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Comedy Calendar: Your June Movie Options

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Welcome to “Comedy Calendar,” a regular column that tracks the month’s most intriguing film comedies that will be coming to a theater near you.

Summer movie season means big studio blockbusters, often featuring characters with capes or guns, but it’s also a time for starry comedies. June will see the arrival of much-hyped films from the likes of Melissa McCarthy and Vince Vaughn, but the art houses are making room for campy exports from Spain and a fanboy favorite’s adaptation of a Bard classic. There’s even something this month for the kids. Here’s a rundown of this month’s comedy options…

“The Internship” (June 7)

What It’s About: Two downsized fortysomething salesmen try to remake themselves by landing a high-profile internship at Google, where they have to compete with a younger generation that’s far more tech-savvy than they are.

Who’s In It: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi.

Why You Should Care: Before the “Hangover” movies and “Ted,” 2005’s “Wedding Crashers” was one of the highest-grossing R-rated comedies ever. Somewhat amazingly, they never made a sequel, so “The Internship” (which is PG-13) will serve as something of a de facto follow-up for Vaughn and Wilson. No wonder the film’s tagline says that the guys are “Crashing The System”: Fox is going to do everything in their power to help you associate this film with that massive hit.

“Much Ado About Nothing” (June 7)

What It’s About: A modern-day remake of William Shakespeare’s comedy about two longtime lovers, Beatrice and Benedick, dueling over the meaning and importance of love.

Who’s In It: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Reed Diamond, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, Jillian Morgese.

Why You Should Care: Shot in black-and-white and filmed in only 12 days, this “Much Ado” boasts serious cool cachet thanks to who wrote and directed it: Joss Whedon. Featuring several cast members who have been part of Whedon’s world — whether on “The Avengers” (Gregg), “Angel” (Acker) or “Firefly” (Fillion) — this adaptation has gotten strong reviews, suggesting that it’s far from a self-indulgent vanity project for the cult-icon-turned-blockbuster-filmmaker.

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“Syrup” (June 7)

What It’s About: A young, go-getting advertising executive has to contend with professional dangers within his cutthroat industry, as well as an office romance with a fellow shark.

Who’s In It: Shiloh Fernandez, Amber Heard, Kellan Lutz, Brittany Snow.

Why You Should Care: “Syrup,” which is already available on iTunes, is based on Max Barry’s well-reviewed 1999 novel, a satire of the marketing world that’s especially timely in the age of “Mad Men.”

“This Is the End” (June 12)

What It’s About: A group of friends in Los Angeles go to a big bash at James Franco’s place. It would be an amazing night if not for the fact that the apocalypse starts raging outside.

Who’s In It: Just about every hip comic actor you can name, including Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Mindy Kaling, Michael Cera and Seth Rogen, who co-wrote and co-directed the film. Oh, and Franco’s also in it.

Why You Should Care: “This Is the End” sports a funny premise, and with its R rating, it looks to be the month’s most gleefully out-there film. And considering that cast, the movie feels like the “Avengers” of summer comedies.

“Monsters University” (June 21)

What It’s About: A prequel to “Monsters, Inc.,” “Monsters University” takes us back to when Mike and Sulley first met while in college.

Who’s In It: Reprising their roles are voice actors Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi.

Why You Should Care: Pixar remains one of the more reliable Hollywood brands out there, although their recent films (“Cars 2” and “Brave”) have been among their weakest. Can “Monsters University” reverse that trend? The answer may depend on how much you love “Monsters, Inc.” — and how much you’ve been craving a movie that showed the characters in their younger years.

“The Heat” (June 28)

What It’s About: A by-the-book FBI agent and an out-of-control police detective must join forces to beat the bad guys and crack wise.

Who’s In It: Sandra Bullock as the FBI agent. Melissa McCarthy as the detective. Also, Tony Hale, Taran Killam, Kaitlin Olson and Marlon Wayans.

Why You Should Care: “The Heat” is the follow-up film from Paul Feig, the director of “Bridesmaids,” which helped launch McCarthy, who snagged an Oscar nomination in the process. She and Bullock are probably the most bankable female comic stars at the moment, and this “Lethal Weapon”-but-with-women movie has potential.

“I’m So Excited!” (June 28)

What It’s About: When a plane bound for Mexico starts to develop mechanical issues midair, the crew and passengers must band together to avert disaster.

Who’s In It: Javier Camara, Carlos Areces, Raul Arevalo and, in cameos, Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz. But the movie’s real star is its director, Pedro Almodóvar.

Why You Should Care: An Oscar-winner who in the last decade has become one of the industry’s most honored and recognizable international filmmakers, Almodóvar takes a break from kinky dramas (“Bad Education” and “The Skin I Live In”) and touching dramas (“All About My Mother” and “Talk to Her”) to return to his camp roots for what looks like a very silly, very fabulous romp.

You can follow Tim Grierson on Twitter.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.