with the hot-bikini vacations on the Mexican coast.
In my mind Aniston is right next door to Blake Lively in the soul department. She’s a personality, a light comedienne, a world-famous metaphor for the 21st Century jilted woman, a marketing concept. And I just can’t see her as a mousey depressive dealing with pain and death and trips to Mexico. I’ll follow Amy Adams or Jessica Chastain or even Anne Hathaway into this realm, but Aniston presents an obstruction. Not that I wouldn’t like to. I just feel constrained.