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by Archives November 16, 2005

Grade: C

As the newsworthiness of Jennifer Aniston’s divorce is wearing off, tabloids will be more than happy to know that there is now a new reason to have Aniston’s pretty face gracing magazines covers. All Hollywood will now be buzzing about her acting abilities… or lack thereof.

After meeting in awkward circumstances, a disillusioned married man embarks on an adulterous affair with a married woman. What was supposed to be a simple fling turns into a nightmare when a man blackmails them, threatening to reveal their affair to their respective families. After establishing that going to the police is not an option, they must find a solution of their own to break through this web of lies and manipulation.

Derailed was going to be Aniston’s big screen breakthrough. A few months ago, magazines started ravng about this role giving the actress a shoe-in for an Oscar. However, the only this movie should give Aniston is a cold and a few less acting contracts.

Not that Aniston is a bad actress… She is simply badly cast in this role of femme fatale. Walking around in high heels and dark stockings, she looks out of place. Ironically enough, the viewer is left with the impression that only one actress could have pulled this off; Aniston’s arch nemesis, Angelina Jolie.

It will take more than a role of an adulteress to shed the good-girl image she has forged through years, playing girl-next-door Rachel Green in Friends. After all, her former co-stars have all had less than thrilling careers on the silver screen.

Jennifer Aniston is just like a Barbie doll; she’s pretty, that’s for sure. However, she seems to be lacking something in the sex-appeal sector. With about as much ease as Martha Stewart in a strip joint, Aniston tries desperately to ooze as much sex-appeal as she can, but ends up laughable more than anything else. Watching her down shots at a bar and nibble on Clive Owen’s hairy chest was more odd than it could have ever been sexy.

Opposite Aniston stars Clive Owen, a man whose talent has been proven numerous times in the past. He seems somewhat like a fish out of water, as if he realizes his career can only hurt from this movie. Vincent Cassel delivers another one of his masterful performances, as a clever and manipulative bad guy.

Derailed is the kind of movie in which it doesn’t really matter where it takes you, but how it takes you there. From the beginning, even a not-so-clever viewer will see through the loosely-knit plot and guess the ending. Nevertheless the movie offers some subtle twists and entertaining moments.

Although it comes off as the Fatal Attraction for the new millennium, don’t expect any dishwasher-top frolicking, and even less rabbit-boiling. The film is mildly sensual at points, but nothing to make you hot under the collar. Your grandmother can safely tag along.

What it all comes down to is that Derailed does not live up to expectations. It is full of all things we have all seen before… and that we will keep on seeing.

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