Hot Topic: Miss Marple Manipulated

Lainey Posted by Lainey at March 30, 2011 09:37:06 March 30, 2011 09:37:06

Written by Duana

Last night, as I talked to my mom, we discussed how, based on age or timing or something, I never had a band to get hysterical about. There wasn’t a screamy-hysterical obsession during that really important period of about 11-14, where you will buy all the merch, and get hysterical about standing in lineups and freak the hell out at every interview and whatnot. I was too young to hit maximum density with NKOTB, and Pearl Jam and Nirvana would not have been cool with my kissing their Teen Beat posters before I went to bed at night.

I think this made me look elsewhere for my idols and entertainment. I read a lot and definitely developed a taste for stuff that was older, filtered through my parents, and kind of nerdy.

I wonder if the same thing happened to Jennifer Garner. Hear me out.

From the day she showed up on Felicity as Noel’s girl Hannah – remember that? –Garner has been selling herself as a boring homebody geek whose dog was named Martha Stewart (and blissed out when they cooked together), who loved being married, and who just wanted to stay home and crochet. It’s entirely possible that I’m making that up about the crocheting, but the woman has cultivated her entire professional career around being preternaturally elderly. Even now, she talks about how she never goes out, only hangs out with her daughters and doesn’t allow her husband to have any fun ever. (It’s possible I editorialized on that last bit.)

But consider for a minute that she campaigned for this role. That she pushed hard to get people to see that even though she’s a Hot Mom and has a hard body, she can have all the appeal of an elderly sleuth.

This is a particular move for an actress, to play a role to be considered much older. Maybe the role will be adapted so that there’s romance (of course there will be) but she’s still taking on the spectre of all the older-person-fustiness that was imbued by Miss Marple. She wants you to believe that her love for Marple will be enough to guide over your worries, and that she’s an old soul – a very old soul – who just happens to not have made it to her maximum power of being 65 yet. And I’m reading all the headlines about how ‘glamourous’ and ‘sexy’ she is.

Glamour I’ll give you. Sexy? No way. Girls like her. Not a single guy I know even registers her on his radar. We don’t have to worry about Marple being overly sexy, because Garner isn’t sexy. Not even when her roles call for it. In fact, I’d go so far as to argue that’s why she’s going this way with the parts she’s looking for – because the bombshell roles are not heating up her inbox.

Now – before you freak out too much – Agatha Christie’s estate has said the deal is not closed, the BBC thinks it’s preposterous, and unless Disney is trying to re-reimagine the franchise altogether (remember the Nancy Drew remake?), they’ll be aware of all the outcry. They won’t pour millions into this if nobody is interested in going to see it.

But, like the new 90210, this will just be a launching pad, calling her Marple. Using the stories, but with a whole new twist on the character. I bet what they’re trying to sell it as is “reintroduce the character to a whole new generation who can share the experience with their moms and grandmothers, who have loved Miss Marple for years!” I bet you will see ‘Flash Forwards’ and we’ll have leaked-on-purpose test shots of Garner as elderly Marple in age-makeup. She’ll give interviews about how she couldn’t believe they thought she could play the role, but she has LOVED her for so long!

You can fight it, but they will work hard to make you love it. Or at least to go see it to say how bad it is.

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