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DID YOU READ

Saying no to “The Proposal 2.”

Saying no to “The Proposal 2.” (photo)

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There are shock waves spreading throughout Hollywood! Shock waves, I tell you! The cause? Disney s passing on a sequel to “The Proposal,” the profitable and relatively cheap ($40 million) Sandra Bullock monolith of cheer and romance.

For iPatrick Goldstein at the LA Times, the news is nothing less than “eye-popping.” His headline: “Disney taking a pass on one of the most profitable movies of 2009?” Well, no; they actually made that one. What they’re passing on is the chance to make a sequel to a romcom that ends, as all of them must, with an engagement and the promise of marriage. What a sequel could offer up — wacky divorce? There’s surely no mandate to make it. I suppose, given the right series of scripts, Bullock and Ryan Reynolds could grow into the new Hepburn-Tracy but… nah, forget I said anything.

Nonetheless, Goldstein’s annoyed: “It feels like every time you turn around, someone at Disney is trying to blow up the old model of doing business and replacing it with a snazzy new paradigm,” he snipes. “You have to really want to get out of the movie star business to take a pass on raking in the shekels from a sequel with such built-in awareness and audience goodwill.” The assumption here, I guess, is that “goodwill” means “willing to spend money on a clearly mercenary sequel to a one-off” — which was true for “Meet the Fockers,” so god bless, though I’m blanking on other notable massive non-franchise sequel successes.

I’ll say this for the blockbuster rat-race: when they think they can get away with a sequel or franchise, they build it into the nature of the material (or just figure out to resurrect Freddy again). The challenge of this new “female-driven blockbuster” will be to figure out how to franchise a genre that tends to end in marriage or death. The answer isn’t clear yet — there are only so many Nicholas Sparks novels (a brand that always delivers), and shunting a star through a bunch of interchangeable chick flicks has, in the past, not been reliable for Bullock or others.

02182010_whipit.jpgThen again, “Valentine’s Day” has just proven you can’t underestimate the appetite for any trend regardless of quality — until, inevitably, someone does and the whole house of cards comes crashing down and we have to find a new paradigm. The wisdom of the female-driven blockbuster, as outlined by The Wrap — i.e., every number one movie since mid-November that wasn’t “Avatar” — is shaky, since you have to count “The Princess and the Frog” as a chick flick when it’s clearly a family movie and you’d have to reckon with, like, the rest of the entire year and notably female-driven blockbusters like “2012” and “The Hangover.”

You’d also have to explain why “Whip It” flopped (When is a female-oriented movie not female-oriented enough? When it doesn’t come with marriage and nuclear families?) and “Post Grad” and so on. The “female-driven blockbuster,” as it stands, seems like a number of hits strung together with some failures (“When In Rome” and “Leap Year” of late) that make less of a splash because the whole genre’s relatively cheap.

Why one movies fails and another succeeds becomes irrelevant with that kind of math. The only possible explanation — women only started going to movies in November — somehow seems suspect. (The sadder explanation is that successful “female-driven” movies’ mores haven’t shifted much since Doris Day — the end-goal is the same.) This trend needs rethinking.

[Photos: “The Proposal,” Touchstone, 2009; “Whip It,” Fox Searchlight, 2009]

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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 IFC.com

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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.

Uncle-Buck

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…