July 30, 2009

Bryce Dallas Howard: I Don't Get It

Can someone explain the career of actress Bryce Dallas Howard to me? 'Cause I really don't get it. I just read that she has been cast in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third installment in the teenybopper vampire series. Howard will be playing a Victoria, a character that was played by Montreal actress Rachel Lefevre in the first two films. I'm at a loss how this woman continues to get work in Hollywood, and stranger yet, how she continues to get work in big, mainstream movies. Howard's resume thus far reads like a train wreck. Her first big role was in M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. Howard played the ridiculous blind character Ivy and delivered a performance worthy of a high school play. In a movie filled with suck, she still managed to stand out in her terribleness. Much like when George Lucas refused to remove Jar Jar Binks from the Episode II of his ill-fated "new" Star Wars trilogy, Shymalan came right back with Howard in his next stinker, Lady In the Water. I think she played a mermaid in that film. It looked so incredibly bad that I couldn't bring myself to watch it, and after seeing her acting chops in The Village, I was quite certain she had no chance of redeeming it's idiotic plot. She plays a mermaid from a children's story trying to get back to "her world." I'm not kidding, that's really the plot of the film. Needless to say, the movie totally tanked at the box office.

Howard next inexplicably surfaced in Spiderman 3. Among fans of the Spiderman movies, the third entry is known as "the shitty one." My friend Pat Thornton (check out his series Hotbox on the Comedy Network) is a massive fan of Spiderman, and I remember doing a promotional bit with him for the movie for MTV. The next day I called him to see how he liked the flick, and
he was almost depressed by how much he didn't enjoy it. Howard can't be blamed for what a mess that film was, but she certainly wasn't any good in it. Somehow her legacy of shit didn't stop her from landing another big gig, co-starring in this summer's Terminator: Salvation. Once again, Howard appears in a film that fails to meet fan expectations and the movie tanks hard at the box office. It's amazing that movie came out this summer. It came and went so fast and fizzled so quickly at the box office that it almost feels like it never happened at all. At what point to producers start to connect the dots here? How is that she can string together stinker after stinker without it having any effect on her career? Why the hell would Summit Entertainment want to bring her on board?

I fully understand that an actress who's not very good at, well, acting, yet still finds success in Hollywood isn't exactly a new thing. Pamela Anderson has starred in multiple television shows and Carmen Electra, inexplicably, is a card-carrying member of the Screen Actor's Guild. But - how shall I put this delicately - it's not difficult to understand why producers might be willing to look the other way when casting them despite their limited talents as thespians. Megan Fox acknowledged in interviews doing press for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen that nobody has seen whether she can act or not despite starring roles in two big blockbusters. Ms. Howard is no Megan Fox. Hell, she's no Matthew Fox. This woman looks like she could be the stunt double for Cynthia Nixon for crying out loud.

I know some people will say "She's getting these chances cause her father is Ron Howard!" and I don't doubt that nepotism likely played a role in her getting her foot in the door. But Ron Howard isn't so incredibly powerful that he can force studios to keep casting his daughter. I suspect that while people point the finger at Ronnie as the reason she's getting work, I suspect the real thing you could blame him for his her looks. What, I'm an asshole for saying she's not hot? Please, it's Hollywood, if you don't want to be judged by your looks, don't pose for pictures like this:

So, to the producers of Eclipse, you've been warned. Howard will likely stink in your new film, and while I assume you think nothing can stop the license to print money that is the rights to the Twilight series, if anything can sink your movie, it's the box office poison that is Bryce Dallas Howard.

Even vampires have their weaknesses, and she's like a cross made out of garlic. With red hair.