Theories For Peer Review: The Pinkett-Berry Effect

I couldn’t resist.

We’ve spoken anecdotally about the cinematographic shortcomings of Halle Berry and Jada Pinkett-Smith (see comments) but in light of slb’s review of “Lakeview Terrace”, G.D. and I move for the formal recognition of the Pinkett-Berry Effect.

This theory proposes that the presence of either actress in a motion picture is a reliable indicator of general suckitude. It should be understood that the presence of either Pinkett-Smith or Berry need not be the cause* of a movie’s suckage but may serve either as a correlational variable or a mediating factor amplifying other precursors for suckage, thus enhancing the general impression of overall suckitude.

Exceptions to this rule primarily fall under the Halle Berry Paradox. These include films that have been tolerable despite Berry’s mediocre performances and those she was involved in as a producer (see “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” and “Lackawanna Blues” ). Upcoming features in which Berry produces and also stars (“Tulia”, “Class Act” and “Frankie and Alice”) may provide needed insight on whether the Pinkett-Berry Effect is more powerful than the Halle Berry Paradox.

As noted by G.D. ,the Pinkett-Berry Effect is not limited to black actresses but is paralleled by the Kate Beckinsale Effect.

Overbrook Entertainment’s production of “Lakeview Terrace” may indicate that the Pinkett-Berry Effect extends to projects even tangentially related to Pinkett-Smith, but this hypothesis requires further evidence for support.

Other theories of interest include the Fox-Pinkett Dual Process wherein the suckage of Vivica A. Fox** and Jada Pinkett-Smith create a positive feedback loop which has the effect of exponentially increasing the suckitude of a given film (see “Kingdom Come” and “Set It Off”).

* Make no mistake though, there’s plenty of evidence for their presence causing a movie to suck – there’s  no way you can explain away ridiculous efforts like “Catwoman” or “Woo”.

** I’ve never understood the inclusion of her middle initial. Is there another C-List actress named Vivica Fox that we’re unaware of?

  • rakia

    Halle is a better actress than most Postbourgie-ers (seemingly) give her credit for. She’s been in some clunkers, yes, but I like her acting.

    Jada is a different breed. Jada can act her ass off, but b/c of her husband’s Big Willy-ness, she hasn’t been able to have the career she originally sought out. So she’s been doing more behind the scenes stuff: producing, writing children’s books, getting her God-awful rock band off the ground. But I like Jada a lot. She’s just had an uneven start as a producer and whatnot. But check it: she’s the executive producer for The Secret Life of Bees, which looks like it *could* be a hit this fall. Nevermind that it’s largely miscast (that’s another thread entirely). But I think Jada’s still finding her sea legs behind the scenes. And I think she’ll have a ton of longevity b/c her portfolio is diverse, so to speak.

    Now Vivica. *shaking head* That’s a whole ‘nother story all together. Vivica is a CLASSIC one-note actress. If the role calls for her to be some neck-rolling, curse-you-out-in-a-heartbeat, ghetto, loud chick, then Vivica’s all over it. Because that’s who Vivica IS. In which case, is she really acting, people. When asked to reel all that ghetto-ness in, she can’t act he way out a paper bag. Vivica has no range. At all. And unrelated to anything really, let me just add that Vivica’s plastic surgery has done her no good. Her nose is all screwed up now.

  • Honestly I think Woo is the worst movie I have ever seen in my life..and that’s being honest

    I have to agree that for the notoriety of both Jada and Halle they don’t seem up to par, at least not for the amount of fame they both have. Its almost as if they are acting..just because, there is oftentimes no passion in their acting which in turn makes people like me say..oh another movie with Halle or oh Jada is in a new movie..should I even bother to see it? There are far better actresses out there, for example, I love Angela Bassett, Alfre Woodard, Kimberly Elise and Regina THEY have what it takes to make you want to see a movie. They display their skills in every movie and for each movie they appear it.they bring something to it, unlike Jada and Halle.

  • rakia

    BlackGirl — I agree with you wholeheartedly on the Angela Bassett and Regina King tip. Alfre dealing with age-ism now. And Kimberly Elise, while a fine dramatic actress, also seems a little one-note to me. She’s been playing the same roll over and over for a few years now.

  • slb

    i think that might have more to do with typecasting than with elise being one-note. i could be wrong about that, but it’s not like anyone’s gonna hire her as the femme fatale. more often, she’ll be the woman scorned, the junkie turned good turned bad, or the beleagured, nearly-lineless mother beside denzel or forest or whomever.

    and all the while, she’ll be crying.

  • I agree with you both on Elise..and I will say that typecsting does play a major part as far as the roles she plays..but hey she does pick those roles and honestly who plays a scorned, angry black woman who will be crying the entire time better than Elise? lol

  • ladyfresshh

    I’ll have to excuse myself from this proceeding as i generally see sci-fi fantasy films and realize i haven’t not seen a halle berry movie in quite a long time because of my movie preference.

  • LH

    As an aside, Fox explained that her middle initial functions as an indefinite article, i.e., Vivica is a fox.

  • rakia

    Vivica A. Stupid

  • kaya


  • I’m guessing that there is another Vivica Fox in the Actor’s Guild so Aunt Viv had to add the C.

    I don’t think Halle and Jada are bad actresses at all. Neither of them are offered the diverse roles that white starlets of the week get routinely.

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  • Sherry Henderson

    Jada over acts in everything she does. I cannot explain Halle’s acting other then to say “weekly tv movie, of lifetime network goddess”.