Katherine Heigl came out of Knocked Up smelling like a rose. The actress – who started in film and television at a very young age – came across as a formidable leading lady. She made you believe that she might have a relationship with Seth Rogen. She was also on a hit TV show. The world was hers. Cut to: four lesser romantic comedies later, and now she’s going to produce and star in a movie for HBO. The material is Ann Hood’s The Knitting Circle, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Heigl gained a quick on-screen acceptance, but the tabloid side of fame did her no favors. The romantic comedy requires an audience to have sympathy for their protagonists, even though they look like movie stars (and Heigl is undeniably attractive). Since the driving force of these successes seem to come from female audiences, that Heigl came off as unpleasant and coarse has done her no favors.

The other problem is that as an actress she’s good enough, but the romantic comedy genre has written itself into a hole over the last coupe of years. We’ve seen it tried to be rebooted (as it were) for the modern era, but the majority of romantic comedies often are based on unbelievable premises, and require a lot of labor to get to a third act that keeps their couple apart. None of this is necessarily Heigl’s fault, but if the films aren’t good and your public behavior is alienating, your star wattage goes down.

Perhaps HBO is the place for Heigl to flex some acting muscles, or perhaps her romantic comedy star is winding down. Either or.

Are you still a fan of Katherine Heigl?