is Hollywood. That's what happens when your celebrity persona is a steady stream of glamour, endorsement deals, and a personal fragrance. Most importantly, she is a historic contender. Berry broke down racial barriers as the first and only African American to win Best Actress at the 2002 Academy Awards. She took that Oscar in hand and represented something larger than herself, an idea she passionately put in her acceptance speech.
Nobody can take that victory away from her, but there is also no denying that she followed this up by making out with Fred Durst and sniffing catnip as Patience Phillips in Catwoman. More recently, she's been in the news for her fiance beating the father of her child, and starring in a WWE co-production in a bad wig. Next year, she'll wear another questionable hairpiece as Storm in X-Men: Days Of Future Past. She's as notable for her Razzie at this point, which she also graciously accepted, than her game changing performance in Monster's Ball.
This has bothered me for years. But you know what? I'm over it. There's a fine line between love and hate, and I'm currently obsessed with the Bond bombshell in all of her weird forms (but not in the I-had-to-call-911-stalker kinda way). Here are five reasons why.
1) Fictional Halle puts Erin Brokovich to shame
had her Oscar moment portraying real life badass Erin Brokovich. While it's notable to prove that PG&E was covering up harmful levels of chromium in water, it's child's play in Halle's weird world.
Halle singlehandedly showed the harmful side effects of Hedare Beauty's Beau-Line skin care regimen. And she didn't do it in court. After being flushed down some pipes like a throwaway golfish, she came back as a cat and showed everyone once and for all that the only real justice isn't in the form of a gavel; it's done in vigilante black leather, great one-liners, and an epic Sharon Stone beatdown in Catwoman:
Halle has also solved crimes via the paranormal. Imagine yourself as a psychiatrist suddenly waking up as a patient accused of murdering your husband after encountering some kind of ghost creature. You'd probably freak out, right? Not Halle. After putting the puzzle pieces together in Gothika, Halle solves the case like an A-class boss:
Finally, Halle Berry decided to solve one case like in the 1990s: Seduction. You can't really argue with that. After her childhood friend is murdered, she gets involved with the primary suspect, an ad exec played by , in Perfect Stranger. In the end, there's a major twist, in which Halle teaches us that sometimes the greatest mystery can be solved by looking in a mirror. Thanks for that, Halle!
Yes, these movies are universally derided, but they also pair well with movies like Enough, The Cell, and Anaconda if you want to have a diva day.
2) Halle Berry invented everything that's good about the Internet
If you thought Space Jam's Website was the best online portal of all time, then you haven't been to Hallewood. Halle taught us more about the WWW (LOL) than fighting the Praetorians in The Net. Featuring beauty tips, workout routines, and couple of random dogs that yelp over bumping beats, Halle transcends her movie roles to give you a personal look at her life. It may almost be as embarrassing as Movie 43, but it's also undeniably endearing. Here's an unedited excerpt from a section called "Halle: The Real Story:"
When Halle Berry closes her eyes and dreams of her two favorite places she imagines sitting in a charming little bistro in Paris, perhaps hoisting a glass of bubbly Perrier, or she spirits herself away to her mother's house in Cleveland, a retreat overlooking Lake Erie, far away from the glittering lights of New York, Los Angeles, and yes even Paris."
I want to be there with you, Halle!
3) Halle has impeccable comedic timing
Roger Ebert wrote this about Halle Berry's film B.A.P.S:
My guess is that African Americans will be offended by the movie, and whites will be embarrassed. The movie will bring us all together, I imagine, in paralyzing boredom.
Ebert obviously walked out before Halle explained a bidet to her partner in crime, . Quite frankly, this movie is offensive on certain levels. There's no reason why Halle's Nisi should be the most ratchet wannabe real housewife of Atlanta you could possibly imagine. Still, I think people will look back on this movie with a certain fondness. It's true that the rich/poor, black/white dynamic is played out, but the fact of the matter is we root for Nisi. We want her to find love and happiness on her terms. Most importantly, it's about that true kind of Laurel & Hardy friendship that allows you to joke around and be as ridiculous as you want to be:
Halle also proved that she has a self-deprecating sense of humor when she accepted the Razzie for Worst Actress, Oscar in hand:
It showed that Halle could be in on the joke of how ridiculous and wonderful she is. There's an aura of Halle taking herself too seriously in the media. Clearly, this is far from the truth.
Finally, she also taught us what happens to a toad when it's struck by lightning. The punchline may not have worked in 2000, but it makes me happy now. Too happy:
4) She's captivating
We knew this, but sometimes it's easy to forget when you're yelling that should've been Ororo Monroe, Mistress of the Elements. I don't care who you are or where you're from, you want to watch Halle no matter what. This is especially true since that Hurricane Chris song, "Halle Berry (She Fine)".
Halle is gorgeous. I want to see her turn out some amazing photo shoots, in addition to continually looking better than everyone else on the red carpet.
5) We know she can still bring the box office bucks
Oh, so you thought The Call would fail at the box office? Think again. Reportedly on a budget of $15 million, predictors and naysayers said it wouldn't make close to that. But, the movie shot to second place it's opening weekend, behind the juggernaut Oz The Great and Powerful, with $17 million. Audiences graded it as a B-plus on Cinemascore. This is Berry's biggest opener for a non-X-Men movie in over a decade! It proves that she's still a force, a storm even, to be reckoned with. It also shows that she might be able to leave the past ten years behind her as a blip on a new, engaging phase in her career.
Audiences are with me. It took over a decade to get behind , but we've turned a corner. Do you have any favorite Halle moments? Are you still a Halle hater? Let me know why you love or hate (or love to hate) the one and only Miss Berry.