For many men (and women) Scarlett Johannson is pretty close to the platonic ideal of beauty. Blonde, busty and beautiful, she made a huge impression acting against Bill Murray in Sophia Coppola‘s 2003 movie Lost In Translation. Since then, her specialized brand of sex appeal has launched a very profitable film career. But in the last few years, she’s gotten some negative criticisms – for her acting skill and attempts to launch a music career. Tonight she’s hosting Saturday Night Live. Is her stock set to buy, sell or hold? Check out our Stalk Exchange to find out.
Obviously Scarlett has sex appeal to spare. Her looks and charm have been used to help boost box office figures for movies from The Other Boleyn Girl to He’s Just Not That Into You. In fact, ScarJo’s sexy performance in Match Point even helped reboot Woody Allen‘s film career.
She’s also had some missteps. In Allen’s Vicki Christina Barcelona, Scarlett Johannson perpetuated the stereotype that American women will sleep with any European man who looks at them strong. In a movie filled with nuanced and interesting performances, hers wasn’t particularly deep. Granted, there she only had to be swept up by Javier Bardem.
But there are far less excuses to be made for what she did in Scoop. Much greater actors and actresses have been felled by trying to impersonate Woody Allen. But in this stunner, ScarJo tries to morph her sexy frame into Woody Allen’s neurotic narrator role. It was an utter disaster.
And especially tragic considering how well she did in Match Point. But directors who have tried to move ScarJo beyond a femme fatale have suffered for it. For reference, see movies like The Other Boleyn Girl, The Prestige, and The Nanny Diaries. In Iron Man 2 we learned that Scarlett can sort of do her own stunts, but action star is not likely going to be a big stop on her resume.
Now, as she’s getting further up there in age, she has to start proving herself quickly if she’s going to keep doing this acting thing.
She’s also doing some singing, and recently released an album of standards. Her voice is nice, but as Spin commented at the time: “There’s nothing particularly compelling about Scarlett Johansson’s singing.”
The most recent blow to her stock was the casting rumors for the new adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Up until newcomer Rooney Mara was chosen for the part, Scarlett’s name was being pushed as a candidate for the role. Worse, she was apparently pushing hard for it. When a name brand star loses out to a nobody, that’s a pretty clear sign that you’ve lost some of your luster in Hollywood.
Tonight on Saturday Night Live, we’ll see if she can excel in a comedic way. She’s not publicizing any film or project at the moment. Tonight’s show is more like an ad for Scarlett Johannson, actress and comedian. If she does well, it could mean great things for her career. But if she puts in a performance on the level of Mad Men seductress January Jones‘ earlier this year, Scarlett is really going to be in trouble. She needs to prove that she can act, or at least be funny. Which means that for now, ScarJo’s stock is firmly set to hold.