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Justin Timberlake: Hollywood Trying to Make "Fetch" Happen

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrities Are Better than You | October 7, 2013 | Comments ()


4-jt-may-2000-1.jpg

So, Runner Runner dropped like a cinematic pant-load and runner-runnered down the leg of 20th Century Fox. Is it the fault of director Brad Furman? Co-star Ben Affleck? The plot? The dumb title?

I’d say, without question, this failure rests squarely on the shoulders of Justin Randall Timberlake. And, if not, it should.

Because for all of the “next big things” Hollywood bets on, Timberlake is a shockingly bad one.

I get it. He’s very popular, he’s affable as long as you don’t listen to him speak anything but scripted comedic dialogue and he’s certainly attractive. But, this won’t happen. And it’s not a matter of audiences not embracing him in this new realm, and it’s not the residual boy band stink. For once, and this never happens, people don’t want to see Justin Timberlake star in a movie because Justin Timberlake cannot act his way out of a golden fro.

With the exception of three- to five-minute SNL sketches, Justin Timberlake has all the acting skill of Sofia Coppola if she was layered in coat after coat of the freshness of a Massengil kind of day. His charm fades faster than JC Chasez’s solo career. His offensively bad acting jumps on your skull like it’s Jessica Biel on her wedding day.

You and I may enjoy Justin Timberlake. And that’s OK. I enjoy lots of things. I like filing my nails. But if I had to file my nails for 90 minutes or more, I’d be left with a lot of pain and bloody finger stumps. And it might be preferable to watching Justin Timberlake try to act.

So, with that, we attach our wish letter to our hope-balloon, set it free, and hope Justin Timberlake: Dramatic Actor vanishes into the mist like Chris Kirkpatrick. (Side note: Poor Chris Kirkpatrick.)

But, before we call it a day, let’s play a quick game of “Who Will Timberlake Blame for This One?” Because when things do well, he celebrates himself like it’s his quinceañera. “McDonalds’ market share went up 25 percent because I did their jingle. YOU’RE WELCOME, SMALL COMPANY CALLED MCDONADS NO ONE HEARD OF BEFORE I WENT ‘BAH DUH BOP BOP BOP.’” When he appeared on the Grammys a few years back, it was all, “When I did they Grammys, the viewing figures went up 25 percent. Funny, isn’t it?” I mean, I guess, it’s not really funny-ha-ha. But, the Super Bowl thing? JANET JACKSON’S FAULT. His terrible style, including his amazing full-bodu denim situation he wore with Brit-Brit? MANAGEMENT’S FAULT, JT WAS BUT A MARIONETTE. Offensive wedding video? NOT HIS FAULT, HE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THE GUY, HE DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE.

Will he blame Affleck? I’d love to see him blame Affleck. Especially while he’s jacking up for the Batsuit. I will tell you that he will in no way blame himself and the fact that when that trailer came out and you saw Timberlake attempting to act against Affleck, you saw so clearly how outmatched dude is. Jesus. David Fincher’s crazy editing from The Social Network masked it well enough, but he cannot act. He just can’t. And that’s fine. We can’t all be the specialest flakes in the snowglobe. But, maybe we set our sights just a bit lower. There’s no shame in a CBS sitcom. Well, not a lot at least.



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  • apsutter

    I never cared for him because he always seemed like such a self-involved little douche. But the minute the whole Janet Jackson thing happened I totally wrote him off...he was half of that and he completely left her holding the bag. Fucking douchebag

  • neonseattle

    JT's certainly proved he can be great in short, comedic bits like on SNL or Fallon. I'm sure movie studios were banking on his popularity and cross over appeal. He just can't do drama or be expected to carry a movie.

    It's a shame he's had more starring roles than real actors like Viola Davis, etc, etc. The list can go on for days..

  • I liked "bye, bye, bye". Other than that...yeah, I can't stand this dude and his stupid hair.

  • bastich

    Lest you haters forget -- this is the man who brought sexy back. Did you even know that your sexy was gone? Where would we as a nation be without our sexy?!?

    The least that we could do in thanks is pretend to like his acting.

  • AvaLehra

    Back in my day, you couldn't swing a cat without hitting the sexy.

  • Jack London

    Whereas I was taught to be mindful of the location of one's groove at all times.

  • emmalita

    Oh, you two! Always with the pearls.

  • Ben

    I'm sorry, after the description of filing your nails I couldn't read the rest of this article, I was too busy cringing and trying to hide my finger nails from the world.

  • googergieger

    "I hated *insert here* first".

  • Guest

    So you are on his back because it seems like he wants to celebrate his successes and not focus too much on the negative parts of his career so far? Seems kind of childish.

    You mustn't have seen any of the films where his acting is actually quite good, like Friends With Benefits or The Social Network.

    I love this website, but this post was kind of petty and bitchy, something I'd expect to see on PerezHilton.

  • Becks

    You'd know if this was Perez Hilton because instead of an article about JT's acting abilities it would be three sentences about how ugly Kim Kardashian's baby is and the baby's picture would have jizz drawn on it.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    Ahhhhh the VITRIOLLLLLLL. I love it.

  • e jerry powell

    I didn't see Alpha Dog; did most people pay more attention to the far-more-talented Anton Yelchin?

  • Theron

    I don't need to explain my reasoning for not liking JT in film; all I know is that it exists and I'm not alone.

  • Xander

    I liked him in Friends with Benefits. But only there. And to be fair I was mostly concentrated on staring at Mila Kunis 's perfect everything.

  • Meli_V

    The JT acting defenders crack me up, but to each their own, there obviously aren't enough of them out there to bring in the box office numbers.

  • Matt

    Let's just wait until we see Inside Llewyn Davis. There's no one that the Coen brothers can't make look good.

  • I'm hoping that Oscar Isaac's talent AND charm distracts from The Timbers.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    He's always seemed like a bit of a try-hard to me. You know all the naked ambition and bragging that everyone hated about Anne Hathaway? I see that in him.
    I can see that he's got a lot of personality, a little too much for my taste, but I see absolutely no range in him. His performances are wholly dependent upon his costars (Kunis, Ricci and Eisenberg carried him in my opinion).
    Apparently, Affleck didn't feel like hauling Timberlake through the movie on his back, and Justin with his dick in a box. (Sorry, I couldn't resist).

  • apsutter

    His co-stars completely carried him through those movies. He can barely say a believable line in a movie. Plus he's always just playing himself. The movie with Kunis was actually pretty funny but 90% of that I credit to her. When they were actually giving him multiple lines I was on the couch cringing because he just cannot pull it off for long periods of time. He's great for short jokes and one liners but try and give him a monologue and, god damn...makes me want to blow my brains out.

  • Don't worry. I spent a good 15 minutes in the car trying to come up with a decent "dick in the box (office)" line about Runner bombing, before I gave up. Some things (COUGH movie career COUGH) just sound like a better idea in your head.

  • I told you so. And I didn't hate to say that one bit.

  • ...

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Let's kiss and bump stuff. Chicks love it when dudes bump stuff.

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    Everything needs more Mantzoukas.

  • JJ

    It's happening, it's happening... it happened...

  • AvaLehra

    Only this and then he can leave:
    http://youtu.be/FQ3slUz7Jo8

    I'm not ashamed either.

  • Friends with Benefits is a legitimately funny movie. Timberlake's contribution to that is debatable, but its a solid flick.

  • Becks

    Now there is a statement I can agree with.

    I think its charm is generated mostly by Mila Kunis, although Timberlake did manage to have palpable chemistry with her. Though I think that has less to do with his acting abilities and more to do with the fact that he's a living, breathing human being because who doesn't have chemistry with Mila Kunis?

  • Crystal O.

    I completely agree. I also can't take him seriously as a dramatic actor. SNL, yes. Alpha Dog, sure (he was playing a punk-ass brat, which obviously comes easy to him. Same with Social Network. He can play douchey well). But I wish he'd just stick to bit parts instead of leading man stuff. I want to defend him, but I can't even use the "he should just go back to music" card because he did and we got The 20/20 Experience, a pretty lackluster pop/(r&b?) album.

  • If you take the best of the two parts of The 20/20 Experience then you would have one pretty solid album.

  • AudioSuede

    I'll let people shit on his acting abilities at least a little bit, but I will not abide shitting on The 20/20 Experience (well, at least the first record, which was immaculate and the very opposite of lackluster).

    I say unto thee good day!

  • Crystal O.

    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree y'all. I just can't get into it at all. Give me more "My Love" and less "Take Back the Night."

  • AudioSuede

    "Take Back the Night" and "My Love" really aren't that different, but more to the point, "Take Back the Night" is on the second 20/20 record, which I haven't heard fully yet, so I have no strong opinion about it, and not the first part, which includes "Pusher Love Girl," "Spaceship Coupe," and "Suit & Tie," which, fuck everyone, are my jams.

  • Co-signed. 20/20 is fantastic.Top 10 album of the year (so far).

    The B-sides that just released, though? Dreck.

  • AudioSuede

    Admittedly, I haven't had time to dig into the second record yet, but I've heard some rough reports from people I trust (note: People I trust about music rarely overlap with people in the Pajiba comment threads. See: Pajiba Music, every article, the comments).

  • Yes indeed. zeke agrees.

  • mairimba

    Has anyone in this comment section ever seen good acting in their life?

  • Jack London

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to voice my wonder why everyone is suddenly lauding James Spader? He's a competent vamp, but he sleep walks through most stuff. (See also James Woods, Laurence Fishburne etc.)

    I enjoy him, but I just don't get the love some people are gushing forth with. Hell, I sat through the penultimate seasons of The Office hoping for some of Spader's charm to work but maybe I'm now desensitized to all things good and true because those things were just not funny. Which reminds me: Fuck you Ed Helms! Fuck you and the emu you rode in on! And you - Clark Duke - looking like a small yet inflated Rainn Wilson is not the same thing as having his timing. Fuck you in your stupid time travel jacuzzi.

  • AudioSuede

    There's a big difference between having never "seen good acting" and saying that someone is horrible because their not a master craftsman. He's a solid, serviceable actor who can pull of a few different characters believably enough to star or at least support in movies.

  • Seriously, what is even happening right now?

  • mairimba

    Next thing you know people are going to start saying that LiLo deserved an Emmy for Liz & Dick.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Maybe not LiLo, but I'm all about Gina Gershon getting an Emmy/Oscar/Nobel Peace Prize for her work as Donatella Versace.

  • pumpkin

    LiLo is an EXCELLENT actress. She played TWINS! And one of them had an English ACCENT!! That's some serious acting.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Are you kidding me? If she didn't get a nod for Showgirls, there is literally nothing that she can do to ever win a nomination much less a statue.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    NO! SHE DESERVES IT FOR HERBIE: FULLY LOADED! I WILL FIGHT YOU 5EVA!

  • tmoney

    NO OFFENSE TO BEN AFFLECK (sorry it's so lame, but it feels appropriate)

    P.s. I second the JT love in Southland Tales.

  • Sarah

    I take it you've never seen Alpha Dog.

  • Theron

    "How about we just grease the kid? Let's just grease the kid. Everything will work out if we just grease the kid". Yeah JT was awesome in that.

  • Meli_V

    I did and not only is that movie terribly over hyped JT is laughable.

  • Walt Jr

    I concur. Saw it, kid can't act then- OR now. Sorry jmo

  • Jamie

    you say Timberlake takes credit for the good stuff and then blames other people for the bad. You then say Timberlake's performance in The Social Network, which was actually very good, was all down to the editing. A little hypocritical?

  • Fredo

    He's not a horrible actor. He's just not a movie star. Pure and simple.

  • anikitty

    So not "Fletch?" Moving along.

  • Chris

    The Social Network. Friends with Benefits. Alpha Dog. Dude's actually a very good actor who made a couple of bad film choices (not an uncommon error for good actors to make). Runner Runner was a bad movie NOT because of Justin Timberlake OR Ben Affleck, but because it was, in fact, an uninspired, unoriginal, bad movie. Period.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I feel like Justin Timberlake has a persona. And when you allow him to play that, sure, he's charming...for a while. As a lead, that schtick doesn't hold up.

    BUT. Kid's not an actor.

  • This. A million times. A lot of popular actors/movie stars are all persona, and no chops. Timberlake is one of them, methinks.

  • AudioSuede

    He was great in Black Snake Moan, The Social Network, and in just about everything else I've ever seen him in. So IDK WTF you're talking about.

  • JJ

    IKR? N*SYNC me ASAP BBQROFLCOPTER!

  • Legally Insignificant

    I enjoyed him in Alpha Dog and Southland Tales. Although that could be because of the ensemble cast and The Killers dance number, respectively.

  • carrie

    and this movie with Christina Ricci and Samuel L Jackson

  • Fredo

    Black Snake Moan. He was decent in that, but that's because his roles was small and Ricci did a lot of the heavy lifting.

  • stella

    Out acted by Ben Affleck? Ouch.

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