Ten Offbeat Comedy Moments from Wes Anderson Movies


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Director Wes Anderson is known for his innovative and offbeat sensibilities with blending odd comedy with artsy drama in ways that appeal to minds that are far afield – something most film fanatics tend to appreciate. He’s also known for having a steady stable of actors at his disposal, having given Jason Schwartzman and Owen & Luke Wilson their first break (Owen co-wrote a few of the films as well), and having elevated Bill Murray to the realm of Oscar contention.  His comedy stylings aren’t generally suited to being taken out of context, as they will be in this list of ten great moments from his films (for which we could find video clips), because most of the amusement is derived from having the weird characters bounce off each other. However, with the fresh release of his latest effort, “Moonrise Kingdom,” it’s well worth the trouble to take a look back over his filmography to find the funny. He’s not a super-prolific auteur, but in his case, it’s very much quality over quantity, and his films always find a way to get under your skin.

1. “Bottle Rocket” – The Planning

Anderson’s first feature film arrived in 1996, bringing the Wilson brothers with it as they expanded on Anderson’s short film of the same name. Owen plays Dignan, an oddball who has a meticulous plan for a string of heists that he’s trying to convince his disinterested accomplice Anthony (Luke) to go along with it. In this clip, we get a sense of Anthony’s malaise and Dignan’s uptight devotion to his ridiculous dream of being a master criminal. 

2. “Bottle Rocket” – The Heist

Why is Dignan’s dream ridiculous? Because this is what happens when you bring a getaway driver on board simply because he’s the only guy you know with a car, and why if nobody else is really all that into being thieves, your caper is likely to go pear-shaped in a hurry. Much like this clip. 

3. “Rushmore” – The Dinner

Anderson’s real breakthrough hit was this 1998 cult favorite that introduced us to Jason Schwartzman as the precocious, ambitious and belligerent Rushmore Academy student Max Fischer, who has formed a single-minded obsession with Olivia Williams’ Rosemary Cross, a teacher at the school who also gets involved with Bill Murray’s disillusioned industrialist Herman Blume.  However, when Luke Wilson’s Dr. Peter Flynn seems to be a threat for her affections, Max goes hilariously overboard in making him feel unwelcome. 

4. “Rushmore” – The Battle of Wills

Although Max admires Blume initially, when he realizes they are both competing for the affections of a rather uncomfortable Rosemary, their friendship degenerates into an enmity rather quickly, and a battle of wills, pranks and skullduggery ensues. It involves bees. 

5. “The Royal Tenenbaums” – Margot’s History

2001 saw Anderson returning with this ensemble dramedy about a fairly messed up family, thanks to the reckless self-interest of their patriarch, Royal (Gene Hackman), who is now trying to make amends.  However, such damage is not so easily undone, as we see when his adopted daughter Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) has her ridiculously sordid past revealed when both her husband Raleigh St. Clair (Bill Murray) and her pseudo-brother and secret crush Richie (Luke Wilson) hire a private eye to dig up the dirt. Murray’s response makes it work. 

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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.