Julia Roberts: Don’t call it a comeback


You remember Julia Roberts, right? Tall, auburn-ish hair, full-on belly laugh, Oscar, hooker boots, lips? Yeah? Well, she’ll be taking back her spot as America’s sweetheart, thank you very much, so Amy Adams or Anne Hathaway or Tina Fey or whomever, if you’ll all just move over to the side here, just out of the frame. Great. Thanks.

You might remember a time when Julia Roberts was churning out one romantic comedy, one drama, one cartoon-voiceover, and one Ocean‘s movie per year. Well, she took some time off to procreate, but she’s back now, and her first order of business is to star as a leading lady once more, this time opposite Clive Owen in Duplicity.

The New York Times described Roberts’ comeback vehicle as a “romantic romp,” and Universal is hoping that is just the beginning of the positive press Roberts will be able to generate. In fact, they’re more than hopeful. The trailer is playing well to audiences that Universal went ahead and sprang for a $3 million Super Bowl ad.

My favorite bit from the Times article is this: “Donna Langley, Universal’s production president, said the studio had cast Ms. Roberts based on ‘gut instinct,’ without benefit of focus groups or surveys to measure her enduring appeal.”

I’m not sure what that means, but every time Julia Roberts smiles, I smile. Does that count for something?

I guess we’ll be seeing a lot of that smile in the weeks to come. Duplicity opens on March 20, which means Julia Roberts is just about to start her media blitz. She’ll be grinning at me from every magazine in the bookstore and talk show, and, surely, she’ll be on Oprah.

The basic plot of Duplicity is that Roberts is ex-CIA and Owen is ex-MI6, and, together, they’ll con one of their corporations out of $40 million. So, you know, kind of Ocean’s Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen without George Clooney.

I’m not sure about romantic romp, but it seems like good fun. Will you watch Julia Roberts’ comeback on the big screen, on DVD, or will you just wait until one Sunday afternoon a couple of years from now when it is presented with limited commercial interruptions on TNT?

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