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August 2010

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‘The Switch’ Bombs — Are High-Concept Movies Doomed at the Box-Office?

Written by , Posted in General

Jennifer Aniston’s film, The Switch, tanked at the weekend box-office, and many are citing it has her fall from grace.  Since I loved the film, I’m left scratching my head as to why it failed.  My guess?  High-concept films are doomed from the start.  Though it didn’t bother me that the entire plot was given away in the trailer, I’m guessing it bothered others, who didn’t feel the need to watch the movie, fully knowing how it would play out.  Remember Jennifer Lopez’s recent flop, The Back-Up Plan?  That was another high-concept movie, which also revealed too much in the trailer.  There was a time when movies didn’t need these over-the-top concepts to gain financial success.  When Harry Met Sally, for example, was a little film about platonic friendship, and it’s one of the greatest romantic comedies in history.  It didn’t need a woman who was impregnated with the wrong sperm  — the dialogue and characters were enough.  But without all this useless plot-glitter, films just don’t get made these days.  An action film needs $100 million worth of CGI created explosions, and romantic comedies need sperm issues.  I yearn for the good-old-days of high quality writing, when the most complicated concept was meeting at the empire state building at the same time (if you don’t know what movie that is, you should be ashamed of yourself).