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Jennifer Lopez's 'American Idol' exit: Is more film a good move?

July 13, 2012|By Steven Zeitchik
  • Jennifer Lopez in "The Back-Up Plan," one of the lesser lights of her acting career.
Jennifer Lopez in "The Back-Up Plan," one of the lesser lights… (CBS Films )

Jennifer Lopez’s departure from "American Idol" means she has more time not just for, ahem, her family, but also her movie career.

The question is whether the movie business should make time for her.

On the one hand, there’s “Out of Sight.” On the other, there’s “Gigli,” "The Wedding Planner" and “The Back-Up Plan.”

Lopez’s overall career has been marked by versatility. But her film acting, which takes a voice-centric turn with “Ice Age: Continental Drift” this weekend, has been an up-and-down ride, to put it generously.

We’ll cut her some slack and say she’s been handcuffed by some of the roles available to her, to wit, her upcoming January thriller “Parker” (tag line: “A thief lives by a code of honor that includes never stealing money from people who need it”). Then again, her attempt at awards bait a number of years back, the Hector Lavoe biopic “El Cantante,” in which she starred opposite then-husband Marc Anthony, was nothing to salsa about, either.

But something less dramatic that plays to her strengths — likability and easy charm — could be the way to go. The lead role in the long-gestating (if possibly purgatoried) remake of the '80s comedy hit “Overboard” seems like a good idea, if only because it lets her play to type, and perhaps even gently mock, her standing as a star who has it all.

Come to think of it, any smartly executed romantic comedy from a sharp up-and-comer could do the trick. Will Gluck, if you’re reading this.


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