DID YOU READ

The top five talent agent scenes in movies

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Where would a man be without his agent? He’d be lost in the jungle (sometimes literally), wondering how all this anarchy and madness came into being. Here are some of our favorite scenes that depict the often complex but almost always beautiful relationship between an agent and his client.


Martin Short in “The Big Picture” (1989)

“The Big Picture” could be seen as the scrappy prelude to Robert Altman’s “The Player” with its story of Nick Chapman (Kevin Bacon), an up-and-coming film director who gets plunged into the madness of Hollywood following the acclaim of his Academy Award-winning student short film. Like Steve Martin’s “L.A. Story” (which was released two years later), “The Big Picture” takes place in a bizarro-alt-world Los Angeles filled with hustlers, creeps and weirdos (a portrayal that could be argued ends up being more realistic than surrealistic), with Martin Short making a rather amusing uncredited appearance as fey talent agent Neil Sussman, with whom Nick “does lunch.” Short’s obviously having a blast, and the feeling is infectious — we especially like his final exchange with the waiter, who’s quick with a detailed and eloquent description of a fellow restaurant patron.


Tom Cruise in “Jerry Maguire” (1996)

“Jerry Maguire” might be writer-director Cameron Crowe’s crowning achievement (next to “Say Anything”) due to its endlessly quotable screenplay and terrific performances by Tom Cruise as Maguire, a pushing-40 sports agent who suddenly has a crisis of conscience about the inherent moral corruption of the industry he works in, and Cuba Gooding Jr. as Rod Tidwell, the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver who’s disgruntled with his current contract. Never has there been an agent-client relationship that was more inspiring as they take on the system with a determination to make a difference in their respective fields — and it all begins in a locker room (“Towel?” “No, I air dry.”).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmj3IaB2NcE


Sydney Pollack in “Tootsie” (1982)

This hilarious exchange between long-suffering agent George Fields (played, appropriately enough, by “Tootsie” director Sydney Pollack) and his client, difficult method actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman), might not be as “iconic” as the “Help Me Help You” scene between Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. in “Jerry Maguire,” but it’s pretty close. Pollack is spot-on perfect in the role, immediately exasperated the second Hoffman walks into the room — as is, apparently, the person whom Pollack was talking to on the phone, who hangs up either on purpose or by accident (“Look what you did!”). Hey, we also might argue that a tomato wouldn’t necessarily ever sit down — “logic” has to apply to fruit, too.


Matthew McConaughey in “Tropic Thunder” (2008)

It’s always good to see Matthew McConaughey do comedy — he’s a great dramatic actor, too, but a part of us will always see him as Wooderson, the eternal admirer of trapped-in-time high school girls, from “Dazed and Confused.” The role of Rick Peck was originally intended for director-star Ben Stiller’s “Zoolander” pal, Owen Wilson (you can kind of tell — there’s something distinctly Owen Wilson-ish about Peck’s dialogue), but McConaughey makes it his own just fine, balancing the agent’s fast-talking industry speak with an inherent sweetness that comes from the fact that he’s hopelessly in love with his client, aging action star Tugg Speedman (Stiller), whom he affectionately refers to as “Tugboat.” One thing’s for sure — Peck has the best office, like, ever.


Ron Livingston in “Adaptation” (2002)

Ron Livingston’s first contribution to the conversation between him and his neurotic screenwriting client, Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage), could’ve been his only line in the movie and he still would’ve stolen the entire thing from a heavyweight cast that also includes Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper and Brian Cox. Livingston’s Marty Bowen (who’s based, at least in name, on Kaufman’s real-life agent) is a spot-on caricature of what most people think talent agents must be like — id-driven, narcissistic and almost endearingly clueless/distracted. The fact that Cage’s Kaufman has no response whatsoever to his agent’s random revelation about a female co-worker makes it even funnier.


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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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