In the last few years, Anne Hathaway has gracefully ascended into the ranks of Hollywood’s A-List. She originally grabbed people’s attention in Disney’s 2001 family feature, The Princess Diaries ($108 M), but over the course of the next eight years, she quietly made her way to the front of the actress pack. How did she do this? Well, one could argue that she’s consistently released quality titles that have gained the respect of critics and audiences alike, but honestly, that just too obvious of an answer, and I don’t think that that’s the real secret to her success. No, it’s something much more subtle, and much more romantic. You see, if you look closely at her track record, you find that Anne Hathaway has cunningly built her career on the theme of brides. Let me explain:
2004 – The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement – $95 million
Anne needed this role to keep her career going. She burst onto the scene playing the princess in the original 2001 film, The Princess Diaries, but in the three years that followed, she worked very little, and her best charting performance came from the charming-but-ignored Ella Enchanted, which grossed a paltry $22 million. Suffice it to say, Anne wisely returned to the Mouse House to recucitate her dwindling portfolio.
2008 – Rachel Getting Married – $10 million
Anne turned her Princess success into some solid momentum, nabbing major billing roles in succesful features like 2005’s Brokeback Mountain ($83 M), 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada ($124 M), and 2008’s Get Smart ($130 M). Still, she had not yet garnered the prestigious awards that separated her from the likes of Reese, Angelina, Halle, and Nicole. Insert Rachel Getting Married. Widely praised for her impressive performance as the titular bride’s sister, Anne has already started picking up trophies for her work in the film. Sure, she’s not technically the bride in this movie, but it has “Married” in the title, so for the sake of my theory, just go with it! Regardless, the role firmly cemented her place among the elite Hollywood actresses, and suddenly, she’s on call for Leno, SNL, and Oprah!
2009 – Bride Wars – $21.5 million (so far)
Following the trend set by Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Halle Berry in Gothika and Catwoman, or Nicole Kidman in Bewitched, The Stepford Wives, and The Invasion, Anne Hathaway has taken her newfound awards recognition as a free ticket to make crappy movies like Bride Wars. You know, she’s realized that playing anything related to a bride will bring her success either in terms of business or critical praise, so why not? In this case, it’s already raking in some good business, and even if I hate on Bride Wars frequently and unabashedly, good for her.
What do you think? Am I onto something with the bridal theme, or is it just a coincidence? Oh, and have any of you ever seen Ella Enchanted? Totally underrated, right?! Sound off in the comments!