Alison Brie

Alison Brie Mad Men

Writer/director/playwright Leslye Headland has a knack for writing uncomfortably honest characters that aren’t afraid to get messy when it comes to the game of love. Although her Bachelorette didn’t make a fan out of me when it premiered back at Sundance 2012, the film has steadily grown on me over time, and Headland’s recent crack at rescripting About Last Night for a new audience is unabashedly funny and just plain brave. The multi-hyphenate is now turning her particular charms to Sleeping With Other People, her next film project that looks to dive deep into the dark heart of modern love. The film is already set to star Jason Sudeikis, but it recently lost its leading lady (Kirsten Dunst, who previously starred in Bachelorette) when the actress needed to drop out of the project due to scheduling conflicts. The film centers on a womanizer — played by Sudeikis — who falls for a serial cheater (who would have been played by Dunst), so it’s pretty essential to cast that leading lady ASAP. But who could it be? According to THR, it just might be the sweet-faced Alison Brie.

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Batman and Wyldstyle in The Lego Movie

It’s late, so let’s party. Circulating around the Internet today is a blooper reel for The Lego Movie. It’s so indescribably lovely to see this movie getting some lasting attention, especially when it leads long remembrance pieces about Clone High, the MTV ‘toon by the same very talented filmmakers. And when it gives me a reason to remind you of the time we talked them into telling us about what Clone High season two would’ve been like. That, and The Lego Movie is one of the happiest filmgoing experience of this and many other years. And its blooper reel is exactly the delight you’d expect from Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Also, Alison Brie says “hoo-hoos,” and we mean the naughty kind. Watch below.

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Alison-Brie-strange

What is Casting Couch? A rundown of the day’s most notable casting news, concerning actors as new to the film world as young Iain De Caestecker or as seasoned as the spicy Kim Basinger. No discrimination here. Mad Men and Community beauty Alison Brie has once again found time in her schedule to do some work up on the big screen. Variety is reporting that she’ll be joining Justin Chatwin and Colin Hanks in the cast of a new indie called No Stranger Than Love. The story here is a weird one, as apparently Brie will be playing a small town art teacher who intends on starting an affair with the married football coach at her school, but whose plans get interrupted when he’s sucked into an inter-dimensional hole that appears on her living room floor. See? Weird.

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Kings of Summer

I knew I recognized Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts‘ name, and it took me a second, but then I realized that he’s the mind behind the incredibly funny short film Successful Alcoholics – a realization that instantly put this coming of age tale on my personal must-see list. Of course I’m late to the game because tons of people have been eagerly awaiting this one since it emerged from Sundance with a lot of love, showcased a fun trailer, and boasted a stellar cast that includes Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Megan Mullally, Mary Lynn Rajskub and several newcomers. Now its red band trailer is here, and while there aren’t a ton of adult situations in it, it’s easy to see why the road to maturity detours through a phase of slicing fruit mid-air in your own personal paradise. Check it out for yourself:

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LilyCollins

What is Casting Couch? An attempt at keeping you in the loop regarding all of your favorite actors’ careers. Today we’ve got new jobs for lovely ladies Emilia Clarke and Alison Brie as well as lovable lads Daniel Radcliffe and Logan Lerman. The pre-production history of the film adaptation of author Seth Grahame Smith’s “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is a long and troubled one. To the point where you basically wish Regina George could tell Hollywood to stop trying to make the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies thing happen. But, alas, it looks like the movie has emerged from development hell into development purgatory once again. Variety is reporting that this time around they’ve attached Lily Collins to star as the Elizabeth Bennet character, with Charlie St. Cloud helmer Burr Steers apparently on board to direct. Here we go again…

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Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 8.53.14 PM

I am female. And because of that, I am quite happy that I didn’t have to experience the 1960s firsthand. Really glad, in fact. This week’s episode of Mad Men, “The Collaborators,” written by Matthew Weiner and Jonathan Igla and directed by none other than Don Draper himself, Jon Hamm, offers quite a powerful meditation on the rather hideous manner in which women were treated. Not since last season’s “The Other Woman,” in which Joan is offered as collateral for Jaguar rep Herb has a Mad Men episode created such a palpable unease as you watch female characters get pigeonholed as whores, belittled in the workplace, or deal with their tricky nature of their own bodies. “The Other Woman,” however, was a far superior episode. This one suffered from the heavy-handedness in which nascent director Hamm employed the use of flashback. Several times, he cut from scenes between Don and Sylvia to a tween Dick Whitman arriving with his pregnant mother to her sister’s brothel. These flashback scenes were problematic for many reasons – chiefly because they drove home the thread of “women as unfair sex object” way too hard. While it’s usually a good thing to get the rare glimpse into the man-that-became-Don-Draper, these scenes are largely unneeded. We get the point. Also, in terms of Hamm’s direction in these scenes… it’s obvious. The young bumpkin Dick Whitman looks not unlike Alfred E. Newman. The prostitutes act like stock characters from an old time-y movie, and all other characters look like they stepped out from an […]

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Toy

Sharp-tongued Joe Toy (Nick Robinson) is frustrated with his life – his overbearing father (Nick Offerman) does not understand him, his older sister Heather (Alison Brie) no longer lives at home, and he cannot seem to get a minute to himself without someone barging in on him. Joe is not alone in his frustration, his best friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) is also feeling trapped with two helicopter parents (Megan Mullally and Marc Evan Jackson) who are constantly bombarding him with inane questions. The two boys want (need) to get out, and Joe comes up with a plan to let them do just that. After escaping a party that was suddenly broken up, Joe finds himself lost in the woods alongside the very strange (but insanely funny) Biaggio (Moises Arias.) The two happen upon a secluded section of the forrest and as Joe looks around at the lush landscape, inspiration strikes and he rushes home to tell Patrick he has a solution to their problems – they are going to build their own house to live in.

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Culture Warrior

It’s nothing new to say that the term “independent filmmaking” has come to no longer reference the actual practice of making films outside the studio system, and alerts more directly to an aesthetic of hipness. That the cute-and-quirky consecutive multi-Oscar nominees Little Miss Sunshine and Juno were similarly marketed by Fox Searchlight as “independent films” despite the fact that the former was actually produced independently and the latter was funded by studio dollars, effectively put the nail in the coffin for actual independent filmmaking to have any meaningful visibility. Meanwhile, first-time directors who make their name at Sundance like Marc Webb, Doug Liman, and Seth Gordon quickly reveal themselves to be aspiring directors-for-hire rather than anti-Hollywood renegades. Tom DiCillo, Hal Hartley, and Jim Jarmusch seem ever more like naïve, idealist relics each passing year. It’s clear what the blurring of the lines between independence and studio filmmaking has meant for the mainstream: as my friend and colleague Josh Coonrod pointed out last week, it renders “platform release” synonymous with “independent,” it means that movies featuring Bradley Cooper and Bruce Willis are the top competitors at the “Independent” Spirit Awards (see the John Cassavetes Award for actual independents), and it means that Quentin Tarantino is, for some reason, still considered an independent filmmaker. American independent filmmaking has lost its ideological reason for being. But when it comes to films that are actually independently financed – films for whom the moniker is less an appeal toward cultural capital and more an accurate […]

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Save the Date trailer

Editor’s note: Save the Date arrives in theaters this Friday. RSVP now with a re-run of our Sundance review, originally posted on January 25, 2012. It would be foolish to deny that there is a certain kind of “Sundance romance” film – minor affairs that chronicle the beautiful and directionless as they stumble through the motions in an attempt to find something real. Most of the time, these films take place somewhere in East Los Angeles (Echo Park, Silverlake, Los Feliz), and usually there’s someone in a band. There is always a bevy of navel-gazing that occurs. Meeting those criteria for this year’s festival is Michael Mohan‘s Save the Date. The film centers on a pair of sisters (Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie, charmers both) who have very different expectations of and desires for love. Caplan’s Sarah is a commitment-phobe who is about to move in with her long-term boyfriend (Geoffrey Arend as Kevin), while Brie’s Beth is about to marry Kevin’s best friend and bandmate, Andrew (Martin Starr). Cue conflicts.

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What is Casting Couch? Today it’s proof that if you star in something about sexy young vampires, you will continue to get more work. Warner Bros.’ Lego movie already had names like Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, and Morgan Freeman signed for its voice cast, thus making a stupid-sounding idea suddenly seem promising, but now they’ve really gone and made Lego into a movie that you can start looking forward to. Deadline reports that the film has just added Will Ferrell to its cast as the bad guy, President Business, Liam Neeson as the bad guy’s main henchman, Bad Cop, Parks and Rec’s mustachioed Nick Offerman as a revenge-obsessed pirate, and Community’s cheery-voiced Disney Princess Alison Brie as a member of the protagonist’s team who holds a powerful secret. That may just be the weirdest/most fun cast ever assembled, and it almost makes up for the fact that the movie is going to be in 3D.

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Save the Date trailer

Will film audiences ever tire of watching indie romances about twenty-somethings struggling to find love set against the backdrop of their struggling to break into creative fields? Or is there something just so satisfying about wallowing in other people’s struggles and acknowledging that you’re not the only one who’s completely confused about life that we’ll continue to line up for these movies time and time again? Filmmaker Michael Mohan is clearly betting on the latter notion, because his latest project, Save the Date, looks like every romance about confused young people that you’ve ever seen. There are a few big reasons why his work could be a step above the last couple you’ve seen though, a few reasons that look a lot like Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend, and Mark Webber. Caplan has been putting in strong supporting performances for years now, so the chance to see her step up and take the lead should be a pleasant one. And Alison Brie, this girl is so beloved that an entire Internet subculture has sprung up around celebrating just how amazing she is. Strong casting there, indeed.

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This week, I am taking a little guest spot here in one of my favorite new FSR columns, Print to Projector. Because like Dr. Abaius, I sometimes read. And like Dr. Abaius, I also sometimes put down a book that I’ve just read — and somewhat understood — and say “hey, this should be a movie.” With that in mind, I would like to submit this entry…

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Dynamic duo Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel continue their tangled professional careers together in The Five-Year Engagement, unlike the last film in which the pair split writing, with Stoller directing and Segel starring, Get Him to the Greek, their new film tackles some tough stuff in name of the comedy – marriage. The film centers on Segel’s Tom and Emily Blunt‘s Violet and their stumble to the altar. From the film’s first scenes, it’s obvious that Tom and Violet are very much in love, but a series of big life events that have nothing to do with their nuptials steadily pile up until it looks as if their five-year engagement will be just that, an engagement, with no wedding at the end. In the style of Stoller and Segel’s previous works, the film is both funny and true, and the addition of Judd Apatow as producer and a cast that includes Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Mindy Kaling, Rhys Ifans, Kevin Hart, Chris Parnell, and Brian Posehn only pumps up the film’s improv-influenced laughs. The press junket for The Five-Year Engagement was a laidback affair, and one that drove home the point that the film was a collaborative effort between people who actually like each other. Comprised of four roundtables of paired talent, your faithful Reject and a group of other online journalist spent time talking to Segel and Blunt, Nicholas Stoller and Judd Apatow, Brie and Kaling, and Parnell and Posehn. Revelations from the junket were not just confined to […]

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According to a press release, CBS Films has rounded up a fantastic cast for the upcoming movie Get A Job – which taps into the zeitgeist with frightening precision to tell the story of a group of college graduates struggling to find work alongside a father who is, surprise, also trying to find work. Why is it so exciting? For one, Bryan Cranston will be playing that father. For two, it’s being directed by Dylan Kidd – who may not be a household name, but should be after his hip indie flick Roger Dodger which paired a young Jesse Eisenberg with a brilliant Campbell Scott. For three, the rest of the cast features Anna Kendrick, Miles Teller (Rabbit Hole, Project X, How’s that for diversity?), Alison Brie, Brandon T. Jackson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nick Braun, and comedian Jay Pharaoh. That’s three great reasons to get excited about this project. Some are even multi-partite. That’s how serious this is. Also, Pharaoh’s character is named Skeezy D, so there is clearly genius at work here. Great to see CBS Films pull something excellent out of the hat here.

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The trailer for The Five-Year Engagement doesn’t make it look like a movie I’m too excited to see. Which is strange, because it’s not just the latest film from director Nicholas Stoller, it’s also his latest writing collaboration with Jason Segel, and I love pretty much everything that these guys do. I think the problem is that this one looks like it’s going to be a romantic comedy that’s a little bit heavier on the relationship drama than it will be on the comedy. I like my Jason Segel more silly and whimsical than the one I’m seeing here, dealing with the trials and tribulations of loving a woman who’s career path is taking his life in a different direction than he saw it going. On the flip side of the coin, this little two-and-a-half minute trailer is pretty much the most comedy I’ve ever seen Segel’s co-star Emily Blunt do, and she seems to be rather good at it. Not every actor can do comedy, so you’re never sure what you’re going to get until they try. The image of Kate Hudson getting shot in the leg with an arrow really doesn’t do much for me, but when it happens to Blunt here I got my one solid laugh from the trailer. Emily Blunt certainly isn’t my issue. Check out the first trailer for The Five-Year Engagement after the break.

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Scream 4 couldn’t have been an easy film to make. Rumored production issues aside — and the fact that movies are just hard to make in general – Wes Craven had to reignite a post-modern franchise after an eleven-year absence. What happened during all those years? Homages, rip offs, and more self-loving meta horror films. The Scream films have influenced many horror installments over the past decade, so what genre trope is left to make a snarky comment on? Not many. Besides that, being meta in itself is a gigantic hurdle to overcome. For one, there’s often a certain degree of smugness that’s attached to that type of tone. Watching a film that goes all, “Look how smart and clever we are!” is like listening to an annoying know-it-all. And, more often than not, those type of films become exactly what they were making fun of. Self-referential can easily turn into self-parody, as Wes Craven mentions below. Here’s what he had to say about carefully deconstructing the genre, his young filmmaker sensibility versus his older one, and more:

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There’s a new romantic comedy in the works, and the cast that it’s assembled so far is an awesome mix of people I love from Judd Apatow shows, people I love from Party Down, and girls that I have crushes on (with some Mad Men connections thrown in for good measure). Save the Date is based on characters from the graphic novels of Jeffrey Brown. Brown’s comic work is smaller, more autobiographical than the super hero stuff that typically gets adapted from the world of sequential art. This story is about two sisters, one who is relatively unconcerned about the future and is therefore dating a musician, and another who is obsessed with planning her upcoming wedding down to every detail. Michael Mohan will be co-writing with Brown and directing. But that’s not really the exciting part of this news for me. The exciting part is the cast.

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Why Watch? Because all week long we’ll be featuring short films featuring the gang from Community. Today’s features the dramatic side of Alison Brie. To break up the all the comedy that’s been hitting this column during Community week, here’s a taut short about a father’s impossible decision to do right by his daughter by killing the man who destroyed her life. Brie plays the daughter, and is featured minorly here, but the film grabs you by the balls in the first scene, grabs you by your emotional balls in the next, and doesn’t let go even after the credits roll. That’s thanks to the writing and direction of Mark Apicella as well as a hell of a tortured performance from Brian Keith Russell. How do you make a decision that takes another man’s life? What Will It Cost? Just 16 minutes of your time. Check out Salvation, Texas for yourself:

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I was already pretty pumped just at the announcement that Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel were going to be working together again. Their first film collaboration Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one of my favorite comedies of the last decade and the idea of them reteaming for Five Year Engagement had me at hello. But since then they’ve just kept making this movie sound cooler and cooler. From the very beginning Emily Blunt was cast as Segel’s love interest in the film. I defy you to find someone who doesn’t like them some Emily Blunt. Score one point. movie. But it didn’t stop there. The wonderful people behind this film then went on to cast the funny and adorable Alison Brie to play Blunt’s younger sister. After that they filled things out by adding the ridiculously charismatic Rhys Ifans and the next big thing in comedy Chris Pratt for supporting roles. Could things get any better? Well, yes, and they have.

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Nicholas Stoller knocked it out of the park with Jason Segal in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He then seemed to save the best bits for P. Diddy in Get Him to the Greek. That second attempt was a mixed bag, but that scientifically proves that Segal is the key to success. Thus, the forthcoming Five-Year Engagement will be comedy gold. The movie shows the highs and lows of a couple, played by Emily Blunt and Segal, and according to Variety, Community‘s Alison Brie is joining the cast as Blunt’s younger sister. She’ll, of course, have to rock a British accent. No word yet on whether she’ll call in Geoffrey Rush to help with it. It’s undoubtedly a great addition to a project that already sounds fantastic. With any luck, it’ll have the right blend of drama and comedy that made Sarah Marshall work and will leave out any awkward threesomes that made Get Him to the Greek fail. Speaking of awkward Eiffel Towers, this marks the second time Stoller will work with a leading lady from Mad Men as Elizabeth Moss was in Greek. If that trend continues, we’ll be hearing about January Jones and Christina Hendricks joining his next. If that’s the case, there’s a ton of internet fanfic to choose from for the adaptation.

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