• Sat, Nov 13 2010

Stalk Exchange: Scarlett Johannson’s Rough Patch

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.

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  • Pats

    She’s also apparently lost out as Daisy in The Great Gatsby.

  • Bojan

    You don’t perpetrate a stereotype, you PERPETUATE it.

  • Meghan Keane

    Thanks Bojan. Typing too quick. Fixed!

  • michaelpittsbabyfat

    She got skinny and, as a result, began losing her two best qualities.

  • tom

    She’s not at all a good or passable actress, and she’s got the kind of “good looks” that are only really attractive in a person’s early twenties, unless they’ve got their clothes half off. She’ll go into the dustbin with the other bosomy young blond starlets soon enough. Move over Heather Graham.

    OR: she can take some lessons and become the reasonably capable comedic character actress who is constantly getting naked for her art. Move over, Heather Graham.

  • WTF

    Such a bullshit article from someone that knows nothing about Scarlett, Hollywood or how to distinguish between gossip and real news.

    I, for one, love everything that she has done and is doing. She fought hard for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? We aren’t even to know if she really tested for the role. You are basing your assumption on a “news report” that came out from some gossip rag – NYDailyNews is basically gossip, gossip, gossip. Her name along with other A-list actresses are popping up everywhere because, well, she’s an A-list actress. Are we to say that those plethora of other A-listers that “lost out” on the dragon tattoo remake lost their luster too?

    And to commenter Pats – she lost out on Daisy because she had another film commitment. Read deadline – Baz and Leo wanted her more than any of the others. She just couldn’t fit it into her schedule.

    Scarlett really isn’t hurting because of your opinion of her acting (it’s acting – one of the most subjective trades in the world). She is in Cameron Crowe’s new film and will be starring in Jonathan Glazer’s adaptation of Under the Skin (which, yes, the gossip blogs have labled a “sexy alien” film – when the character nor the novel are nothing of the sort).

    Study up on real news and stop reading gossip blogs and rags before you write high school paper articles.

    The real reason Scarlett is known for being beautiful is because people like you bring it up all the time. She isn’t out there throwing her sexual nature in our faces. You’re blinded to the fact that she is beautiful and can act.

  • jcurry

    I’m pretty sure Scarlett Johansson was passed over for Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, despite her intentions, because she was – gasp – woefully wrong for the part.

    Putting it like she “lost out to a nobody” is a tad insulting to all parties involved, and takes the decision completely out of context. It probably had a lot less to do with any waning of her star power than – again, gasp – a valid artistic call.