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“Waiting For Forever”‘s Intriguingly Disastrous Reviews

“Waiting For Forever”‘s Intriguingly Disastrous Reviews (photo)

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I’ve said this many times before, but I subscribe to the theory that all movies can be placed along a bell curve of quality. At one end are the rare great movies. At the other, the equally rare awful movies. In the middle, the vast majority of mediocrities. My interests lie in both of the extremes, because the extremes, both good and bad, are where the unusual lives. At the middle of the curve, everything looks the same. At the edges, you get surprised.

I wrote about the last time a barrage of disastrous reviews suggested a movie’s so-bad-it’s-good promise, last November’s “The Nutcracker in 3D” (which I still haven’t seen, dammit). This week we’ve got another contender, and it’s the new indie film “Waiting For Forever.” It’s about…well, I’ll just the folks who’ve seen it explain what it’s about, starting with Stephen Holden’s description from The New York Times:

“Wearing plaid pajamas, a Chaplin bowler hat and a vest, Will [Tom Sturridge] has been hitchhiking around the country, clowning and juggling for spare change while tracking the peripatetic movements of his childhood best friend, Emma Twist (Rachel Bilson). Somehow — it is never explained — he has been able to remain apprised of her comings and goings without sending up any red flags. Some might call it stalking.”

In other words, instead of telling a sad story about a mentally ill guy’s obsession with a childhood friend, “Waiting For Forever” apparently paints Will’s hunt for his lost love as charming and adorable rather than stalker-y. As our friend Aaron Hillis wrote in The Village Voice, the film seems “strangely unaware of its overt creepiness.” Over on Movieline, here’s what Stephanie Zacharek had to say on that subject:

“The movie… insists on painting Will as a lovable misfit. Emma has no idea how Will feels about her; she hasn’t seen him in years — he worships her from afar, but doesn’t have the guts to approach her. So when he arrives back home, he does stuff like lurk outside her family’s house, waiting for a glimpse of her. When he talks about her, he says things like, ‘In my dreams I breathe her in. I feel her in the blood in my heart,’ and the female characters (among them a longtime friend played by Nikki Blonski) swoon, while the male characters — wisely — go ‘Eeww!’ At least someone’s got the right idea in this godforsaken movie.”

James Rocchi from MSN Movies doesn’t mince words either:

“‘Waiting for Forever’ isn’t just bad; it’s fascinatingly bad. Sturridge’s every line of dialogue is delivered in a hesitant, hushed, heartfelt tone with his eyes half-closed and his mouth half-open. This does not make Will look like a sensitive dreamer; it makes him look like he’s constantly on the verge of a sneeze, a stroke, or an orgasm.”

I guess you could say the acting in this film was orgasmic, then. I don’t want to, but you could. Tell me more, Nick Schager from Slant:

“Keach expects us to delight in Will, a happy-go-lucky innocent who sees only the joy and magic in life, an attitude he expresses via his pajama pants, his sappy declarations of love (he analogizes his feelings for Emma as a desire to literally enter her aorta), and his habit of randomly hopping and flittering about like a bohemian sprite. Whereas Will’s simpleminded optimism is meant to be endearing, it instead tests one’s gag reflex, and proves all the more maddening for being embraced by virtually everyone he encounters, including the featureless Emma, who is soon unable to resist Will’s indefatigable good cheer and so-so juggling skills.”

Yeah, in real life women are not impressed by juggling. And don’t ask me how I know that.

Currently, “Waiting For Forever” has a single positive review on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s from Pete Hammond at Box Office Magazine, who was quite taken with Will’s pajamas-wearing pursuit:

“While Emma is bitten by the harsh realities of life, the ever-idealistic Will is an eternal optimist. Having lost both his parents in an accident when he was only ten, the childlike Will has never emotionally grown up, but he’s innocent rather than disturbed, a true believer rather than a stalker. How refreshing to see this movie doesn’t drift into stereotypical areas similar flicks have, but instead keeps the focus on ideas and the harsh divide between the realities of life and the frustrations that remind you things could be so much more.”

Hammond also adds that “box office prospects could be bright if the right audience is aware of it.” From deep on the outer fringes of the movie bell curve, I’m doing my best.

If you’re still on the fence, here’s the film’s trailer. It opens today in New York City.

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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 IFC.com

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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.

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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…