Tomorrow is shaping up as a pivotal day in Jennifer Aniston's movie career.
If you don't already know, she's opening in "The Break-Up" with unofficial real-life boyfriend Vince Vaughn. The reviews are scathing; the movie is said to be terrible. If Aniston's built-in audience doesn't show up tomorrow night, there's going to be trouble.
Aniston is still in theaters right now with "Friends With Money." This indie film, which opened Sundance, has made about twice what it cost — $13 million total.
But that's a deceptive number. The cast for "Friends with Money" worked for less than their usual fees and deferred their big payday if the movie made a fortune. Alas, that didn't happen. Not many people were interested in seeing this film, despite the fact that Aniston's character was similar to the one she played in "Friends," her hit TV show, and it even had the same word in the title.
So add "FWM" to "Derailed" and "Rumor Has It," her last two films, and what we have is a big problem. Is Jennifer Aniston a movie star, or is she a TV star with a loyal but cheap following who will only pay to see her in a guaranteed blockbuster? The latter is probably the case. So far Aniston's only real success, and a critical one at that, is "The Good Girl."
According to the Internet Movie Database, Aniston has a couple more comedies and a thriller on the horizon. Unfortunately, the material doesn't look terrific and except for George Hickenlooper, the directors attached to the projects aren't very promising.
It's hard to say what's gone wrong here: in person Aniston is a friendly, generous soul who so far has not played the diva card. She's accessible and amiable.
In "The Good Girl" she was able to show off a different side of her acting. But the succession of bad scripts that followed have done nothing but emphasize her worst qualities.
If "The Break-Up" is really as shrill and annoying as the advance notices indicate, Aniston may really have trouble attracting audiences in the future. She really should take a page from the playbooks of Goldie Hawn and other actresses who needed custom-made material to get out of ruts. And fast!
Michael Jackson never had much use in the past for TV reporters Diane Dimond and Harvey Levin.
She, from "Hard Copy" and Court TV days, has hounded him and even written a book about him. Levin, the creator of the defunct "Celebrity Justice," has boundless energy when it comes to revealing Jackson's foibles.
So both of them will be mighty surprised to find out they are on Jackson's witness list for his lawsuit with Marc Schaffel. The case, in which Schaffel claims that Jackson owes him $4 million, is set to commence in Los Angeles on June 19. The witness list was set to be filed Wednesday.
Also on Jackson's list: sometime and former lawyer Brian Oxman and Jackson's accountant Alan Whitman. Not on Jackson's list: former business advisor Alvin Malnik or Jackson's assistant Evvy Tavasci. Those names may actually turn up on Schaffel's list.
Dimond and Levin would be subpoenaed by Jackson not for personal knowledge of Schaffel, but to share their reports that he is a producer of gay porn. What bearing that would have on how much Jackson owes Schaffel is questionable at best.
Jackson is also on his own defense witness list, but it's unlikely he will appear. Jackson is said to be so afraid that the Santa Barbara District Attorney's office will arrest him on some new charges — any new charges — that he's determined to stay away. Instead, his lawyers will show jurors videotaped depositions.