The 20 best job-quitting scenes of all time (with video)


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16. “Parenthood” (1989)

Family comes before putting in overtime so clients can get laid in Ron Howard’s ensemble dramedy, with Steve Martin realizing that nothing he does at work is ever going to be good enough for his bosses as long as he’s got a wife and kids to steal his attention from the office. The former wild and crazy guy of “Saturday Night Live” can’t help but go a little over-the-top in this scene (he does a particular weird hand gesture with “Aren’t you dazzled?” that he doesn’t seem to think works himself), but his everyman charm keeps you rooting for him as he chooses being a husband and father over putting together deals for ungrateful suits with questionable priorities.

17. “Scarface” (1983)

“I gotta protect my investment!” Oh, Tony — if you had just stayed at your greasy spoon job and at least tried to make an honest living like the rest of the Cuban refugees, maybe you wouldn’t have ended up riddled with bullets and done a belly-flop into your indoor pool-fountain thing. Tony Montana (Al Pacino) and his pal Manny (Steven Bauer) decide to commit to a life of crime full-time in this scene, literally throwing their towels into the face of their employer and leaving him to do all of the dirty dishes himself. One of the most epic rises to power and descents into hell will soon ensue.

18. “Two Weeks Notice” (2002)

Yeah, after years of working 18-hour days, seven days a week for a lawyer who treats her more like a nanny than a colleague, let a girl have her stapler, would ya? Sandra Bullock tries to leave her job with quiet dignity, but all it takes is one person to challenge her about so-called “company property” for all of the anger and frustration involved with being overworked and unappreciated to explode all over the place. Wouldn’t you know it, Hugh Grant plays the boss in this, too, though he’s a little less of a jerk here than he was in “Bridget Jones’ Diary.” Anyway, let this be a lesson to anyone who ever sees someone taking office supplies on their last day — just look the other way.

19. “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (2001)

There’s been a countless number of scenes where the person quitting their job is oh so calm, collected and witty as the boss — who usually deserves being told off and then some — gets all flustered and exasperated but remains powerless and is ultimately mega-humiliated, usually in front of the rest of the office. “Bridget Jones’ Diary” has one of those scenes, with Renee Zellweger never breaking a sweat (or her fake British accent) as she tells that sleazy lovable fop Hugh Grant that he can stick his six-weeks-notice policy where the sun don’t shine.

20. “Wanted” (2008)

James McAvoy tells off his abrasive boss in front of the whole office in this scene from Timur Bekmambetov’s geeked-out action flick, an act of defiance that puts him on the path of embracing his destiny as the son of a professional assassin. Bekmambetov’s style is so over-the-top and undisciplined that the scene is more bizarre than cathartic, but McAvoy’s effortless likability keeps it at least somewhat grounded in something resembling reality. The cherry on top is a keyboard to Chris Pratt’s face; that’ll teach you to sleep with Charles Xavier’s girlfriend, pal.

Do you have your own favorite job-quitting scenes? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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Byrning Down the House

Everything You Need to Know About the Film That Inspired “Final Transmission”

Documentary Now! pays tribute to "Stop Making Sense" this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Cinecom/courtesy Everett Collection

This week Documentary Now! is with the band. For everyone who’s ever wanted to be a roadie without leaving the couch, “Final Transmission” pulls back the curtain on experimental rock group Test Pattern’s final concert. Before you tune in Wednesday at 10P on IFC, plug your amp into this guide for Stop Making Sense, the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Hailed as one of the best concert films ever created, director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) captured the energy and eccentricities of a band known for pushing the limits of music and performance.

Make an Entrance

Lead singer David Byrne treats the concert like a story: He enters an empty stage with a boom box and sings the first song on the setlist solo, then welcomes the other members of the group to the stage one song at a time.

Steal the Spotlight

David Byrne Dancing
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Always a physical performer, Byrne infuses the stage and the film with contagious joy — jogging in place, dancing with lamps, and generally carrying the show’s high energy on his shoulders.

Suit Yourself

Byrne makes a splash in his “big suit,” a boxy business suit that grows with each song until he looks like a boy who raided his father’s closet. Don’t overthink it; on the DVD, the singer explains, “Music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head.”

View from the Front Row

Stop Making Sense Band On Stage
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Demme (who also helmed 1987’s Swimming to Cambodia, the inspiration for this season’s Documentary Now! episode “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”) films the show by putting viewers in the audience’s shoes. The camera rarely shows the crowd and never cuts to interviews or talking heads — except the ones onstage.

Let’s Get Digital

Tina Weymouth Keyboard
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Stop Making Sense isn’t just a good time — it’s also the first rock movie to be recorded entirely using digital audio techniques. The sound holds up more than 30 years later.

Out of Pocket

Talk about investing in your art: Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz told Rolling Stone that the members of the band “basically put [their] life savings” into the movie, and they didn’t regret it.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Stop Making Sense when “Final Transmission” premieres Wednesday, October 12 at 10P on IFC.

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