Alia Shawkat

Cohen Media Group

A second feature is often about risk. Cherien Dabis‘s first film, Amreeka, is an almost archetypal example of the debut America indie hit. It premiered at Sundance, gathered some excellent reviews and picked up three Independent Spirit Award nominations. The touching and occasionally quite funny story of an immigrant Palestinian Christian single mother living with her sister’s family in Illinois, it made for a charming arrival. Its success also challenges Dabis to do something different the second time around, to take a few risks and make the case that her style is versatile beyond the borders of light-hearted suburban social commentary. May in the Summer certainly tries to be a leap forward. Dabis’s most perilous choice was to cast herself in the lead role despite having no prior film acting experience. She plays May, the daughter of a devout Palestinian Christian woman (Hiam Abbass) and a somewhat flippant American diplomat (Bill Pullman). They’re unhappily, bitterly divorced. They raised their children in the United States, but both currently live in Amman. May lives in New York, but she’s returned to the Jordanian capital to plan her wedding to Ziad (Alexander Siddig), a Columbia professor. He’s Muslim, which horrifies her mother. The narrative stems from this conflict, with May’s two sisters Yasmine (Nadine Malouf) and Dalia (Alia Shawkat) along for the ride.


trailer to do list

I know what you’re thinking. “Sexy women are one thing, but funny women? Next you’ll be telling me there are women who are both sexy and funny!” Well I’m here to tell you it’s true. History is filled with examples, but for the sake of argument let’s go ahead and label this new redband trailer for the upcoming The To Do List as exhibit A. It’s the feature debut of writer/director Maggie Carey who, as the name suggests, is in fact a woman. The film stars Aubrey Plaza in only her second lead role as a recent high school grad named Brandy who allows peer pressure to lead her down a very dirty road indeed. Convinced by her older sister (Rachel Bilson) that college is just wall to wall penises Brandy decides to spend her summer vacation doing all the naughty things she’s never done (and in some cases never even heard of) before. Set in 1993, the film looks to be filled with reminders of a very special time in most of our lives. Interpret “special” how ever you’d like. Take a stroll down memory lane (or not) with the new trailer for The To Do List.


She Said

The premise of That’s What She Said sounded like it could be funny enough, with a trio of seemingly oddball women coming together for a day of slightly mad-cap adventures throughout the streets of New York to get Bebe (Marcia DeBonis) ready for her big date that night. Things start out amusing enough with clearly neurotic Bebe constantly calling her probably still drunk from the night before best friend Dede (Anne Heche) to plan their day. Bebe is already primping at 7:30am while Dede (yes – these are their names) barely notices when she falls off her own bed making it clear that the two are polar opposites, but you get the sense that they have been friends long enough to know (and put up with) each other’s less than favorable traits. The day gets off to a bad start with Dede already in a bad mood (although it seems she is always this way) and Bebe having taken a very upset (and constantly crying) Clementine (Alia Shawkat) under her wing. Clementine has just gone through a breakup and is not shy about sharing every (every) intimate detail of her now defunct relationship. Dede is the picture of constant support and symphony while Bebe could care less, until a sudden near run-in with an ex of her own causes the idea of Clementine joining their group the least of Dede’s concerns.



It’s about time more lady-centric comedies popped up in theaters, and the success of Bridesmaids (and what appears to be an insatiable demand for a sequel) should usher in a bit of a golden age for the mini-genre. If that’s so, it’s no shock that such a female-driven sex comedy would show its goods at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Carrie Preston‘s That’s What She Said will surely be the butt of many jokes around Park City come next week, so it’s fitting that we’re getting the film’s first trailer to warm up the Michael Scott in all of us. The film stars Anne Heche as DeeDee (Heche was at last year’s Sundance with Cedar Rapids) and Marcia DeBonis as her best friend Bebe (you might recognize DeBonis as Jennifer Garner’s put-upon assistant from 13 Going On 30). Both unlucky in love, DeeDee is trying to heal herself up with bad habits (lots of smoking), while hopeless romantic Bebe thinks she might have finally met her match. A pretty standard plot, right? Well, that’s probably why Maeby Fünke herself, Alia Shawkat, gets tossed in with her own messed up notions about love. Shawkat’s Clementine is a sex addict, and it looks as if her boundary-pushing just might force DeeDee and Bebe to rethink their own choices. Plus, you know, sex and cigarettes. That’s What She Said will have its World Premiere at Sundance on Friday, January 20, with three additional screenings throughout the festival. Check out the film’s official trailer […]


news_arrested development movie

Since its cancellation in 2006, fans of the extremely cult-hit Arrested Development have been clamoring for a film continuation to their beloved series. In the years since, the project has been off and on more times than Edward and Bella’s wedding plans, but today series creator Mitch Hurwitz, along with the rest of the cast at The New Yorker Festival dropped some news that should send all fans into a tail spin. If the announcement is to believed, it has been confirmed that the series is set to return for a 9-10 episode mini-series that would lead directly into a motion picture. The mini-series would serve the purpose of explaining what all the various lead characters have been doing for the last five years and each episode would focus on a single character. In addition to this, Deadline was able to obtain information that Showtime and Netflix were in talks with 20th Century Fox Television (who owns the property) to broadcast the mini-series which is supposedly set for an early 2013 air date. Got all that? Good, because here’s the hitch…



The comedy talent for The Handjob is swelling with Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman, Donald Glover, Connie Britton, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, and Johnny Simmons. The film is being written and directed by Bill Hader’s comedian wife Maggie Carey. That’s not to say that he has a drama wife, too. It’s meant to show that she’s also professionally funny. The modifier placement is just weird. Regardless, Hader expounded on the plot to The Playlist recently, saying “It’s about her playing an type-A, studious girl who graduates high school and hasn’t done anything with a guy. The summer before college she decides that she has to find out how to do everything in order to be properly prepared, so she makes a very serious bullet list of everything, like… hand-job, titty-fuck, blow-job, fingering, and just kinda checks one off every time she does it. She’s being the aggressor and is very straight-forward about it, like ‘Okay, so I’m going to give you a hand-job now.’ And the guys are very taken aback about it, especially her straight-laced friends.” Sold.



This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr woos the FSR audience on a Date Night before giving a grade to the high school rockers in The Runaways



Girl Power! Thanks to Whip It, Ellen Page, Alia Shawkat, and Sean Tillmann will be stitching and bitching on HBO.



“SNL” Alum Jimmy Fallon and “Arrested Development’s” Alia Shawkat want in on the roller derby flick, Whip It!.

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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