Tina Fey

Lucille Ball Milkshake

During a conversation about television icons, a buddy of mine said that Matthew Perry is on track to achieve legendary status (and she wasn’t talking about his legendary knack for starring on shows that get canceled). Lucille Ball, Andy Griffith, Carol Burnett, Matthew Perry–one of these things is not like the others. What this friend of mine failed to understand is that there is a difference between an icon and someone who is simply a prolific and perhaps beloved television actor, a difference that may be harder to identify when it comes to this medium than it is with film. Perry certainly possess many of the qualities that go in to making an icon–he’s charismatic, his particular set of comedic gifts are perfectly suited for the sitcom format, he’s been on TV for as long as I can remember. But he (on his own and not as a member of the Friends cast) hasn’t had the same kind of impact on the medium or the culture that someone like Jerry Seinfeld has–Seinfeld’s influence is still felt today in shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and he is so cherished by the public that we don’t hold The Marriage Ref against him. So, if not Perry, who is poised to join the pantheon of TV gods?

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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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Tiny Fet Muppets

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tina Fey is close to securing a deal to play the female lead in The Muppets 2, which is speeding ahead to, you know, get made before its release later this year. If she joins, she’ll be playing a Russian gulag prison guard, which means Kermit and friends are probably going to make some mischief in Moscow. This is the best of all possible worlds. Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell are already signed on as the stars without hands up their backsides, and Fey would be the icing (aka the best part of the cake). In other words, this would be huge.

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Admission Trailer

How could a modern woman possibly handle becoming a mother when it already takes all of your focus to reach your goals in the professional world? It’s a question that’s been one of the major preoccupations of Tina Fey’s work as an actress, and while there are no easy answers to it, watching Fey struggle is usually fertile grounds for comedy. It will always be true that taking someone who’s generally bumbling and self-centered and forcing a kid upon them—while traumatic for the child—is hilarious for the casual observer. But, by the looks of its new trailer, it seems like Fey’s new starring vehicle, Admission, might be treading on familiar ground one time too many. The deal here is that Fey’s character gave up a kid when she was in college, and now that said kid is teenaged and attending a hippie school run by Paul Rudd, Rudd has taken it upon himself to reunite mother and son. While Fey is generally incredulous about the idea at first, eventually she finds herself becoming attached to her long lost progeny…and she might even be developing some feelings for that charming and handsome guy who brought them back together.

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Doctor Strange

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that usually doesn’t get political. But it’s time someone takes a stance on Twilight. It had to be done. This aggression will not stand. One of the best things going in this business — of movie blogging — is Marvel rumors. They’re going to keep us all employed at least until the second Avengers film comes to term, if not longer. Kudos to Rob Keyes at ScreenRant for his astute dissection of how Doctor Strange may fit into Thor 2. Yes, Viggo Mortensen. Yes.

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Writer and director Nancy Meyers has often drawn ire for her knack for purveying lifestyle over substance in her films, with works like It’s Complicated, The Holiday, and Something’s Gotta Give looking more like interior design magazines come to life than hard-hitting emotional dramas (anyone remember that subplot in It’s Complicated involving Meryl Streep’s kitchen renovation? The kitchen that was perfect to begin with?), but the woman sure knows how to make girls’ night out flicks for the older set (full disclosure: I do love The Holiday unironically). However, it looks like Meyers is looking to spice up her resume with two new projects – both with slightly different twists and surprising leading ladies. First up, Meyers is joining forces with a bonafide funny lady for a different kind of mature relationship dramedy. Tina Fey is now on board to star in Meyers’s The Intern (which the filmmaker has written and will direct), in which she will “play the founder of an e-business with a fashion focus. As her company begins to thrive, she’s told that her company is importing seniors to be interns as a community outreach effort, and she’s getting one. While her first question is whether they are seniors in high school or college, she learns to her horror that she’s getting a real senior, as in senior citizen.” That intern ends up being “an over-70 widower who is bored with retirement from a middle management career, initially seems like a fossil to his working mother boss, […]

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Way back in January of 2011, we wrote up the possibility of Tina Fey taking on Admission – an adaptation of a novel with middling reviews about an Ivy League admissions officer who is shaken out of her rut when she runs into an old schoolmate and meets a young genius. Obviously development was slow-going, but the LA Times is announcing that the film is attempting to shoot this May after Fey concludes her work on 30 Rock. Plus, director Paul Weitz is looking to cast Paul Rudd as the co-lead. That’s a hell of a combination. In fact, it’s the kind of combination that all but ensures that the better parts of the book will be plucked out for use while the lesser parts will be blurred over by improvisation. The script itself comes from Karen Croner (who wrote One True Thing, a movie that earned Meryl Streep one of her many Oscar nominations). All in all, it sounds like a winning team behind an average concept, but it’s just exciting to see it close to getting off the ground.

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Despite the obstetrical impossible, Mean Girls has labored to deliver Mean Moms – a follow-up of sorts to the Lindsay Lohan-starring comedy. It also stems from an advice book written by Rosalind Wiseman, and shares a producer in Jill Messick. Plus, the logline in exactly the same, but in reverse: “A happily married mother of two moves from small town America to the high class suburbs and is faced with confronting the cutthroat world of competitive parenting.” Replace bitchy teenage girls with bitchy mothers, and you’ve got a movie. Or it’s close at least. Variety is reporting that New Line has hired writing partners Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (The Vow) to rewrite the current script. It’s also important to note that Kohn and Silverstein have been behind Cubic Zirconia Era rom-coms like He’s Just Not That Into You and Valentine’s Day (where they earned a story credit). This may be an unfair comparison, especially with that resume, but it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to craft something as sharp and still human as Tina Fey did with Mean Girls. There’s a huge difference between character and caricature, so far this team’s writing doesn’t show that they know that difference. Is there any chance this next project won’t be a movie version of Real Housewives of Wherever?

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Channel Guide: A Column About TV

On the Zooey Deschanel-led New Girl, titular character Jess Day is an aloof, offbeat, and (let’s face it) awkward twenty-something, forced to move in with three random guys after a tough breakup. She wears thick-framed glasses, watches Dirty Dancing on a loop, and even weaves Lord of the Rings quotes into regular conversation at the blink of an eye. On paper, well, she’s not that far from myself- another Woody Allen-loving, Star Wars-quoting, sometimes bespectacled gal. So why is it that week after week, I find myself increasingly annoyed with her overly twee behavior?

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We have had precious few comedies of quality made about high school students over the past ten years. Teen comedies used to be a staple of the multiplexes, the places where studios grub money from teens and tweens who have borrowed a twenty-spot from their moms, but they have been all but decimated in recent times by the merciless reign of the generic horror flick. Election came out in 1999, so what good ones did that leave us in the aughts? Only Mean Girls by my estimation. You did like Mean Girls right? Combining a great script from a pre-30 Rock Tina Fey and perhaps the most buxom cast of young actresses ever assembled made it one of my favorite comedies of the decade. One time I watched it with a room full of hung-over college friends mostly in slow motion. It took us about five hours, but it was worth it. Well, Paramount has decided to rob us of our treasured memories by creating a low budget, direct to basic cable/DVD sequel, and unleashing it upon the unsuspecting masses.  Mean Girls 2 debuted Sunday night, January 23rd on ABC Family, and until about 3 PM the next day the term “REGINA GEORGE” was trending on Twitter. Regina George is a character from the first film, played by Rachel McAdams, and one click on the trending topic revealed a steady stream of Twitter users who loved the first film bemoaning a sequel that doesn’t include the character. I can’t imagine […]

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Tina Fey has had some shitty luck with movies. Her writing/acting turn in Mean Girls aside, she has been in some thoroughly average movies that almost refused to utilize her unique style as a comedian. That may or may not be the case with the next film the 30 Rock star is in talks for. Admission is an adaptation of the novel of the same name which focuses on a Princeton admissions officer who tells of all the quirky, funny idiosyncrasies of the gatekeepers making sure you don’t get in. This money quote from the less than stellar review of the book from the Wall Street Journal: “‘Admission’ is a worthy attempt to capture the absurdities of the admissions process in fictional form, but it includes too many wooden monologues explaining in detail how that process works. It is also an improbable love story that relies on coincidences of daytime-soap proportions to push its storyline forward.” Can’t Tina Fey just write something for herself?

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When Jack insists that Liz see a therapist to deal with her relationship issues, she instead finds a willing ear in Kenneth, who despite his good intentions, develops his own neuroses from being unable to handle Liz’s emotional baggage. Kenneth in turn dumps his re-surfaced issues on Jack, who finds that his mental vice is unable to handle the burden after his daddy issues manifest in full force.  This doesn’t bode well for Tracy, who’s taking fatherly advice from Jack on how to financially cut off his son, who is dumping huge amounts of Tracy’s money into a failing themed restaurant called Staples. Meanwhile, Jenna has to re-evaluate her relationship with Paul (Will Forte) when the question he pops on their 6-month anniversary is not the kind where he asks her to make a sex tape they can leak online, but the kind where he wants her to meet his parents.

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A few months ago I mentioned that, to me, all computer-animated films are measured against the insanely high standard that Pixar Animation Studios has set for the entire medium.  You’d think another studio making something at least close to comparable would be a good thing, but I submit otherwise. Enter Dreamworks, and their latest animated offering, Megamind. Megamind is the story of, well — Megamind (Will Ferrel), a perpetually plotting evil, alien genius who arrived on earth as an infant and is raised in the way of being a baddie. His foil is the ever perfect, always ahead of the game nemesis, Metro Man (Brad Pitt) — the hero of Metro City.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr hits the road with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis to see if the new Todd Phillips comedy will be as funny as The Hangover. He also faces off with Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt in a very mega way. It’s the first official weekend of the holiday movie season, so Kevin will hand out the mid-term grades and let you know if these films are worth checking out.

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Drinking Games

If you’re a fan of NBC’s Thursday night line-up, chances are you’ve had a date night with Steve Carell and Tina Fey. If you want to make a new date night official, you can check out their latest comedy Date Night, available now on DVD and Blu-ray. So join the comedy duo in New York City and get some drinks at the new trendy night spot, Claw.

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The Streep/Tucci love affair rolls on… Per THR, Meryl Streep will be starring in the new film, Mommy & Me, for director Stanley Tucci. Streep will play the mommy, and Tina Fey will obviously play me. The story specifics haven’t been revealed yet aside from a general and generic description that it explores “the thorny and funny sides of mother-daughter relationships.” Hard to get excited based off that alone, but the pairing of Streep and Fey is actually pretty exciting. Streep has recently found a career resurgence (of sorts) in more comedic roles like Mamma Mia!, It’s Complicated, and Julie & Julia, and Fey is simply one of the funniest people working in TV and film right now. This is Tucci’s fifth feature behind the camera, but odds are it will be seen by more people than his other four combined. It’ll also be his third film with Streep. He played one of her underlings in The Devil Wears Prada and was most recently seen as her husband (and one of the film’s highlights) in Julie & Julia. There’s no word yet if Tucci with actually appear in Mommy & Me or just direct, but I can easily envision him in a small role as a perverted neighbor who kidnaps and kills Streep’s daughter. Or not.

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After spilling into Hall H, the first panel of Comic-Con 2010 saw director Todd McGrath presenting a short featurette for Megamind that completely spoiled the opening of the movie. It was spoiled, but it’s an interesting concept, one that takes a bit of courage to go all the way with, and it finally made the film stand out amongst the rabel of other 3D, animated family films. The rest of the panel was an improv practice class with Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill passing the comedy baton around, trying to pour as much dry wit on every answer they gave. Of course, this was juxtaposed by Ferrell wearing a home-made Megamind costume that looked more like he was dressing up as Tobias Funke on his way to a Blue Man Group audition.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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