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Where Do We Currently Stand on Jessica Biel?

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Jessica Biel is pure enigma, a riddle wrapped inside a Justin Timberlake dance move. Is she the sultry sex symbol who posed in Gear Magazine (R.I.P.), much to the annoyance of her "7th Heaven" producers? Is she the bright-eyed lass who stole Freddie Prinze Jr.'s heart in "Summer Catch" or the Cameron Crowe-approved actor whom he made one of the heavies in "Elizabethtown"? Or perhaps none of the above?

Even a cursory YouTube search of "Jessica Biel Acting" reveals that the Internet finds her to be "hot" and enjoys compilations of her in various stages of undress. Essentially, is this the encapsulation of Jessica Biel:

Or perhaps you'd prefer:

That's quite the nightmare she's entrapped herself in, isn't it? There are shades and echoes of Megan Fox and Katherine Heigl in there, all rolled into one taut ball of poor script choices. To continue piling on (and don't worry, this is going to get more kind in short order), you could look at a list of her "misses" and weep for our future. For instance:

• "Stealth"
• "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry"
• "Next"
• "Total Recall"

Yikes. Those are the type of films you leave off the ol' resume, hoping the person you interview with doesn't have Google.

Still, we think there's more to her and we're on the verge of seeing it manifest itself. First in the "Jessica Biel Comeback" story is her collaboration with David O. Russell ("The Fighter," "Silver Linings Playbook"). Although it will never actually become a movie you'll see on the big screen due to massive amounts of financing drama, it still indicates bigger and better things. Quick, name a bad David O. Russell movie! Can't be done. Though he's reputedly difficult to work with, all of his films are around 1,000 miles ahead of anything Biel has done prior. Working with great directors is play number one in the actor's handbook — Christian Bale, Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio all exemplify this technique to a tee.

So that's our first piece of evidence. Now it's time to get conceptual with the next item in our reclamation project.

In terms of movies that actually exist, she also starred in "Hitchcock" earlier this year. "The Prestige" is a feather in her cap, and one can't ignore the cheeky fun of "The A-Team." We also wouldn't discount the influence of her new hubby, Justin Timberlake, a fellow who has made many a savvy career choice after seemingly being pigeon-holed into boy band purgatory. Are we saying love is patient, kind, and helps you make better career choices? We are.

Now, it won't happen because J.T. has better taste in scripts — though he does — it will happen because her personal life will (theoretically) be happier … thus facilitating her making better life choices. She'll pass on terrible scripts to spend time with Justin. The work she does will become more valuable to her as she shares her life with another human. Sure, that's a long way to go, Jessica Biel morphing into a factor on the actor front, but it's far better than the idea that she was just put into this world to provide leading men a blank slate to riff off of (Hi Gerard Butler!).

As such, we plan on buying Jessica Biel stock as soon as we're able. Where do we currently stand on Jessica Biel? There's nowhere to go but up.

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