It's never easy in Hollywood, especially for actresses over 40. That's the way it's been for decades. Yet, Sandra Bullock's Oscar win at age 45 makes that industry "truth" look so tired.

I wonder if Bullock's recent victory is inspiring Jennifer Aniston, 41, Jennifer Lopez, 40, and other actresses new to Hollywood's 40+ club to rethink that ageist outlook and just go for it?

"If she can do it why not us? It's not impossible. We've got talent, too." You can almost hear the hints of bigger career ambitions burning under all that beautiful, long, highlighted hair.

Success in Hollywood is a crapshoot at best. And yes, Aniston and Lopez could get lucky one day, just as some say Bullock did with her performance in "The Blind Side."

But let's get real here.

Can cheesy romcoms -- the kind that have defined Aniston's movie career since "Friends" wrapped in 2004 -- really get this girl to the Oscar podium?

According to IMDB, these are the movies she has upcoming or in development. You get that sense of "same-old same old" from the titles.

  • Counter Clockwise
  • Pumas
  • You Are Here
  • Holler
  • The Divorce Party
  • Chemistry
  • Getting Rid of Matthew
  • Love: Todd
  • The Goree Girls
  • Just Go with It

Can more predictable career choices like "The Bounty Hunter" keep Aniston golden at the box office?

Aniston's films like 2004's "Along Came Polly," 2005's "Rumor Has It," 2006's "The Break-Up" and others have made money over the years. According to the lifetime gross total for all of Aniston's films is US$967,730,445. The average figure is US$48,386,522.

But The Bounty Hunter shows a slump, making $38.4 million dollars in its first 10 days of release. It's not a dud but is it original?

Certainly her marriage to Brad Pitt didn't hurt Aniston's appeal. Yet even without her hood-ornament ex-husband, Aniston's fans continue to think of her as the epitome of the girl-next-door.

She's got charm, they'll tell you. She's got legs -- as Aniston revealed at every turn in "The Bounty Hunter." She's just the kind of woman we can relate to.

Maybe that explains Aniston's next movie role in the summer flick "The Switch." She plays an unmarried 40-something who turns to a turkey baster to become pregnant.

J.Lo explores the same theme in her upcoming movie "The Back-Up Plan."

These issues do touch audiences. They do smack of real-life truthfulness, particularly to an audience of female viewers that Hollywood continues to underserve.

But Aniston ends up playing a "star" on screen, instead of acting. The scripts are so lame you can't help but think all the way through the movie, "That's Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler."

Being a star is all about image. Being an actress requires taking risks.