Assessing Sarah Jessica Parker: A Glorified Clothes Hanger
Date of Assessment: September 14, 2011
Positive Buzzwords: Romcom, theater, L.A. Story
Negative Buzzwords: Romcom, fashionista, limited range
The Case: Let's just get this out of the way upfront -- please do not refer to Sarah Jessica Parker as a "horseface" in the comments. We are here to speak of her acting career and are going to do just that; unfortunately, SJP makes it difficult to do just that, but try to restrain yourselves.
Sarah Jessica Parker began her career as a very promising stage actress while appearing in The Sound of Music and snagging the lead role on Broadway's Annie. She went on to television and still warms hearts by the virtue of one season's worth of "Square Pegs." Subsequently, she moved into unavoidably cheesy 1980s movies like Footloose and Girls Just Want to Have Fun as well as several short-lived stints on television and a bunch of made-for-tv movies. In doing so, SJP made the rare successful transition from child star to adult actress. She is still remembered most fondly, perhaps, for her role as SanDeE* of the high colonics L.A. Story and for her work in Honeymoon in Vegas. At that point, SJP was still adorably quirky and lovable for her approachable, non-threatening aura.
Then, she fell into a romantic comedy rut with the likes of If Lucy Fell, 'Til There Was You, Life Without Dick, and many more. Although I thought SJP was hilariously perfect in The First Wives Club, and she tried to shake things up a bit with the semi-suspenseful Extreme Measures, SJP was destined to return to romcom dreck. All of the offbeat movies in the world -- Hocus Pocus; Ed Wood; and Mars Attacks! -- couldn't stop the inevitable return towards more chick flick-esque territory. Yet I will say that the first four seasons (out of a total of six) of
"Sex and the City" were at least slightly subversive enough to make an HBO audience feel like they were watching something at least slightly intelligent, but then the tail end of the series plus two reprehensible Sex and the City movies destroyed all goodwill towards "everygirl" Carrie Bradshaw. SJP will always revert to mindless fluff like Failure to Launch and Did You Hear About the Morgans?, and she'll do it for the huge romcom paychecks. Not that there's anything wrong with going for the money -- just don't claim to be a "great actor" when your true purpose in life is as a glorified clothes hanger.
Prognosis: Sarah Jessica Parker has other formulaic-looking movie, I Don't Know How She Does It (which looks like a lot like "SATC" only SJP is playing Miranda), coming out this weekend, and she'll make the inevitable turn (with the rest of Hollywood) in the upcoming New Year's Eve. In addition, she's got a bunch of romcoms in development, but I doubt her status as an A-list leading lady will continue much longer because SJP possesses absolutely no range outside of the romcom genre, and people will eventually tire of watching her play the same role. While the second Sex and the City movie didn't fare nearly as well at the box office as its predecessor, Parker herself has insisted that a third film is likely in the cards at some point. Further, she'll always have money rolling in from her inevitable producing gigs, including a rumored "SATC" prequel movie, a prequel television series set to air on the CW, and continuing royalties that will roll in from TBS reruns too. Truly, she's got a bank account to be envied but no substance to show for it.
Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.