Denise Neil

July 25, 2010

Angelina not alone in ability to annoy

I don't like Angelina Jolie. Is something wrong with me? Because she seems to be awfully popular.

I don't like Angelina Jolie. Is something wrong with me? Because she seems to be awfully popular.

It's not because I think she's a bad actress, although if you peruse the publicity shots in from her new movie "Salt," you'll see that she has only two expressions — stony pout and sexy pout.

It's not because she went all bat-crazy back in her pre-Brad Pitt days and wore vials of blood and made out with her brother and tattooed herself from head to toe with love declarations for then-husband Billy Bob Thornton. Because Billy Bob did all of that minus the brother thing, and I still like him.

And I assure you it has nothing to do with Jennifer.

Her earnestness, both as an actress and a celebrity, just sort of bugs me, and any movie I've ever seen that she's in has worn me out. Too much crazy! Too much brow furrowing! Shooting! Cutting! Pouting!

So when Angelina's movie "Salt," which opened this weekend, was unkindly reviewed by my colleague Rod Pocowatchit, I felt a little satisfied. "Salt's" not my kind of movie anyway, what with all its spying, intrigue and artillery fire, but it's nice to get a little validation for my continued Jolie-free existence.

I mean no offense to Angelina, Brangelina or fans of theirs. Nonetheless, I find that certain actors and actresses just turn me off, often for no good reason.

This is a common problem, I've learned. The Internet is overflowing with lists of the annoying actors and actresses, and some of the most common names listed are Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Calista Flockhart, Brendan Fraser, Rob Schneider, Shirley MacLaine, Ben Affleck and Kevin Costner.

A controversial one on my list is Julia Roberts, who's often referred to as America's Sweetheart.

She is sweet, I'm sure, and I have enjoyed several of her movies, including "Pretty Woman" and "Mystic Pizza."

But some of her other roles, especially of late, smack of America's Sweetheart smugness, and I can't take it. "Erin Brockovich" nearly killed me, and I already know that I'll need to stay far, far away from "Eat, Pray, Love" when it's released next month. The only thing more unbearably earnest than Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir, which the movie is based on, will likely be Roberts' portrayal of the divorce/lasagna/ashram odyssey.

Other actors who sometimes give me the heebie jeebies: Drew Barrymore (who I actually kind of like), Meg Ryan (post- "When Harry met Sally"), John Travolta (post- "Urban Cowboy") and Nicolas Cage (post- "Raising Arizona.")


I feel better now.

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