On September 22, 1994, Jennifer Aniston made her first on screen appearance as Rachel Green on the wildly successful 90s sitcom Friends. Her character, a former rich-girl-turned-runaway-bride, instantly captured the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere and Aniston became a role model for women all over the world. In between seasons of Friends, Aniston spent a lot of time working in Hollywood where she starred in a number of films, mostly romantic comedies with some of the finest actors in Hollywood. After leaving Friends in 2004, Aniston switched to Hollywood filmmaking full time. Since making the switch, she’s starred in more than a dozen films, many of which were romcoms. Take a look below for our list of 10 of the best Jennifer Aniston romantic comedies.
1. Picture Perfect
Picture Perfect was released in 1997 when Aniston’s Friends career was taking off. The film saw Aniston playing Kate Mosley, a talented advertising executive struggling to find success in a prestigious New York agency. Through happenstance, Kate meets a videographer called Nick (played by Jay Mohr) and they start a relationship with each other. The film follows the trials and tribulations of Kate and Nick’s relationship. The film, directed by Erwin Stoff, was released to mixed reviews from critics. It scored a 49% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is currently rated at 5.4/10 on imdb.com. While critics and audiences critiqued the film’s story and direction, few people had bad things to say about Aniston’s performance.
2. Rumor Has It
In 2005, Aniston starred alongside Mark Ruffalo and Kevin Costner in ‘Rumor Has It’, a sequel to the 1963 novel ‘The Graduate’. Aniston played Sarah Huttinger, an obituary and wedding writer who goes home for her sister’s wedding. During her trip, she learns that her mother had an affair and that her father, Earl, might not be her father after all. This revelation sends Sarah into a tailspin, and she decides to go to San Francisco to find her biological father. Rumor Has It was received poorly by critics who scored it a miserable 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics loved Aniston, calling her ‘plucky and engaging’, but they criticised the rest of the production. Veteran film critic ‘Roger Ebert’ enjoyed the film, however, calling it a ‘very watchable film with some good laughs’.
3. The Object of My Affection
1998’s ‘The Object of my Affection’, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name, starred Jennifer Aniston as Nina Borowski, a pregnant social worker living in New York, and Paul Rudd as George Hanson, a handsome and gay primary school teacher looking for love. The film followed Nina and George as they navigated the murky waters of love and sexuality. Critics had mixed feelings about the film, scoring it 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. They mainly criticised the film’s plot, which they called slow and plodding in pace. Both Aniston and Rudd were praised for their performances, however, with Aniston receiving the lion’s share of the praise.
4. Along Came Polly
‘Along Came Polly’, released in 2004, saw Aniston teaming up with comedy veteran Ben Stiller for the first time. The film, also featuring performances from Alec Baldwin, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Debra Messing of ‘Will & Grace’ fame, saw characters Reuben Feffer and Polly Prince, played by Stiller and Aniston respectively, rekindling an old high school romance following a breakup. The film, written and directed by ‘Meet the Parents’ writer/director John Hamburg, fared poorly with critics who gave it a 26% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was loved by audiences, however, who went to see it in huge numbers. It went on to gross $172 million at the box office on the back of a $40 million production budget.
5. The Break Up
2006’s ‘The Break-Up’ starred Aniston and comedy legend Vince Vaughn as a former couple forced to share a condo. The film followed the pair as they learned to live together and move past their hatred for each other. The film, directed by Peyton Reed, was a huge success at the box office grossing over $200 million worldwide. While critics gave the film average reviews, they gave Aniston a lot of praise for her performance and her on screen chemistry with co-star Vaughn.
6. The Bounty Hunter
2010’s ‘The Bounty Hunter’ saw Aniston teaming up with Gerard Butler for a romcom with an action twist. Directed by romantic comedy veteran Andy Tennant, the film saw Butler, a bounty hunter, chasing down his ex-wife, Aniston, a reporter trying to solve a murder. The Bounty Hunter was released to poor reviews from critics who scored it a dismal 13% on Rotten Tomatoes. Most criticised the film’s poor plot and sketchy dialogue, but they had good things to say about Aniston and Butler’s onscreen chemistry. Audiences generally enjoyed the film, however, and it currently sits on a respectable 5.4/10 score on imdb.com.
7. The Switch
2010’s ‘The Switch’, directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, featured Aniston teaming up with Jason Bateman, Patrick Wilson, Juliette Lewis, and Jeff Goldblum for a film adaptation of the short story ‘Baster’. In the film, Aniston played Kassie Larson, a down-on-her-luck thirty-something wanting to have an artificially inseminated child, while Bateman played Wally Mars, Kassie’s best friend who is secretly in love with her. Through a strange twist of fate, Wally ends up donating the sperm that inseminates Kassie, and they find themselves having a child together. The Switch received average reviews from critics who scored it 51% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics were keen to emphasise the chemistry between Bateman and Aniston, however, with many saying that the pair delivered excellent performances for the film.
8. Just Go With It
2011’s ‘Just Go With It’ saw Aniston teaming up with Adam Sandler, another legend of the comedy world. Despite being friends for over 20 years, the film saw them acting together on screen for very first time. The film, an adaptation of the Broadway play ‘Cactus Flower’, saw Sandler playing Danny Maccabee, a plastic surgeon with an eye for younger women (supermodel Brooklyn Decker), while Aniston played Katherine Murphy, Maccabee’s assistant. The film followed the pair as they went to Hawaii for a holiday where they slowly discovered their secret love for each other. The film was rated poorly by critics who scored it 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences liked it, however, and the film has gone on to score 6.4/10 on imdb.com. The entire internet (well at least all males) were very impressed by Jennifer Aniston’s Bikini Body, at age 41 she might have looked even hotter than Brookklyn Decker!
9. The Good Girl
2002’s ‘The Good Girl’ was a landmark title for Aniston. While she’d starred in lighthearted romantic comedies in the past, The Good Girl was first darker romcom. The film, also starring Jake Gyllenhaal and John C. Reilly, saw Aniston playing Justine Last, a shop clerk who falls for Holden Worther (played by Gyllenhaal), a boy who believes himself to be the incarnation of Holden Caulfield, protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s seminal novel ‘The Catcher in the Rye’. The Good Girl was incredibly well received by critics who scored it an impressive 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film fared slightly worse with audiences, however, who rated it 6.5/10 on imdb.com. Aniston’s performance in the film was beloved by all, and she picked up some awards for her work, including the ‘Choice Movie Actress in a Drama/Comedy’ award at the Teen Choice Awards.
10. He’s Just Not That Into You
2009’s ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’, directed by Ken Kwapis, featured an all star cast of Hollywood’s elite. Aniston, Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connely, Kevin Connoly, Bradley Cooper, Scarlett Johansson, and Justin Long were but a handful of the names who starred in the film. The film, based on the wildly successful self-help book of the same name, followed nine hapless romantics as they struggled with the ups and downs of their love lives. The film was released to mixed reviews from critics who scored it 41% on Rotten Tomatoes. Aniston’s performance was singled out, however, for being exemplary amongst the star studded cast. She was even nominated for a ‘Teen Choice Award’ for the role.