With Andy Roddick to retire after the US Open, it will be his wife, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model turned film star, who will be ‘earning the cheques’. But can Brooklyn Decker act? Here’s what the reviewers said of her three feature films – a rom-com, an alien-invasion epic and and a comedy. They weren’t always kind.
Decker made her feature film debut in ‘Just Go With It’, an Adam Sandler and Jennifer Anniston rom-com which came out last year, in which she was asked to be “blonde, lithe and endlessly amiable” (so said Slate). The same review suggested that Decker “was asked only to remain cheerfully oblivious and near-naked as indignities are visited upon her character”. The Observer’s film critic didn’t like the film very much, and didn’t have a good word to say about Decker’s acting either: “It’s a crude, tasteless, ill-timed, hugely dislikeable affair. The climax at a deluxe hotel in Hawaii must be the most objectionable gathering since 1923 when Hitler staged his Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. Only Jennifer Anniston remains unscathed.” The Guardian wasn’t much more generous: “This film is so dispiritingly awful that responsible cinema staff should make audiences remove their ties and shoelaces on their way into the auditorium.”
In this year’s ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’, Decker plays “the hot young wife of a leathery retired racecar driver” (so says the write-up in The New York Times). The comedy follows the story of five couples about to become parents. The film had mixed notices (USA Today called it “tone-deaf, superficial and charmless”, and the Guardian observed: “someday Hollywood will think of women as more than fallopian tubes in heels; until then, we’re stuck with this kind of project”), but there was praise for Decker’s work in her role as the trophy wife. The Los Angeles Times said of Mrs Roddick: “Decker milks the most comedy out of the fewest lines, underplaying her hand perfectly”.
Decker played the admiral’s daughter in ‘Battleship’, an ‘alien-invasion epic’ which was in multiplexes this year. According to The Wall Street Journal, it’s a role Decker “played with flawless plasticity”). The film came under heavy fire (‘Sink this Battleship’ said one review), though one writer noted that the film “comes with its own force-field, a furious energy that renders criticism irrelevant”.
Decker on being a movie star: “I stopped modelling a while ago, you can only be so stimulated by taking photos, so I decided if I actually wanted to move into acting and have people want to work with me seriously, I had stick to the study. There’ll be people not wanting to meet the model chick, so I just have to do the work, and that’s all you can really ask, for the chance.”