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DID YOU READ

“White Wedding,” Reviewed

“White Wedding,” Reviewed (photo)

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I learned several things about South Africa in “White Wedding,” an entertaining but forgettable comedy about two men and one woman roadtripping from Johannesburg to Cape Town, but the most interesting fact I discovered was that their films are just as susceptible to cliches as their American counterparts. The accents may change, but the stereotypes of roadtrip and wedding movies remain exactly the same: the traditional parents who clash with their forward-thinking children, the crotchety old relative with weird superstitions, the effeminate wedding planner, the bride who has to choose between love and security, the woman who misinterprets a man’s bad luck as a fear of commitment. Since “White Wedding”‘s ultimate lesson is one of universality, this choice is weirdly appropriate. We all want love. We all fear commitment. We all like reassuringly familiar narratives that juxtapose literal journeys of low-stakes danger with metaphorical journeys of personal discovery.

And when I say low stakes I mean really low stakes. This film is as suspenseful as a beer commercial. Gregarious Elvis (Kenneth Nkosi) has to get to Cape Town by Saturday to marry the lovely Ayanda (Zandile Msutwana), but he’s beset by one disaster after another: a missed bus, a flaky best man named Tumi (Rapulana Seiphemo), a broken car axle, a surly goat, even a stowaway named Rose (Jodie Whittaker) who tags along in order to catch a flight back home to England. Though the primary theme is marriage, a lot of the screenplay by Nkosi, Msutwana, and director Jann Turner is about broken relationships: Rose’s with a fiance who cheated on her, Tumi’s with a girl he cheated on, Ayanda’s with a man who left her for America but now wants her back. Of course, love has a way of conquering all in a movie like this, and “White Wedding” is less about its impossibility than its necessity, even in the face of insurmountable odds. That message will strike you as either reassuring or cloying depending on your own personal attitude, as will the absurd scenes involving racist Afrikaners who reverse beliefs they’ve held their entire lives after a couple of beers with Elvis and Tumi.

Then again, there is something innately likable about Nkosi and Seiphemo. The actors are long-time friends — they even took a road trip similar to the one portrayed in the film along with Turner some years ago — and their bickering, fraternal relationship is one of the few parts of “White Wedding” grounded in reality rather than fantasy. They, along with the absolutely beautiful scenery of South Africa, held my attention.

There’re worse ways to spend your time, and worse movies to spend your money on, than “White Wedding.” For a price substantially smaller than a plane ticket to South Africa, you’ll see many of the country’s sights and hear many of its languages, including Afrikaans, Tswana, and Zulu. And, of course, the language of film, which is universal.

“White Wedding” is now playing in New York and L.A.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.