Home / Hot? Yes. Is Brittany Murphy talented? No.

Hot? Yes. Is Brittany Murphy talented? No.

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My first real exposure to Brittany Murphy was in the thriller Don’t Say A Word with Michael Douglas. The movie didn’t thrill, and one of the main reasons for the minor failure was Murphy being in a role that was just over her head. Audiences and critics just couldn’t buy her in the role. She has yet to really impress anybody.

Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune pretty much sums up Murphy and her shortcomings as an actress in his review of her new film Uptown Girls opening today. Here’s an excerpt:

The true measure of a star may be her ability to transform pap into froth. Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock and Reese Witherspoon established their leading-lady credentials by elevating otherwise mundane material in “Pretty Woman,” “While You Were Sleeping” and “Legally Blonde.” The chirpy, button-pushing “Uptown Girls” requires a similar magic job from Brittany Murphy, but that trick isn’t up the young actress’s sleeve.

Murphy is an odd sort of starlet to begin with; she was elevated to “it girl” status more through her appearances on magazine covers than her performances in movies. She’s colorful as a side character (as in “Clueless” and “Girl, Interrupted”), with her wide raccoon eyes, runaway hair (usually bleached blonde) and lithe body that always seems a bit off balance. In truth, she usually seems a bit off balance; you watch anticipating which way she’ll teeter and who’ll catch her.

One of the key differences between Witherspoon and Murphy is that when Witherspoon plays a ditz, she’s a ditz in control. When Murphy plays a ditz, she’s just ditzy. In “Uptown Girls” she’s like a puppy in traffic; you’re confident she’ll reach the curb but only because the cars are swerving, not because her moves are so deft.


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  • Eric Olsen

    I thought “8 Mile” was when she really became a star, reinforced by surpirse success of “Just Married.”

  • The problem is that people often confuse an actor being in a good movie, with being a good actor. 8 Mile was a decent flick, but I thought Murphy barely got by and that another actress could have carried the role much better.

    The same could be said of Just Married. I wouldn’t really call the film a “hit” since it barley cleared $50 million at the box office but the same problem still exists, Murphy was weak in the role and brought nothing special to the part. She just sort of muddledd her way through it.

    I think she has potential, but needs to really work on her craft a little more and her image a little less. Just my two cents worth.

  • I’ve never even thought of her as even remotely hot. Bleh. There’s a million more talented, better looking actresses out there . . .

  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: she’s a great voice actress on King of the Hill.

  • Eric Olsen

    And she’s sure a lot hotter now than she was in the Clueless days – a remarkable transformation in fact. She was also very good hosting SNL, often an indication of versatility and comfort with oneself.

  • Indeed, Bill, she rocks as Luann. “Oh, Unca Hank!”

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