Toni Collette’s “Mental” Note and the Wave of ’90s Nostalgia Soon Hitting Theaters

Toni Collette’s “Mental” Note and the Wave of ’90s Nostalgia Soon Hitting Theaters (photo)

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Toni Collette is returning to Australia to work with director PJ Hogan for the first time since the two collaborated on their breakthrough film “Muriel’s Wedding” 17 years ago on a comedy called “Mental,” in which Collette is expected to star as a caretaker for a politician’s family of seven that has recently seen their matriarch admitted into the psychiatric ward. The film will not only serve as Hogan’s first in his native country since “Muriel’s,” but it’s also the latest indie production to suggest that soon audiences could relive the glory days of ’90s, or at least enjoy a nostalgic kick of seeing many of its filmmakers reunite.

Late twentysomethings, you knew this day was coming with the pop cultural markers all around. For years, you’ve had a fond spot in your heart for “The Goonies,” A-Ha and “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, but could only embrace it at a remove from those children of the ’70s that started developing their own personal tastes in their teens and you could only watch as the “Star Wars” prequels, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and even as recently as “The Expendables” sent ripples through the spines of hardwired movie geeks that saw their progenitors in theaters rather than from worn VHS tapes.

Personally, I began to worry/anticipate this day as early as 2003 when 1987’s “Can’t Buy Me Love” was remade with a racial twist into the Nick Cannon-Christina Milian romcom “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” but this year alone, it’s a group of films with far better pedigrees that’ll start to filter through theaters possibly as soon as this fall when Whit Stillman’s “Damsels in Distress” will mark the first film from the “Metropolitan” director in more than a decade, updated to include current indie darling Greta Gerwig as a college student who falls in with a clique that aims to treat their depressed peers.

Then “Clueless” fans can expect their day of reckoning with “Vamps,” the romantic comedy that once again puts Alicia Silverstone at the center of an Amy Heckerling production where she’ll play a bloodsucker alongside Krysten Ritter who has trouble with her lovelife. And it was recently announced in Austin that cameras are rolling on a remake of Richard Linklater’s seminal 1991 film “Slacker,” backed by the Austin Film Society, which commissioned a host of local filmmakers ranging from collectives such as the Alamo Drafthouse, who came up with the idea, and the University of Texas’ Reel Women chapter to veteran helmers such as Jay Duplass (“Cyrus”) and Bradley Beesley (“Fearless Freaks”) to recreate scenes from the landmark film. The film is already scheduled to premiere in Austin on August 31st with Linklater in attendance, all to benefit the very worthwhile Texas Filmmakers Production Fund.

It isn’t limited to films – this year alone will see the return of rock bands Soundgarden and a reinvented Sublime, now called Sublime with Rome (a reference to the lead singer that’s replaced the late Bradley Nowell), but apparently 20 years has been decided upon as the right time to recycle pop culture. For “Arrested Development” fans waiting for the long-rumored movie version or the next White Stripes album, you may want to set your clocks for 2020.


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.