The Iron Giant (1999)

The Iron Giant
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Tim McCanlies, Brad Bird, Brent Forrester
Based on: Ted Hughes‘ novel The Iron Man
Cast: Eli Marienthal, Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr., Vin Diesel, James Gammon, Cloris Leachman, Christopher McDonald, John Mahoney, M. Emmet Walsh
Seen on: 27.1.2021

Plot:
Hogarth (Eli Marienthal) is a bright, curious child, prone to adopting critters and with a love of everything SciFi. His single mother Annie (Jennifer Aniston) has her hands full with him and with work. One night, Hogarth sees something weird in the forest next to his house and goes to investigate. What he finds is a giant metal robot from outer space in some distress, and Hogarth can’t just walk away – he helps. But a robot of its size is bound to draw attention – and not every attention is good.

I missed The Iron Giant when it came out and it had been on my watchlist ever since (that hasn’t kept me from using the ever useful “ART” gif). I finally made it, and I’m glad I did. It’s a really sweet, fun film with very nice animation.

The film poster showing the Iron Giant, a huge robot, standing in a forest, cradling Hogarth in his hands.
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Picture Perfect (1997)

Picture Perfect
Director: Glenn Gordon Caron
Writer: Arleen Sorkin, Paul Slansky, Glenn Gordon Caron
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jay Mohr, Kevin Bacon, Olympia Dukakis, Illeana Douglas, Kevin Dunn
Seen on: 02.10.2020

Plot:
Kate (Jennifer Aniston) is a perpetual single, much to her mother’s (Olympa Dukakis) chagrin. And to be honest, Kate isn’t exactly happy about it either. She has had a crush on her coworker Sam (Kevin Bacon) since about forever, but he has always found her too nice. When she attends a friend’s wedding, she meets Nick (Jay Mohr) and since the two seem to be the only singles attending the wedding, an awkward photo is snapped of them. When Kate returns to the office, she learns that she could get a promotion – but her boss (Kevin Dunn) is unsure about her long-term perspective as she is entirely without obligations. One thing leads to another and Kate pretends that Nick is her boyfriend. This seems the perfect cover – until Nick actually shows up in her life.

Picture Perfect is one of those films I’m like 99% sure I have actually seen before, but it’s so long ago that I didn’t really remember anything about it. I probably liked it back then. Watching it now, I thought it was nice, a romcom perfectly suited to be a nice evening’s entertainment when you don’t want to think about anything much at all.

The film poster showing Kate (Jennifer Aniston) standing in the street with a yellow umbrella. It's raining, but just on her.
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Dumplin’ (2018)

Dumplin’
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: Kristin Hahn
Based on: Julie Murphy’s novel
Cast: Danielle Macdonald, Jennifer Aniston, Odeya Rush, Maddie Baillio, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Luke Benward, Georgie Flores, Dove Cameron, Harold Perrineau
Seen on: 18.5.2019

Content Note: (critical treatment of) fatmisia

Plot:
Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald), known by most people as Will, but always Dumplin’ to her mother, is a fat teenager who is actually rather comfortable with herself. She lives with her mother Rosie (Jennifer Aniston), a former beauty queen who is still very active in organizing the pageant. After a fight with her mother, Will decides to compete in the pageant – horrifying her mother and inspiring some other girls who never thought they would to go for it, too.

Dumplin’ is a cute film but I thought that it lost a little too much compared to the book. If I hadn’t read the book, I probably would have loved it completely, but in comparison, it just feels a little disappointing.

The film poster showing to spotlights, one shining on Will (Danielle Macdonald) and one on her mother Rosie (Jennifer Aniston).

[Slight SPOILERS]

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Wanderlust (2012)

Wanderlust
Director: David Wain
Writer: David Wain, Ken Marino
Cast: Paul RuddJennifer AnistonJustin TherouxAlan AldaMalin Akerman, Ken Marino, Joe Lo TruglioKathryn HahnJordan PeeleKeegan-Michael KeyRay Liotta
Seen on: 9.4.2017

Plot:
Linda (Jennifer Aniston) and George (Paul Rudd) are a young, urban couple set for success. Linda expects her documentary to be financed, George expects to be promoted. But life doesn’t play along and both find themselves without a job but with an expensive apartment they can’t afford anymore. Desperate, George agrees to work for his brother Rick (Ken Marino), even though that means moving across the country. But on the way, Linda and George coincidentally spend a night in a commune led by the charismatic Seth (Justin Theroux). Initially taken aback by the alterantive way of life, Linda and George quickly start to take to the lifestyle and decide to give it a try for real.

Wanderlust is pretty much how you’d expect it to be: not particularly smart or insightful or novel, but it’s often quite funny in a rather stupid way.

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Mother’s Day (2016)

Mother’s Day
Director: Garry Marshall
Writer: Anya Kochoff, Matthew Walker, Tom Hines
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Timothy Olyphant, Shay MitchellJason Sudeikis, Julia RobertsHector Elizondo, Kate Hudson, Margo Martindale, Aasif Mandvi, Robert Pine, Sarah Chalke, Cameron Esposito, Jennifer Garner, Britt Robertson, Jack Whitehall, Jon Lovitz, Penny Marshall
Seen on: 16.8.2016

Plot:
Mothers come in many shapes and forms. Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is really good at being divorced from Henry (Timothy Olyphant): they get along better now than they ever did before. That is, until Henry tells her that he has a new girlfriend (Shay Mitchell) who is much younger. Meanwhile, sisters Jesse (Kate Hudson) and Gabi (Sarah Chalke) are both happy in their respective partnerships and with the distance that lies between them and their parents (Margo Martindale, Robert Pine) – who don’t know that Jesse’s partner (Aasif Mandvi) is of Indian descent and that Gabi’s partner (Cameron Esposito) is a woman. Miranda (Julia Roberts) on the other hand opted out of being a mother and rather focused on her career, while Kristin (Britt Robertson) and Zack (Jack Whitehall) just had a baby, despite being rather young and poor. And Bradley (Jason Sudeikis) has to face the first Mother’s Day with his daughters since his wife passed away.

Mother’s Day was shown in the sneak preview I attended, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bothered watching it. But I have to admit that it was a rather enjoyable film – even if far from flawless.

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She’s Funny That Way (2014)

She’s Funny That Way
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Writer: Peter Bogdanovich, Louise Stratten
Cast: Imogen PootsOwen WilsonKathryn HahnRhys Ifans, Jennifer AnistonWill Forte, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Shannon, Lucy Punch, Illeana Douglas, Cybill ShepherdRichard Lewis, Austin Pendleton, Tatum O’Neal , Joanna Lumley, Quentin Tarantino
Seen on: 2.9.2015

Plot:
Isabella (Imogen Poots) is a rising star and as such, she gives an interview about how she made it big: how she met director Arnold (Owen Wilson) when she was working as a call girl, how he offered her a lot of money that she may be able to follow her dreams and stop working as a call girl; how they ran into each other at an audition the very next day; how Arnold’s wife and lead actress Delta (Kathryn Hahn), her co-star Seth (Rhys Ifans) and writer Joshua (Will Forte) were immediately taken by her acting talent; and how she got the job, including the ensuing awkwardness.

She’s Funny That Way could have been a charming, old-school screwball comedy, but unfortunately it was a little too boring to really be charming or funny.

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Cake (2014)

Cake
Director: Daniel Barnz
Writer: Patrick Tobin
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Mamie Gummer, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Chris Messina, Lucy Punch, Britt Robertson
Seen on: 15.04.2015

Plot:
After an accident Claire (Jennifer Aniston) is in chronic pain, bitter and lonely. Her only points of social contact are her housekeeper Silvana (Adriana Barraza) and her chronic pain self-help group. But after one of its members, Nina (Anna Kendrick), committed suicide and Claire had a bit of a meltdown, the group has asked her to leave. Instead Claire pays a visit to Nina’s widower Roy (Sam Worthington). They both start leaning on each other for their recovery, even if that’s a very slow-going process.

Cake was an excellent film. Great performances, smart script, interesting topic handled seriously but also with a sense of humor, all tied together in a neat little package.

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We’re the Millers (2013)

We’re the Millers
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer: Bob Fisher, Steve Faber, Sean Anders, John Morris
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly C. Quinn, Luis Guzmán, Mark L. Young

Plot:
David (Jason Sudeikis) is a drug dealer. When he gets robbed, his boss Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms) asks him to go to Mexico and pick up some weed to bring back to the US as repayment. To get across the border unquestioned, David has the idea to get Kenny (Will Poulter), a naive boy who lives in the same building, Casey (Emma Roberts), a young runaway and Rose (Jennifer Aniston), a stripper who also lives in the building, to pose as his family. And so the four find themselves on a road trip that takes some surprising turns.

I hadn’t actually planned to see this film. It didn’t seem like something I was into. But my sister asked me to go with her and, well. And I have to say that the film was not as bad as I thought it would be from the trailer (which featured mainly stripping Jennifer Aniston). It’s not a great movie, but it didn’t hurt to watch it, either.

we-re-the-millers

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The Switch (2010)

The Switch
Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Writer: Allan Loeb
Based on: Jeffrey Eugenides‘ short story “Baster”
Cast: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Thomas Robinson, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, Juliette Lewis (and about 30 delicious seconds of Scott Elrod)

Plot:
Wally (Jason Bateman) and Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) are best friends and both long-time singles. When Kassie decides that her being single is no reason that she can’t have a baby, Wally is a bit taken aback, gets completely drunk at Kassie’s insemination party and then spills the chosen donor Roland’s (Patrick Wilson) semen. As drunk as he is, he figures that the best thing he can do is to donate his own sperm instead – and immediately forgets it ever happened. 7 years later, after Kassie moved to the suburbs and back again, Wally is confronted with Sebastian (Thomas Robinson), her son, and discovers eerie similarities.

I was extremely hesitant to see this movie. The idea that somebody hijacks somebody else’s pregnancy is far from funny and more really icky. But in the end, curiosity won me over and they did handle the concept way better than I thought they would. It still remains an average movie, though.

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Marley & Me (2008)

Marley & Me is directed by David Frankel, starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston (and Kathleen Turner and Alan Arkin in mini-roles). It’s based on the book by John Grogan.

Plot:
John (Owen Wilson) and Jennifer (Jennifer Aniston) are both journalists and got recently married. They move to the big city to try their luck and soon, John gets a dog for Jennifer who turns their life around. The movie follows the lives of John and Jennifer along their story with Marley.

Marley & Me was very sweet, but never really mushy. Actually, I think it’s one of the most honest and realistic portrayals of a relationship on screen I have ever seen – there are no big conflicts, but there are fights. There are big emotions triggered by small things. Not everything’s perfect, but in the end, there’s loyalty. I like it.

marley-and-me-poster

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