Actors are tools

>> Monday, July 27, 2009

And it's not just George Lucas who thinks that way. It's also movie critics.

"The Ugly Truth" is loaded with sex gags that manage to be both twee and crass: Secondary female characters (like the one played by Turner, and another by Cheryl Hines, who's sorely misused) offer commentary on how sad and underappreciated their vaginas are, or clutch their own breasts and lament how long it's been since they've been touched by a man.
"Sorely misused."

How can an actor be "misused?"

Let's note that Stephanie Zacharek didn't say that Cheryl Hines was miscast or misdirected. Nor was her acting above or below par. Just "misused."

Because actors aren't allowed to take roles that don't already jibe with some critics', in this case Stephanie Zacharek's, preconceived notions of their careers. "The Ugly Truth" script was written before Cheryl Hines was cast in her role. Were they supposed to rewrite the entire script after she was cast? Should Cheryl Hines have been cast in the lead instead of Katherine Heigl? Or another role? Zacharek doesn't state any of those ideas. No, Hines is just "sorely misused."

And this isn't the first time I've seen movie/film critics use this language before. Zacharek's colleague, Andrew O'Hehir, used the same language two years ago regarding Natalie Portman in "Goya's Ghosts."
Natalie Portman is horribly misused in "Goya's Ghosts."
Again, not "miscast" or "misdirected" but "misused."

Because actors should never fail to reinforce critics preconceived notions of them in every movie they appear in.

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