Do North American audiences care about Julia Roberts anymore? The last time Roberts starred in a movie that cracked $100 million dollars domestic that wasn’t a franchise or cameo appearance was over 10 years ago in “Erin Brokovich.” Yes, “Eat Pray Love” did solid business, but it did much better overseas. And all you have to do is look at the tepid reception of this summer’s “Larry Crowne” — featuring a seemingly one-two punch pairing of Roberts and Tom Hanks — to realize that the actress’ glory days are long behind her. She’ll try playing a baddie of sorts next spring in Tarsem‘s ridiculous looking “Mirror Mirror,” but she’s developing another movie that she hopes will get her back in the good graces of fans.
THR reports that Roberts is set to produce and star in “Second Act.” The project, which is in very early days and still needs a writer and director, zeroes in on a premise that everyone in today’s recession and economically depressed times can relate to: a woman who has never worked in her life is forced to take a job. The horror! This sounds like a logline that would have worked in the ’80s or ’90s, but given the shift in comedy to edgier, R-rated fare of late, “Second Act” feels out of step. Though, who knows, maybe it’s being developed into something much more than the concept suggests.
Anyway, Roberts will next do her thing as the Evil Queen in the spring and after that, her calendar is wide open.