Last night, PBS finished a two part documentary on acclaimed comedic actor, writer and director, Woody Allen. In spite of all his acclaim and talent, the sight of Allen onscreen in any capacity annoys and angers me. His voice falls upon my ears in the same register as nails on a chalkboard, or screeching brakes. It’s nothing personal (though I guess it is). I just can’t stand the guy.
However, there are some actors who, for one reason or another, surpass Mr. Allen in the annoying department, in my humble opinion. Let’s take a look at a few who can torpedo a movie with even so much as a cameo.
Ok. Jay Leno isn’t an actor. But he appears in countless films as himself, a talk-show host who serves as the indicator that a character now exists in the cultural lexicon. His presence has become so clichéd, as have the inevitable bad, one-off joke that his “character” delivers, that I hate to see him in any film. He’s a lumbering bridge between the fictional world and the real world that terminates suspension of disbelief and serves as a reminder that Jay Leno exists and that I just paid $15 to see him in a movie, if only for a second.
I don’t know what raspy rock this guy climbed out from under, but I wish he would get back to it. Fortunately, he doesn’t make too many appearances these days, so I’m able to largely keep him out of mind. But his turn in Independence Day still haunts me, my only solace being the knowledge that his character got crushed by a flying car. His voice and affectations dominate every scene. His acting is the equivalent of Brad Pitt deciding that he’s going to do every film from now on with a KFC bucket on his head, but way less awesome than that.
Here uber-calm demeanor always has me feeling as though she is conducting an internal monologue. Granted, the heavy-handed narrative of SATC has everything to do with this, but we’re talking about effects here, not causes. She seems superhumanly patient with everything, always speaking with thinly-veiled exasperation that never seem to develop into anything more. And that’s annoying, like being around a person whose default setting is “whiney” when they’re oblivious to it.