David Wain

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.

read more...

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.

read more...

Branagh Swan Song

This is a special edition of Short Starts, where we look at the Sundance shorts program class of 1993. 1992 and 1994 are very notable years in the history of the Sundance Film Festival. Mostly for features. In between, the 1993 event should be recognized for its short film program. It was only the second year of this section — though shorts were an increasingly significant part of the fest since 1988 — and it remains, two decades later, probably the most important (if not best) batch of short films to ever come together in Park City. Among the filmmakers receiving their first real notice in this program were Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, David Wain, Eugene Jarecki, Tamara Jenkins, Ted Demme, Stanley Tucci (as writer/producer), Gary Fleder, Alex Sichel, Mike Mitchell and animators Eric Darnell and Matt O’Callaghan. Their early works played alongside shorts by Michael Almereyda, Lourdes Portillo and two eventual Oscar nominees, Christian Taylor‘s The Lady in Waiting and Kenneth Branagh‘s Swan Song. It is the last film that is especially relevant now because Branagh helmed the biggest new release in theaters this weekend, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. That’s the latest franchise entry for the actor-turned-director, another feature that’s very far removed from his initial reputation as a filmmaker interested primarily in Shakespeare adaptations and movies with an old fashioned dramatic sensibility (I don’t care how Shakespearean his Thor movie seems, it’s still just a Thor movie).

read more...

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.

read more...

She Said She Said

Why Watch? Equally sharp and absurd, this short film from Stuart Blumberg features Marisa Tomei and Elodie Bouchez as a couple who are close to ending their marriage, David Wain as a high-fiving mediator, and a few ridiculous flashbacks. Each piece of their shared history that they fight over forces them to remember the full spectrum of their relationship while creating some very funny scenarios. Especially if you’re into Aubrey Plaza making “fox babies.” The dialogue is sly, and it’s often difficult to figure out whether a line is meant as an insult or flirtation, and the talent here delivers.  It’s also sleek with smart visuals and seductive — both while sharing the calm power of generosity and when sliding a loose dress slowly up the back of its star’s legs. This comedy is a long, slow pour of whiskey with a smooth finish. What Will It Cost? About 7 minutes. Skip Work. Watch More Short Films.

read more...

FilmAid

It all kicks off at 9am Pacific. After raising $10,000 for FilmAid, David Chen and the /Filmcast family are making good on their offer to rock a 10-hour podcasting marathon, and since it’s done like a reverse-telethon, no one will be constantly promising you tote bags in return for your money. That leaves more time to talk with an excellent lineup of guests. The sad part? No tote bags. Rian Johnson is batting first, followed by the 10am segment with me and David Wain, followed by an 11am with Damon Lindelof. And then, 7 more hours of filmmaker guests and shenanigans. So bookmark this page and plan to camp out there all day today. If you need more incentive, here’s the full lineup:

read more...

Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 4.53.07 PM

There is a lot of buzz about the live singing on the set Les Misérables. All of the actors sang as the cameras rolled rather than recording in a studio first, and that’s a great accomplishment since many of the actors have wonderful singing voices and don’t exactly need autotuning. This live singing in combination with the film’s grand scope – finally, a film of the legendary Boublil/Schönberg musical! – is supposed to make this a great film. But, very sadly, it does not. While the film is filled with a lot of great talent and certainly is watchable, it buckles under the often mind-blowingly heavy-handed direction by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) and never becomes the epic piece of cinema that it so clearly set out to be. The story is fairly common knowledge (and quite involved), but Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is finishing up his prison sentence for breaking into a house and stealing a loaf of bread. He thinks he is free, but because of being on a stringent parole at the hand of Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) he cannot get employment after his sentence is over. Valjean vows to make another go of it and when we find him years later, he is living under an assumed identity as the mayor of a small town. Valjean pays his good fortune forward when he helps factory worker-come-prostitute Fantine (Anne Hathaway). After Fantine’s death, he bails her young daughter Cosette (Isabelle Allen) out of an abusive boarding house […]

read more...

Whether it’s been as a comedian, writer, storyteller, or frequent contributor to This American Life, Mike Birbiglia has made a living just talking about his experiences and getting audiences to relate to his day to day struggles. The latest development in his career progression is this new film, Sleepwalk With Me, a tale of struggling in a new career, dealing with societal pressure to start a family, and living through an insane medical condition that makes you do crazy shit while you’re asleep; all material ripped straight out of Birbiglia’s real life experiences. Sleepwalk With Me started as a stage show called “Sleepwalk With Me Live,” which later got recorded and became a best-selling comedy album of the same name. The next step was to turn the stories into written memoirs, so “Sleepwalk With Me & Other Painfully True Stories” was born, and went on to become a New York Times Bestseller. This new film adaptation of the material features Birbiglia acting in the starring role, co-directing with Seth Barrish, and co-writing with a handful of collaborators. That’s a lot of Mike Birbiglia.

read more...

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?

read more...

Director David Wain has been a big name in the alternative comedy scene for a long time due to his work on The State and Stella, but he’s still looked at as something of a neophyte in the world of feature films. He’s directed one cult hit with his weird summer camp spoof Wet Hot American Summer, and one mainstream hit with his criminals-turned-mentors movie Role Models; but his last film, Wanderlust, kind of came and went with only a whimper. Let’s just chalk that up to the fact that it had Jennifer Aniston in the lead, though. Has anyone ever heard of a comedy she was in making any money? Undaunted by the terrors of possible obscurity, Wain is going back to the drawing board and putting together another project. Variety has word that it’s a comedy called They Came Together, and that it comes from a screenplay that has deep roots in Wain’s past. He co-wrote the film with fellow The State and Stella member Michael Showalter right after Wet Hot American Summer came out. It was a simple time, before Wain had to concern himself with things like studio concerns and mainstream relatability. Which begs the question – will this long unproduced script see Wain returning to his more absurdist comedic roots? And, if that’s the case, will a healthy dose of weird be what it takes to re-engage the eyeballs of a public who all but ignored his last project?

read more...

Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr fights a battle of wits between the stuffy and overly dramatic Oscar contenders that will be buzzing through the weekend and the genre-specific schlock that is being released with no hope of winning any sort of award at all. Before hunkering down on the couch to watch Billy Crystal time warp back into the mid-90s on Sunday, Kevin skydives into the multiplex to check out Act of Valor. Then he joins a commune to be a modern hippie while watching Wanderlust. Finally, he leaves the multiplex to stalk Amanda Seyfried and her on-screen sister because he believes he’s at least as creepy as the legions of creepy guys in Gone. Oh, and that Tyler Perry movie? He skips that with a wave of the hand and a snap of the fingers. If it ain’t got Madea in it, it ain’t worth watching!

read more...

George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) live for the fast-paced lifestyle of New York City. Until, that is, things go wrong and they decide they just can’t deal with it any longer. The married couple then head to Atlanta to live with George’s obnoxious brother, but end up spending the night at a roadside bed-n-breakfast that turns out to be a hippie commune. After sampling a combo platter of drugs and other alternative lifestyle trappings, they have second thoughts about returning to any life outside of the commune…and then have third thoughts about their second thoughts. Director David Wain and actor Ken Marino penned the script for Wanderlust, just as they previously did for Role Models. The problem is that where Role Models is a mildly absurd situational comedy peppered with fully developed characters who grow as people without betraying who they are, Wanderlust is a flaccid, one-note joke with possibly  some of the most wishy-washy leads in recent cinematic history, and nary a likable character to otherwise be found. Wain and Marino have created a joke dome in the Elysium Community outside of which they seem to have very little confidence in their ability to make us laugh. They therefore construct contrivance after contrivance to drop their leads back at the commune and mistakenly assume that the dramatic tension will be inherent in their repeated exit from it.

read more...

Both last month and this month are shaping up to prove that this time of the year doesn’t only serve as a dumping ground for Mark Wahlberg action movies and another indistinguishable Katherine Heigl horror movie. So far we’re off to a great start for 2012, and I sure hope it continues that way. With another Heigl rom-com nowhere in sight, I believe we’re all clear for now. Honorable Mentions: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (got terrible buzz out of Butt-numb-a-thon, but it’s still got Ciarán Hinds, one of the best actors around, playing the devil) and Chronicle (apparently it’s better than it looks).

read more...

Watching the trailer for Wanderlust – the new movie directed by Wet Hot American Summer director David Wain – makes me want to watch every episode of The State all over again. In short, I wanna dip my balls in it. Starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston as rat-racers in New York who have to leave the race and find themselves learning the communal life, the trailer looks knock-down, drag-out hilarious. Some great gags from some truly disturbed/gifted comic minds are on display here. Check it out for yourself, and see how many State alumni you can spot:

read more...

David Wain might have missed the 9:00 appointment ten years from when all the campers of Wet Hot American Summer got together, but he may still have a chance to see who they’ve all blossomed into. If you’re not getting the references here, go watch the movie. Don’t tell anyone you haven’t seen it. Just calmly, quietly watch it (instantly). According to an interview Wain did for The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith, the writer/director has been thinking about doing a “sequel, prequel, something or other” to get the gang back together. That gang includes Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and many, many, many other comedians wearing shorts that are too small for them. If Wain goes with his prequel idea, it would see actors in their late 30s and early 40s playing 20-year-old camp counselors, and there’s not one thing wrong with that.

read more...

Role Models

Two Role Models + 2 Strange Kids = #2 at the Box Office. Robert Fure + 10 Likes + 5 Dislikes = This column. See math is fun!

read more...

Check in with underground sensation and rising star David Wain as he talks Role Models, McLovin, and working with a big studio.

read more...

Role Models

I’ve been pretty vocal in my resistance to anything from Judd Apatow or starring Jonah Hill, so when I got a chance to see a comedy that neither had any involvement in, I jumped at the chance. That film was Role Models and is one of the five best comedies of 2008.

read more...

Go get a stick, because we’ve got a ton of Role Models pics and I’m curious if its more than you could shake that stick at.

read more...

Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott in Role Models

It’s been a pretty good summer for comedy, with flicks like Tropic Thunder and Pineapple Express being box-office hits as well as laugh-your-ass-off hysterical, but don’t go picking your favorite of the year just yet…

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3