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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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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