Film stars suffer after
By Geronimo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff
This summer, just like every other, offered
a number of high-budget films wishing to be remembered as the film that
defined the summer of 2001.
Obviously, a few films will be able to
stand tall and boast huge earnings. But, as far as quality, most of the
films did nothing for the dog days of
Melinda Sue Gordon/Revolution
Julia Roberts' decision to
play a supporting role in America's Sweethearts didn't help the film, which
was panned by critics.
One of the many problems with most of
the summer movies is that the formula for creating entertaining, light
films has been exploited so much
that moviegoers cannot rely on their favorite
stars to deliver a performance worth their time.
Celebrities like John Travolta and Julia
Roberts lent their names, but not their best efforts, to films like Swordfish
and America's Sweethearts,
Travolta, who doesn't seem to remember
making a comeback with Pulp Fiction, has taken roles in films that border
on the inane.
His performance in the disheveled Swordfish
is a disappointment to those looking for his entertaining bravado to warm
As for Roberts, her efforts since Erin
Brockovich haven't been too compelling.
In America's Sweethearts, the lovable actress
takes a backseat to Catherine Zeta-Jones and John Cusack.
While the actress can modestly say that
she wanted to play a supporting role for a change, her performance, stand-in
included, could have been
shot while on vacation for a week.
Did audiences really pay to see if Zeta-Jones
and Cusack would heat things up?
This trend is also seen with Mark Wahlberg
and Halle Berry's most recent works.
Wahlberg's success with Boogie Nights led
him to supporting roles opposite George Clooney in Three Kings and The
When offered Planet of the Apes, Wahlberg
said yes, which is what most actors would have done.
But going from decent, well-rounded characters
to headlining a film where acting didn't seem relevant to the filmmakers
is an unrewarding
Halle Berry followed her award-winning
performance in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge with the commercially successful
X-Men and her latest
Save for the gratuitous nude scenes in
the film about a computer hacker, Berry did nothing for fans who wanted
to see the adorable actress act.
Most will argue that the film industry
is lacking solid material for the stars to sink their teeth into.
While this may be another problem during
the swarm of summer movies, the absence of a good story is not entirely
at fault for bad acting.
In fact, an actor's sparkling performance
can make a film's material twice as good.
For instance, Reese Witherspoon's flawless
performance turned what would have been a mediocre film, Legally Blonde,
into an entertaining
With an enthusiastic effort, Witherspoon
delivered a performance that will do for her career what Pretty Woman did
for Julia Roberts.
Hopefully, the starlet will continue to
treat audiences for years to come.
Another actress who made the silver screen
shine this summer is Piper Perabo in Lost and Delirious.
While her role as the young teen in love
with her roommate may not have received the attention it deserved this
summer, Perabo's presence is
felt throughout the poetic story.
Ironically, as the budding actress found
only a few minutes of exposure with the lead role in the commercial flop
Coyote Ugly, she added a
memorable performance to her short resumé
with the relatively unknown Lost and Delirious.
The tactic of getting big names to headline
a film just to blur its shortcomings isn't new to the industry at any time
of the year.
It just seems that the summer season is
drenched with the money-guzzling method.
Hopefully, next summer, the stars will
deliver quality performances with enough weight to hold down a $7 movie