I went into Bride Wars with low expectations but a semi-open mind (word to the wise: be sure to check your feminist principles at the door), hoping I might recognize a hint of someone I used to love – the dazzling Penny Lane, or rather, the actress who played her. Way back in 2000, Kate Hudson was my newest girl crush after I saw her stellar performance as a “band-aide” in Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical ode to rock-n-roll (and one of my all-time personal faves) Almost Famous. Ms. Hudson was absolutely captivating as the naive and vulnerable adolescent hiding behind a free-spirited, rock-chick bravado (check out a clip after the jump, if you forgot). So what happened to the budding actress I saw and loved nine years ago? She all but disappeared. So far, despite plenty of attempts, Almost Famous is the pinnacle of her acting accomplishments, and after a string of movies like My Best Friend’s Girl, my girl Kate has lost her special place in my heart. I am, however, willing to forgive and forget, so I’ve put together this quick list of five ways the bubbly blonde could earn back my love and trust:
1. Lay Off the RomComs: Seven, yes SEVEN, of her films since Famous have been Romantic Comedies or some variation of that genre. None of the seven are particularly good; most are cliché-ridden duds. Now is the time to experiment with different roles (her upcoming role in Nine may be a promising start) before she gets pigeonholed a la Meg Ryan. Mix it up!! Take some risks! And for the love of God, never, ever do another movie with Dane Cook.
2. No More Matthew: While we’re on the subject of costars to avoid, let’s talk Matthew McConaughey. I like the shirtless wonder just as much as the next girl -– hell, I’ll even admit that How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days has its (minor) charms – but my affection quickly soured after the mess that was Fool’s Gold. In fact, MM’s track record as a romantic lead is, to put it kindly, crap (um, Failure to Launch or The Wedding Planner anyone?). In fact, it’s probably best that all actresses heed this advice.
Three more tips, after the jump.
3. Reunite With Cameron Crowe: Or any other established director that is not Garry Marshall (Raising Helen) or Rob Reiner (Alex & Emma). Crowe has a knack for creating fully realized, authentic characters such as, for example, William Miller and Penny Lane in Almost Famous. And if romcoms are a must, he’s pretty good with those too…I can forgive slight missteps Elizabethtown and Vanilla Sky. The filmmaker showcased Kate at her finest, and I’d like to see if he can coax it out of her again.
4. Take a Cue From Kate and Cate: While Winslet and Blanchettare most certainly in a league of their own, Kate H. could learn a fewthings from her savvy peers. Both women balance heavier prestige pics (Revolutionary Road, Benjamin Button) with lighter stuff (The Holiday, Indiana Jones),but more significantly, both look for films with richly drawn femaleroles – and this is what Hudson should emulate. She would be a great fit in a well-written, quirky movie, like Winslet’s Eternal Sunshine, or a female-driven period piece like Blanchett’s Elizabeth,instead of playing the one-dimensional girlfriend/ex/best friend inevery film. The two Oscar nominated actresses take roles in which womenare portrayed as the complex creatures we actually are, and Hudsonwould be smart to follow their example.
5. More Supporting Roles: Sandra Bullock did it in Crash; Marisa Tomei just did it in The Wrestler. Something similar to the Amy Adams role in Doubt wouldgive Hudson some breathing space to showcase her chops and anopportunity to share the screen with a more sophisticated crowd withoutforcing her to shoulder all the responsibility for the movie’s success.After all, she certainly wasn’t the star of Almost Famous, but that didn’t stop her from stealing the show.
So PopWatchers, do you agree that Kate Hudson is in need of a career makeover? What do think of her post-Almost Famous roles? What could she do to earn back your affection? Did she ever lose it?