DID YOU READ

Mark and Jay Duplass and Judy Greer talk life after “Jeff, Who Lives At Home”

Judy Greer in Jeff, Who Lives at Home

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“Jeff, Who Lives At Home” may be a studio film, but it still feels as small and personal as any Duplass brothers project. The movie was praised for drawing new performances out of its leads — Jason Segel and Ed Helms — by placing them in roles that were twists on the characters that they have become known for.

In the months since “Jeff” hit theaters in limited release, it’s found a niche audience and earned a positive response from critics. At an event in Los Angeles promoting the DVD/Blu-Ray release of the movie, Jay Duplass admitted that he was surprised at the divided interpretations its drawn those who have seen the movie.

“A lot of my friends have called, and … a lot of people will be like, ‘Yeah man, you made a beautiful movie about the reality of the universe and that destiny is real and that everything is interconnected, and I’m glad that you did that,’ and then I have my other friends that are like, ‘Dude, you made the funniest fucking movie about those idiots that think everything is connected in the universe. It’s like, yeah, you keep holding on to anything for long enough, it’ll eventually come true,'” he said. “Everyone thinks that their own conception is like what we intended or created or whatever. It’s been really wild. I never know what people are going to say about it.”

The party was held at the appropriately titled Basement Tavern in Santa Monica, and if he had been there, Jeff would approve. Some of his insights were scribbled up on the wall in chalk, Buffalo Trace bourbon was the well whisky and “Signs” was playing on one of the bar’s television screens. Even wood glue was passed out at the end of the night so that the attendees could complete the journey that Jeff embarked on in the movie.

The logline of the film– a slacker stoner gets sent to buy wood glue for his mother but ends up discovering his destiny while spending the day with his jerk brother — might not seem like its something that would appeal to all audiences, but the deeper messages of the movie and intimate way it is told make it something that can connect with many people. Duplass said that it is a goal of his and his creative partner Mark Duplass‘s to tell stories that are very personal to them.

“It’s about issues that are near and dear to us,” he explained. “We’re obsessed with family, we’re obsessed with like just the whole concept of believing in something big and how hard do you have to work to get it, should you force it or you should you let it come to you?”

Mark, also present at the party, agreed with those sentiments. “While a stoner living in his basement who’s obsessed with the movie ‘Signs’ isn’t someone that people can immediately connect with, the core of him as this guy who wants more for his life and believes that there’s something great out there for him, I guess there’s a sweetness and a comedy to that that I think, I guess I’ve learned, do connect broader than just the specificity of his character,” he said.

Judy Greer, who plays the potentially adulterous wife of Helms’s character, said that this is a project she’s been attached to since the get-go. She’s been happy with the success it’s seen, and is always pleased to promote it to anyone she can talk to.

“I have been enjoying all the people who go see it who genuinely love the movie,” she said. “It’s so easy for me to tell people to go see it because I’m so proud of it, and I rarely really pitch my own work because it just doesn’t feel right to do, I feel like other people should do it, but with this movie I just love talking about, I love telling people to go see it.”

Her greatest moment following the film’s release came when she heard it mentioned on Sirius XM radio.

“I listen to Sirius XM New in my car obsessively, and I love like this moment when they were playing our song that fucking Beck made for our movie, which is bananas, so then my first thought is like, ‘Oh my god, Beck has seen me in a movie! How cool is that?’ Beck knows my work. That was the first thing. And then the DJ was like, ‘That’s the song for “Jeff, Who Lives At Home,” it’s so awesome, really awesome movie, you guys should go check it out,’ and I was like, ‘I’m in that movie!'” she said enthusiastically. “I wanted to call in.”

Judging by the chemistry and good relationship present between Greer and the Duplass brothers, it clear that they enjoyed working with each other on “Jeff, Who Lives At Home.” And with the Duplass’s movie “The Do-Deca-Pentathalon” coming out on July 6, they now have time to look forward at future projects. Jay said that he and Mark had been talking to Greer about teaming up on another movie as recently as that night.

“I can’t tease anything yet [points at Greer], but there are some definite things in the works,” he said.

It will likely be a change of pace from their typical films, as well. Apparently after some prodding from their wives, the Duplass brothers have decided it’s time to make a movie with a female lead.

“We’re early in our careers and we’re two dudes who are desperate, so we’ve been making movies about that lately,” Jay explained. “Our wives are kind of like, ‘Enough with it. Enough with it. Let’s make some movies about some people who don’t have balls.'”

“Jeff, Who Lives At Home” comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 19.

Has Jeff’s story stayed with you since “Jeff, Who Lives At Home” was released? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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