DID YOU READ

Sex sells (they hope).

Sex sells (they hope). (photo)

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Let’s say you’re a female movie star and your new movie is tracking poorly and the buzz around Hollywood isn’t much better. What are you going to do about it?

Well if you’re Cameron Diaz, you’re going to give an interview to Playboy in which you talk about how much you love cock.

Yes, in an interview in next month’s Playboy, which hits newsstands tomorrow, Diaz, star of the tepidly anticipated “Knight and Day,” tells Stephen Rebello that she “can’t even count how many times I’ve gotten on a plane for love. It’s not unusual in this business; my lifestyle demands it. I’m always traveling for [whispers] cock. You’ve got to go where it is.”

She also describes her interest in sex as “primal on an animalistic level” and hints at bisexual interests, saying “Sexuality and love can be different things. I can be attracted to a woman sexually, but it doesn’t mean I want to be in love with a woman. If I’m going to be with a woman sexually, it doesn’t mean I’m a lesbian. We put these restraints and definitions on people, but it’s hard to define.”

Well, then. What else is there to say other than, these sage words from Hugh Laurie?

06172010_sexsells3.jpgSubjects interviewed by Playboy are expected to be provocative and open about their sex lives (or so I’m told from people who, unlike me, read the magazine, cause I would never do that, like, ever). John Mayer even got into trouble by trying a little too hard to be provocative and open in a Playboy interview last February.

But Diaz’s comments come just a couple weeks after Jennifer Lawrence, the star of the decidedly un-sexy Sundance hit “Winter’s Bone,” garnered attention — both good and bad — for posing for a salacious spread in Esquire. Lawrence later told Vulture‘s Bilge Ebiri that she did it out of a fear of being typecast in future work, but it’s hard not to imagine the pressure to sell a difficult-to-market movie on a more, um, gut level not weighing into the decision as well.

Any reason to see “Winter’s Bone” is a good one, and if those photos get more people into the theater, fantastic (though one worries that anyone who goes to see the film purely because of Esquire may be confused to find that the title is not some sort of sexual euphemism). But that doesn’t make them feel any less demeaning. It’s not enough for Lawrence to be a remarkable young actress, she’s got to be sexy too.

Nor is it enough that a film is a powerful portrait of hardscrabble life in the Ozark Mountains, with a beautifully written script and haunting performances, we’ve got to able to picture the lead in a bathing suit too. And what about poor Diaz, shilling for her movie by exposing the most intimate details of her sexual proclivities? It all feels kind of dirty and sad.

06172010_sexsells4.jpgOne question, though: would it still feel dirty and sad if the gender roles were reversed? Would it feel quite so icky if Tom Cruise was the one talking with Playboy, and he couldn’t stop raving about how much he loved boobies? Maybe not; nobody seems to raise a hue and cry when Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson bare their bodies to promote the “Twilight” series.

Then again, those movies are all about lusting over half-naked dudes: topless photos of the two may be selling a film with sex, but at least it’s selling a film with sex accurately. By the same token, I don’t think we can expect a scene in “Knight and Day’ where Diaz raves about the awesomeness of Cruise’s manhood.

Wait, is it too late for a rewrite?

[Photos: “Knight and Day,” 20th Century Fox, 2010; “Winter’s Bone,” Roadside Attractions, 2010; “Twilight Saga: New Moon,” Summit Entertainment, 2009]

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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