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Dear Thursday: Totally Miscast – Monster’s Ball and Frankie & Johnny

I just realized that it’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie with a complete miscast. Even my worst movie of the year, Seven Pounds, had spot-on casting. Rosario Dawson and Will Smith brought boatloads of charm to roles that would have been insufferable if played by other actors. And though I’ve never considered Brad Pitt a great actor, I thought he was perfectly cast in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and I didn’t cringe once, not even once.

So QUESTION OF THE DAY: What do you think is the most miscast role of all time?

frankieandjohnnyFor me, it’s a tie between Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball and Michelle Pfeiffer in the movie version of Frankie & Johnny. Both roles call for, in my opinion, gritty women — who can at least play unattractive even if they’re not. Actresses like Edie Falco, Mercede Ruehl — these would have been good picks for the female lead in Frankie & Johnny. But Michelle Pfeiffer? A romantic story of this nature doesn’t work if the lead is across the board gorgeous.

monsters_ball_ver2Same goes for Halle Berry. I actually overheard a guy say, “I’d stop being a racist, too, if it meant I could get with Halle Berry.” But of course this is supposed to be a story about two people overcoming their bigger faults because they need each other — not because one is hot and/or way out of the other’s league. Plus, Halle Berry just didn’t look like a product of the South. I found it hard to believe that she truly ate Popeyes or that she was so skinny because she walked country roads whenever her car broke down — not because of a personal trainer and lots of Pilates.

I personally think both of these movies would have been vastly more interesting with less attractive and more seasoned actresses, and I personally would like to see a movie were two non-gorgeous  people actually fall in love. I suppose I should put a remake of both of these movies on my producing wish list.

But what movies do you think have suffered because of bad casting? Let me know in the comments.