Ramin Setoodeh breaks it down in Newsweek, for those of you who still thought Jessica was the name to avoid. Somehow, the loss of both Jennifer Aniston's and Jennifer Lopez's popularity has to do with their shared name (and, for the love of God, don't tell Jennifer Hudson! Or Jennifer Garner! Or Jenifer Love Hewitt! Or Jennifer Connelly!).
Collectively, these two Jennifers became a cautionary tale-how overexposure in the press can harm your career.
Oh, God, will someone tell Kate Gosselin? Please?
Anyway, apparently, because Jennifer Aniston's divorce from Brad caused her to become even more of a tabloid target than before, and Jennifer Lopez's marriage to
Skeletor Mark Anthony and subsequent new family caused her to be less of a paparazzi target when she was part of Bennifer, the "Jennifer Syndrome" of overexposure is thus related to the crappy movies they've both been in recently that haven't made people want to go to see them.
Is that why Sandra Bullock was stuck in Hope Floats and two Miss Congeniality movies? Why Whoopi Goldberg did two Sister Acts, let alone The Associate? Is there an A-list actress who hasn't starred in a series of shitty rom-coms and overly dramatized movies at some point in her career? Although Angelina Jolie — who, of course, the author says is the opposite of the Jennifers — hasn't done a bunch of rom-coms, her career is cluttered with a number of crap action movies.
News flash: people in Hollywood make bad movies — lots of 'em. They go on to make worse ones, some times they make better ones and some times they take all their money and go raise a couple of damn children or just live their lives for a while. It's not an exclusive club in which the Jennifers (and their differently-named colleagues) exist: it's just a club that churns out far too many duds, which is why a lot of Americans don't go to the movies anymore. Hell, after I sat through The Associate, it's a wonder I ever went again.
The Jennifer Syndrome [Newsweek]
Related: Naming a Human Is a Very Big Deal and You Should Not Blow It [New York Magazine]