Assessing Scarlett Johansson: Lost in Boobland
Date of Assessment: December 21, 2011
Positive Buzzwords: Broadway, indie, boobies
Negative Buzzwords: Open-mouthed, monotone, wooden
The Case: Scarlett Johansson started her career at a very early age; to be more specific, she appeared at the age of nine in North. From there, she took on a few more bit roles before catching audience members' attention in the Robert Redford-directed The Horse Whisperer. Then, Scarlett graduated to the status of indie darling with several well-received movies including The Man Who Wasn't There, Ghost World, Lost in Translation, and GIrl with a Pearl Earring.
If only Scarlett had eternally stayed in that state, she might have managed to carve out some enduring acting cred, but I think Dustin best described ScarJo's initial appeal in the 2007 version of the Pajiba Shit List:
How the fuck did this happen, people? Five years ago, Johansson was this beautifully dowdy actress with the very limited ability to play apathetic/bored characters in fun little indies like Ghost World and Lost in Translation, which benefited from her interminable mope. But before I knew what was happening, I can't even go to the goddamn grocery store without having her cleavage shoved in my nose. Sexiest Woman Alive?! Please. You know what's sexy in Hollywood? Talent. And Scarlett doesn't have a lick of it.
This is not to mention the butt crackage seen 'round the world on the cover of Vanity Fair in 2006. Yes, I realize that she's had some recent cell phone nudies too. So basically, Scarlett's talents are limited to push-up bras, being naked, and rambling in a monotone voice to convey apathy even when a given character shouldn't be portrayed that way.
Then there were the creepy Woody Allen/Scarlett collaborations that I like to call the ScarJo Trilogy of Zaftig Boobery. Granted, Scarlett actually wasn't terrible in Match Point even if the movie itself was an amoral mess. But her roles in Scoop and Vicky Cristina Barcelona? No thank you. She's no Allen muse in manner of Diane Keaton or Mia Farrow. Instead, Scarlett was merely a lovely rack upon which Woody could set his drink between takes.
Other than that, Scarlett worked on a bunch of fair to middling modest flicks like The Perfect Score, A Love Song for Bobby Long, A Good Woman, and In Good Company before starring in Michael Bay's only financially disastrous movie, The Island. She's also favored period dramas like The Other Boleyn Girl, The Prestige, and (in very broad terms) The Black Dahlia, none of which did particularly well at the box office. And so she moved onto romantic comedies like He's Just Not That Into You and The Nanny Diaries and tried to work her sex appeal in The Spirit, which did no career favors for anyone involved. In addition, Scarlett fancies herself a singer, but her two attempts at record albums (one full of Tom Waits covers and the other with Pete Yorn) have failed to reflect any ability in terms of album sales.
Interestingly enough, Scarlett has made one very shrewd career decision, which was to reportedly accept a very low salary to play Black Widow in Iron Man 2. This was a very smart move because it virtually guaranteed her a spot in the upcoming The Avengers and possibly Iron Man 3 (that is, if they end up making that movie). A run like that would be satisfy the lifelong dream of thousands of virtually untalented young starlets.
But alas, Scarlett still wants to be seen as a "serious" actress instead of merely a catsuit-wearing babe or a sweet, virginal (and apathetic) ingenue. After David Fincher decided she was too sexy to play Lisbeth Salander, Scarlett decided to accept the zookeeper role in We Bought a Zoo, during which she communicated her character's conviction by spreading her legs. No, I don't get it either.
While it would be easy to write Scarlett off at this point as an enduring talent, that's (unfortunately) an impossible feat because of one simple fact. She received a Tony Award for "Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play" for her 2010 Broadway run in A View from the Bridge. So she always has the stage option available to her when the film roles inevitably dry up.
Prognosis: Even if the acting dries up, Scarlett has already banked plenty of back-up cash as an avid spokesmodel for the likes of L'Oreal, Dolce & Gabbana, Moet & Chandon, Louis Vuitton, and Walt Disney World. She also would love to move into directing and is currently co-writing Summer Crossing (based upon the Truman Capote work), but it'll be a long shot to get that movie financed. A few years ago, she was allowed to helm a New York, I Love You segment, which was so underwhelming that it landed on the floor of the editing room. So I doubt that Scarlett Johansson, director is anything that will actually materialize. One thing is for certain, however, which is that Scarlett should never step into a music studio ever again.
Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.