Amy Poehler

Millennium Entertainment

If Matthew Weiner‘s name wasn’t on Are You Here, you never would’ve guessed this movie came from the mind behind Mad Men. The focus, power, subtlety and charms of his AMC drama are nowhere to be found in his feature directorial debut. The staggering drop in quality is disappointing, but worse than that, even on its own terms, Are You Here is a notable misfire. Are We Here is about two seemingly different friends, Steve (Owen Wilson) and Ben (Zach Galifianakis), and how the death of Ben’s father challenges and enriches their friendship and those around them. Ben — who is considered a failure by his family — inherits most of his father’s money, which he was left to clean up his act. This delights the selfish and greedy Steve, while disappointing Ben’s sister, Terri (Amy Poehler). She had plans for her father’s shop, land and money. Since Ben is slightly unstable, she tries to fight in court that he’s not responsible enough to handle more than two million dollars. There’s more to this story, though: Steve is hovering around Ben to make sure he gets the land; Terri can’t have children; Steve is annoyed by a tree is blocking his view of a girl undressing across his apartment; and, perhaps the most sloppily handled portion of the film, Steve falls for Ben’s dad’s much younger wife, Angela (Laura Ramsey). There’s literally about five to ten minutes spent on that expendable tree subplot, by the way. It doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know about Steve, it adds […]

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Lionsgate

Joe (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) have a funny story about how they met, but it may be one you’ve heard before. David Wain and co-writer Michael Showalter pull together some familiar faces for They Came Together which sends up the romantic comedy genre with funny, and surprisingly layered, results. As Joe and Molly recount their story over dinner with their friends Karen (Ellie Kemper) and Kyle (Bill Hader) the classic tropes are quickly laid out for all four characters – Joe worked for a large corporation that threatened to put Molly’s quirky shop out of business while Karen and Kyle’s marriage may (not so secretly) be on the rocks. The script’s on-the-nose descriptions of each character (as described by the characters themselves) actually works to frame them as self-aware people forced to play out roles we have seen before and allows the hilarious cast to play within those lines.

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They Came Together

Although the romantic comedy genre isn’t what it used to be — or perhaps because the genre isn’t what it used to be — that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh about the tropes and tricks that litter the best and worst films that the wide world of rom-com has to offer. In David Wain‘s They Came Together, the director and his frequent screenwriting collaborator Michael Showalter take on the genre with their brilliant brand of satirical skewering (hey, Wet Hot American Summer, thinking of you) for one hell of a send-up of modern romances. Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler star in the film, which debuted back in January at Sundance, as a pair of unlikely (obviously) lovers who overcome some super-standard odds on the road to romance. And also comedy. A lot of comedy. The film is unrepentantly a satire, and Wain and Showalter have pulled from a stunning number of genre pictures to make their own film. They Came Together is rife with nods to other romantic comedies, and considering how many we can pick out from just two minutes of footage, we can’t wait to tally up what the finished film has to offer. But for now, let’s count all the rom-com tropes we can find in the first They Came Together trailer.

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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Baby Mama

It’s a line delivered straight out of your lady dreams, and it’s blissfully true. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live alums, former Weekend Update co-anchors, two-time Golden Globes co-hosts, occasional movie co-stars and your best friends in your mind probably are teaming up again for something new. According to Deadline, they are taking their twosome to the next level by portraying sisters (it’s the natural progression in the friendship level) in The Nest, a feature from SNL writer and all-around funny person Paula Pell. The Nest focuses on the two 30-something siblings as they take a weekend to visit their parents, only to find out that their childhood home is being sold. They take the opportunity to have one last crazy weekend together there, bonding and feuding the way that only sisters do. Eventually, of course, they’ll wind up coming to their senses when the weekend is over and do some growing up together too — with no childhood home to come back to, it’s time to be real life adults.

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Late Night Female Host

The late night chat show game has been the victim of some major shakeups and upheavals over the past few years – it’s lucky for Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon that his transition seemed to go so smoothly, because the previous attempt at ceding the show from Jay Leno to Conan O’Brien was eighteen shades of infamous ugly – but leave it to David Letterman to show everyone how classy retirement can (and should) be. Last night, Dave (always “Dave,” never “Letterman”) took to his Late Show to announce that he’s decided to retire sometime in the next year, meaning that the Late Show With David Letterman will end its run (as we know it) sometime in 2015. Letterman’s retirement closes out the end of an era – both his own and the one that saw Leno and Letterman as the only real late night choices – and subsequently signals the beginning of a new one. Who will next host the Late Show? Although Letterman has given no indication of what will happen to the actual brand, it seem impossible that CBS would go without a late night entry, so surely someone will move into the spot soon enough. There are plenty of male hosts and comedians that could take over the gig – names that have been bandied about include Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Craig Ferguson, Conan O’Brien and even Jay Leno – but isn’t it time a woman took her place behind the desk?

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They Came Together

If you’re someone who’s not immediately enchanted and enthralled by the premise of older romantic comedies that would typically star someone like, let’s say, Meg Ryan, first of all, how dare you, and secondly, you’re probably in the target demographic for David Wain‘s new film. They Came Together is a charming rom-com starring the delightful pairing of Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd — yes, Leslie Knope and Bobby Newport have to overcome their differences to mack — with a bit of a difference from what we’re used to seeing. It’s a parody of all things romantic comedy, in this case You’ve Got Mail, the 1999 Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks masterpiece in particular, and it seems like it’s not going to hold back from nailing all the cliches that these types of characters fall into when haphazardly falling in love.

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Emma Thompson 2014 Golden Globes

Another Golden Globes is behind us, and what have we learned? The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is full of surprises. Do they really think Jon Voight is great in Ray Donovan, or will they simply always love him for making Angelina Jolie? Speaking of whom, she and husband Brad Pitt were very much missed this year, even with Pitt getting the last shoutout of the night in appreciation for all he did for getting 12 Years a Slave produced — didn’t the show basically end like the awards ceremony equivalent of that controversial Italian poster for the movie? I may have done really embarrassingly awful with my predictions this year — 11 out of 15 total, 6 out of 14 for movies and 5 out 11 for television — so we’ll see if I’m allowed to do that again next year. Hopefully my live-tweeting was more successful. Give me some feedback, positive or scathing. And also see if you agree with my picks for the best parts of this year’s ceremony and telecast below.

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review free birds

Free Birds solves one of life’s great dilemmas by finally, finally granting us that animated flick about time-traveling turkeys, which we’ve dreamt of since Muybridge first filmed that horse more than 140 years ago. Rest easy, fellow moviegoers: The long, national nightmare is over. Multiplexes across the land will starting this very day welcome perplexed children and bemused parents to the story of Reg (Owen Wilson) and Jake (Woody Harrelson), who waddle inside a time-traveling egg and set their sights on 1621, where generations of turkeys depend on the menu for the first Thanksgiving being changed. There, they join forces with a heroic band of counterparts living in an underground utopia who fight a defensive war against the starving Plymouth settlers.

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Golden Globes

In what is great news for everyone, unless you really, really love Ricky Gervais and can’t find joy elsewhere, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting not only the 2014 Golden Globes, but the 2015 show as well. It’s not surprising, as the duo killed it at the 2013 Globes, bringing in 19.7m viewers, making it one of the ceremony’s most-watched programs ever. Bitches get stuff done. “Tina and Amy are two of the most talented comedic writer/performers in our business, and they were a major reason the Golden Globes was the most entertaining awards show of last season,” said NBC president of alternative and late night programming Paul Telegdy. “We’re elated they wanted to host together again and that they committed for the next two years.” Ricky Gervais hosted the show three times before they took over this year, and it was clear at that point that his act was wearing thin, drawing criticism from many who though his jokes were too “mean-spirited.” Poehler and Fey were a breath of fresh air who hit all the right notes without getting too controversial – although they did make an enemy that night in Taylor Swift after suggesting that she might go after Michael J. Fox’s teenage son. Let’s be honest; it was a valid concern.

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acod

Editor’s note: Allison’s review of A.C.O.D. originally ran during this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens in limited release. According to Carter (Adam Scott), his parents were “married for nine years, but feels like they have been at war for a hundred.” Growing up in the crossfire of his parent’s epic fights and manipulations, it is surprising to discover Carter is now a well-adjusted adult in a healthy relationship of his own, despite being an A.C.O.D. (Adult Child of Divorce.) But when Carter’s younger brother, Trey (Clark Duke), proposes to his girlfriend after only four months of dating, Carter’s issues with relationships, marriage, and (most importantly) his parents, start to come out.

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Free Birds

If you were growing sick and tired of watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving every November, Relativity’s got your back with Free Birds, the animated Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson-voiced turkey caper filling the Thanksgiving film void we didn’t know was empty. Nothing says “gather around the table with friends and loved ones” like “animated birds facing their own mortality.” Reggie (Wilson) is a happy turkey who was pardoned by the President and now lives at Camp David, eating pizza and watching TV. He’s even got a lady-turkey (Amy Poehler). Jake (Harrelson) comes from the Turkey Freedom Front, a radical group fighting for freedom from the dinner table. The two team up to find a time machine in a government lab to take back to the first Thanksgiving so they can stop turkey from getting on the menu altogether. Now, I know they’re simple birds, but if they’re smart enough to master the concept of time travel shouldn’t they understand the biggest rule – don’t mess with anything in the past?! Thanksgiving has never really been seen as an action-packed holiday, so maybe this film is the rebranding effort it needs to get in line with the Independence Days and the New Years Eves? Having talking birds high-five and run from explosions while Carly Rae Jepson plays in the background is a surefire way to get kids in the theater, though, so kudos to the studio for this trailer. That tagline though – “Hold on to your nuggets!” Haha, it’s a joke […]

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ng golden globes 150112

Given that the prevailing opinion among many circles seems to be that Hollywood awards shows are just an excuse for rich, pretty people to give themselves one more yearly pat on the back for being spectacular, they’ve recently become hard to sell to the viewing public. Gone is the reverence we used to have for old Hollywood and in its place are complaints that watching celebrities receive seemingly arbitrarily decided awards is boring, formulaic, and even a little pompous. Despite these sentiments, Ricky Gervais seemed to crack the code on how to present an awards show to a modern audience when he used his hosting duties at the 2010 Golden Globes to poke fun at the whole affair, call the governing body that gives out the awards corrupt, and basically just take the piss out of every famous face in the audience who didn’t have the good sense to stay home. It was a good formula, one that drew ratings and that led to Gervais being asked back to host two more times, but this year Tina Fey and Amy Poehler took over hosting duties and proved that the deed could also be done another way. With Fey and Poehler at the forefront, gone was the bitterness and awkwardly biting insult humor, and in its place was charm and good-natured silliness. Gone was the cynical mocking of the award-giving process, and in its place was the sense that while awards might not be all that important, they can still be […]

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ACOD

Fans of Adam Scott, this one’s for you. The actor is front and center on the newly released poster for A.C.O.D. (That’s Adult Children of Divorce), set against a simple, if not harshly yellow backdrop. And he’s clearly horrified by something happening off camera. As he should be. Scott plays Carter in the Stu Zicherman-directed film, about a man who has to reunite his bitterly divorced parents, who haven’t even spoken in years, for his little brother’s impending nuptials. It’s getting great reviews from its run at Sundance (read our own Allison Loring’s Sundance review here). Zicherman told Entertainment Weekly, which released the image, why he felt that the poster worked, “It’s an ensemble, but Adam is sort of in every scene and is at the center of the family hurricane that is the movie,” he said. “We’d tried a bunch of posters with all the different [actors], and it just felt like this image summed up the notion of the surprises and the chaos of being an A.C.O.D.”

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argo_29

One of the big surprises of the 2013 Golden Globe Awards involved a sort of “Argo-f**kyourself” to the Academy Awards, as Oscar-snubbed Ben Affleck was named Best Director of the year. His film, Argo, also ended up winning Best Picture in the drama category. Early in the night, in a brilliantly hilarious monologue by co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the ceremony offered some foreshadowing with subtle jabs at the Oscars with immediate shout outs to Affleck and fellow Academy snubs in the director category, Kathryn Bigelow and Quentin Tarantino. They even fit in a joke directed at Anne Hathaway about her 2011 Academy Awards ceremony co-hosting gig with James Franco. Hathaway expectantly wound up winning for Best Supporting Actress, though, and her film, Les Miserables won Best Picture – Comedy or Musical. Co-star Hugh Jackman was a bit of s surprise as Best Actor – Comedy or Musical. More than who won and what didn’t, people will be talking about the somewhat cryptic speech by Cecil B. DeMille Award winner Jodie Foster and the appearance by Bill Clinton to present Best Picture nominee Lincoln. Speaking of Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis surprised nobody by winning Best Actor – Drama. But at least I ended up surprised that he did a comedy 25 years ago called Stars and Bars, which I need to see immediately. My Golden Globes live-blog co-host, Daniel Walber, alerted me to that. And if you didn’t follow us during the ceremony, which we found far more enjoyable than […]

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salmonyemen05

Will Kathryn Bigelow or Ben Affleck make up for their Oscar snubs with a Best Director win? Will there be a Salmon Fishing in the Yemen sweep? Will Marion Cotillard and John Hawkes be wheeled out, in-character, to pay tribute to all the people whose handicaps allow actors to win awards? These are questions that will be answered — even if all answers are “no” — at tonight’s Golden Globe Awards. And you should join Daniel Walber and myself in watching, even though Ricky Gervais isn’t dishing out insults again. Just grab some booze (or some very sour grapefruit juice) and not only play along with the drinking game that co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have devised but also read along with our witty commentary. Feel free to take an extra shot any time we are not in fact being witty. And any time our predictions are incorrect. I will be updating the list of winners at the bottom of this post throughout the evening. The commentary will begin at about 7:30pm ET via CoverItLive.com, and you can follow the whole thing in the box right here:

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JENNIFER LAWRENCE and BRADLEY COOPER star in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

The 70th Golden Globe Awards will be held tomorrow night, and I invite you to join myself and FSR’s awards guru, Daniel Walber, for live-blog commentary during the ceremony. We’ll try to keep it smart, avoid too much snark and will likely be obeying the rules of the drinking game that co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have devised. It will also hopefully be more conversational than remarks we could have just tweeted, in order that I can turn the discussion around as a more readable post-event recap of the night. In case you’re too busy paying attention to your TV to also read our words simultaneously. Anyway, you can’t head into a big awards telecast viewing without predictions for what you think will win. Daniel and I seem to agree on exactly half of the movie categories. So, maybe it won’t be such a predicable night. Check out our choices after the break and give us your own predictions in the comments. If you do better than either of us, we commend you in advance (and maybe at the end of our GG coverage too).

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Golden Globes

While we’re no stranger to movie drinking games around these parts (we do, after all, publish at least one original game a week), we typically shy away from giving any attention whatsoever to drinking games created by anyone who isn’t a Reject. We can booze it up on our own, thankyouverymuch. But when Golden Globes hostesses with the mostest Tina Fey and Amy Poehler kindo-of-sort-of create their own drinking game during a fun interview with THR, it behooves us to share it with you, our lovely little lushes. And, admittedly, it’s a fun one – we’ve certainly never used meatball subs and naked demands in any of our games. Tasty! After the break, check out the ironclad rules for Fey and Poehler’s Golden Globe Drinking Game. And. please, if you’re under 21, stay away from the sauce and just hit the cranberry juice or something. The Golden Globes are this Sunday night, so be sure to prepare your bar accordingly.

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Channel Guide - Large

On shows like The Newsroom, Californication, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, the curmudgeon is exalted; intentionally unlikable folks populate the worlds of Girls and Mad Men; and a thoroughly bratty child holds court on Game of Thrones. Opportunists, narcissists, jerks, the morally bankrupt—these are some of people that we tune in to watch every week. I’d say all of this is a good thing, a sign that we’re living during a time where viewers are smart enough and open-minded enough to appreciate irony and satire and flawed, realistic characters. But sometimes, maybe not usually, or even often, people aren’t selfish, cold, or totally self-involved, and for the sake of diversity, it would be nice to see more shows with characters who are as optimistic as, say, Hank Moody is misanthropic. To make myself clear, I’m not saying that there aren’t enough family-oriented programs on TV today—that isn’t an issue that I’m even remotely concerned with. I’m not advocating wholesomeness or a return to the benign, Miller-Boyett characters of my ’90s, TGIF-centric youth (I cherish the Danny Tanners and Balki Bartokomouses of that era, but TV is a lot more interesting now and I think even cousin Larry would tend to agree with that). But cynicism and self-centeredness are the go-to traits for so many characters and even if that’s an authentic representation of the way people actually are, it’s kind of boring. I mean, do I really need to see it on my TV all the time if it’s already a […]

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Culture Warrior

Two nights ago, Aaron Sorkin’s heavily-anticipated and rather polarizing new show The Newsroom aired its debut on HBO. With the pilot’s central focus on the BP oilrig explosion, the premium cable network has established itself (alongside with their recent TV movies) as the primary venue for dramatizing recent political history. However, other contemporary television shows have addressed political issues well beyond the headlines of the past few years. In this election year, it seems that TV comedies and dramas from several networks have a surprising amount to say about the political process in a way that resonates with this uncertain, often frustrating moment. Here’s how The Newsroom stacks up against a triumvirate of other TV shows with overtly political themes…

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Ed Helms might not be the first person that comes to mind when you think of comedy superstars, but his comedic take on uptight, preppy white people has taken him pretty far in the business up to this point. He’s proved that he can be an important part of an ensemble by enduring as a reoccurring character on TV’s The Office, he’s proved that he can anchor a film as a relatable protagonist in the underrated Cedar Rapids, and he’s proved that he can be a key component in a hugely successful franchise with the Hangover films. If Helms plays his cards right going forward, he could possibly become one of the biggest comedic actors working. So what’s he got on his horizon? Well, in addition to his continued work on The Office and a planned third film in the Hangover series, Deadline Alpharetta is reporting that the sweater-vested one has signed on to two new projects. The first is said to be something of a cameo. He’ll be appearing as Jason Sudeikis’s shady boss in director Rawson Thurber’s (Dodgeball) upcoming comedy We’re the Millers. The film, which Sudeikis stars in, is said to be about a crew of experienced drug smugglers who pose as a fake family and try to get a large amount of marijuana  across the US/Mexico border. The film is also said to have Jennifer Aniston and Nick Offerman on board, which is good news because Offerman is always hilarious and Aniston, well…she always looks pretty?

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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