TheWrap‘s Tim Kenneally reported a couple of hours ago that Wanderlust star Jennifer Aniston recently persuaded director David Wain and/or producers Judd Apatow, Ken Marino and Paul Rudd to digitally and editorially cover her naked breasts in a comedic topless scene, despite the precise point of the scene being that Aniston’s character bares her breasts in front of a local TV news crew.
Notice Theroux’s arm across Aniston’s shoulder. Implied statement: “I’m not only playing a charismatic Mel Lyman-ish hippie clan leader who seduces Aniston’s married character, but I’m also her boyfriend in real life, which means that her naked boobs are for my private pleasure alone…is that understood?”
Kenneally writes that Aniston “pleaded for an alternate version due to her blossoming relationship” with Wanderlust costar Justin Theroux, whom she met during filming and with whom she’s now living.
I have three things to say about this.
One, there’s nothing lamer than an actress saying she wants to water down a scene for a reason that has nothing to do with the integrity of the film. If you change a scene you do it for one reason and one reason only — i.e., to make the scene better on its own terms, and to make sure that the scene more successfully serves the picture as a whole. Only lame-o’s, non-artists and other people with pedestrian mentalities futz around with a scene for personal, non-artistic reasons. The conclusion, no offense, is that the shoe fits, and Aniston is wearing it.
Two, the story makes Theroux sound woefully insecure. Aniston wanted her boobs not shown in the film (and they have been covered up and cut around — I saw Wanderlust last night) because, in Kenneally’s view, she “decided it just wouldn’t be right to share her naked breasts with anyone except her new beau.” In other words Aniston was persuaded that Theroux would feel better about his live-in lady being modest or extra-devotional, or would feel less threatened or insecure or whatever. In other words, Theroux, to his possibly eternal discredit, may have complained and/or pressured her to make the change. If so (and even if he didn’t), what a unstable little wuss! Theroux is threatened by his girlfriend’s boobs being flashed in a totally non-erotic way in a big-studio comedy? What would Pablo Picasso or Ernest Hemingway have said if they were in Theroux’s position? This is the end of Justin Theroux as an actor who can play men of consequence in films. There’s only one way to regard him henceforth — as a wee man, a whiner, a guy who frets.
Three, Wain has demonstrated to the industry that he’s a director with no balls whatsoever. He’s a pushover, and can henceforth be depended upon to give on each and every artistic argument that arises during the making of any film he directs in the future. He has shown his colors, and is now regarded worldwide (or at least industry-wide) as a candy-ass. Ditto producers Apatow, Marino and Judd. They’d all rather comfort and indulge and pet their lead actress than make the film right…or not right. To them the concept of mellow relationships is all.
It would have been one thing if Wain had decided to cut the scene from the film entirely because Aniston’s sudden attack of modesty would make the scene seem ungenuine or half-assed or glossed-over. That I would understand. But agreeing to keep the scene while resorting to editing and digital cover-ups of Aniston’s boobs shows what kind of guy Wain is — a go-alonger, a guy who folds.
Update: Read how the lame-os at E! Online (and more particularly reporter Bruna Nessif) are covering this.