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Meeting Mr. or Ms. Wrong

Meeting Mr. or Ms. Wrong (photo)

Posted by on’s newest web series “Like So Many Things…” premieres today, and co-creators Marin Gazzaniga and Anslem Richardson offer up their thoughts on the best films about romances that are anything but easy.

“Now it isn’t that I don’t like you, Susan, because, after all, in moments of quiet, I’m strangely drawn toward you, but, well, there haven’t been any quiet moments.”
       — “Bringing Up Baby”

Meeting Mr./Ms. Wrong movies come in many varieties. There are the star-crossed lovers who are kept apart by outside forces (“Romeo and Juliet”). Or the couple whose hate for each other is only masking the sparks of true passion (just about any Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy movie). Then there’s the man or woman who’s certain that someone is their one and only, but has to spend the course of the film convincing that person that it’s true (“Bringing Up Baby”). Why is it so appealing to watch couples who shouldn’t work either figure out that, against all odds, they do, or, well, fail miserably?

      Jeanne: “Ca va pas, t’as des problemes, hein?”
      Paul: “There’s some butter in the kitchen…”
      Jeanne: “So you hear… What did you answer?”
      Paul: “Go get the butter.”
         –“Last Tango in Paris”

We founded ThisThing Films together, and we’re opposites in many ways: black/white, male/female, self-assured/self-deprecating… umbrella drinks/tequila shots. And in making our series “Like So Many Things…”, we started with two characters who shouldn’t work but who, for whatever reasons, try like hell anyway. Here are both of our top five films where opposites attract, proving, once again, the yin/yang of creative collaboration.


05192009_BringingpBaby2.jpg1. “Bringing Up Baby” (1938)
Directed by Howard Hawks

The supposedly ditzy socialite, who knows exactly what she’s doing, goes after the supposedly brilliant paleontologist, who hasn’t got a clue. This may be the best opposites-attract movie ever. Plus, is there anything better than the single take of Cary Grant trying to get Katharine Hepburn to realize the back of her dress is gone? Scorsese’s Copacabana shot in “Goodfellas” is cool, sure, but I’ll take break-neck dialogue and technical comedy in front of the camera over Steadycam shots anytime.

05192009_RomeoandJuliet.jpg2. “Romeo and Juliet” (1968)
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli

Maybe it’s because I was about 13 when a racy English teacher made us stay after school and watch this, but I’ve never seen better love at first sight than Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting. The mother of all meeting Mr. Wrong movies, Franco Zeffirelli’s take on the young lovers set the standard for all cinematic depictions of young, passionate, and forbidden love.

05192009_farfromheaven.jpg3. “Far From Heaven” (2002)
Directed by Todd Haynes

This is really a Romeo and Juliet story, only it’s societal norms and racism that keep Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) and Raymond Deagan (Dennis Haysbert) apart, not family loyalties. The love is sweet, the unfulfillment tragic. Even though it’s Meeting Mr. Wrong with a message, Haynes manages to keep the moralizing secondary to the longing. And a lot of the longing comes from wanting those clothes — in those colors.

05192009_EternalSunshine.jpg4. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004)
Directed by Michel Gondry

In a mind-bending story of a mismatched pair who have tried and failed to make it work, this movie pushes the romantic question of whether true love can overcome all obstacles. Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) have had their memories of each other erased, but Joel realizes too late he doesn’t want to lose Clementine and struggles vainly to keep little pieces of her hidden in his brain where they can’t be found. In a bit of inspired casting against type, Carrey is reserved, for once, and Winslet plays the loose cannon.

05192009_SomethingWild.jpg5. “Something Wild” (1986)
Directed by Jonathan Demme

Charlie (Jeff Daniels) gets his tie loosened by Lulu (Melanie Griffith) when she hijacks his day and takes him on a road trip. Charlie falls for the wild gal while being forced to pose as a suitable suitor to her parents. But it’s when Ray Liotta shows up as Lulu’s estranged ex-husband that we realize who the real Mr. Wrong is. The dark twist reminds us that not all bad boys are charming, and attraction isn’t always romantic.


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…