DID YOU READ

Women Don’t Understand Goodfellas? Don’t Make Us Laugh

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I’ll be honest, I never intentionally read the NY Post if I can help it. But this morning I, like everyone else on the Internet, was made aware of the ridiculous proclamations that writer Kyle Smith made about how women will never understand Goodfellas. Something about it being a “male fantasy” BroRomCom like Entourage or whatever. Throw in the obligatory mention of the Rat Pack and a word like “floozies,” and the stage is perfectly set for some empty-suit, white-bread wannabe to puff up his chest while sharing some fan-fiction about him relating to a bunch of hyper-masculine wise-guys in a mob flick. I can practically hear the mispronounced Italian curse words from here.

I’ve seen Goodfellas so many times that I’ve lost count. It’s one of those movies, like The Godfather, that is practically mandatory viewing if your last name ends in a vowel. Sure there are many Italian-Americans that will be quick to lambast the negative stereotype that “all Italians must be in the Mafia” (to which we all say no, because every Italian’s been taught since childhood the correct reply is “there’s no such thing as the Mafia.” After all, nobody likes a rat).

wake up henry

But my favorite part about Goodfellas, and all Mafia movies, is the side-effect it has on non-Italians, specifically the guys. It’s amusing when someone, who is about as Italian as the slice of Papa John’s pizza they probably just ate, suddenly thinks they’re the premiere authority on Goodfellas. I suddenly feel like Wesley Snipes in White Men Can’t Jump when he explains to Woody Harrelson that he can listen to Jimi Hendrix, but he can’t hear it; sure you can watch Goodfellas, but you can’t see it.

I know I have the biological handicap of owning a pair of ovaries and all, but even I know that there’s nothing about Goodfellas that is remotely like Entourage. Of course, I don’t have bro-goggles, so that may be the problem as we’ve obviously seen two completely different movies. We can’t all be winners.

Smith claims that women don’t understand the movie because they don’t understand the supposedly exclusively male art of “ball-busting.” I’m not sure if it’s something in the diets of Italian children, maybe a secret ingredient in our grandmother’s sauce, or if it’s just part of our DNA that gives us this gift. But I can assure you, it’s one that is equally bestowed on both genders. Trust me.

If one is to reduce this movie to being simply about “ball-busting,” then let’s give credit where it’s due. A large percentage of the dialogue was improvised by the predominantly Italian-American cast, including the infamous “Do I amuse you?” rant by Joe Pesci. And Lorraine Bracco, who is the only female lead in the movie, went toe-to-toe with the male dominated cast with ease because she’s an Italian chick from Brooklyn; biting sarcasm with an attitude is practically the native language.

Goodfellas Lorraine Bracco

And I don’t mean to speak on behalf of all women here, but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that maybe the people we think are lowlifes are the guys who decide what we can and can’t “understand,” as if our tiny little brains are flooded with so much estrogen that we can’t possibly relate to anything other than boyfriend problems and shoes. By the way, as a female writer living in NYC, I’m not deluded enough to buy into Carrie Bradshaw’s fictional fairytale of $500 shoes and fabulous rent-controlled apartment, despite me being a silly girl and all.

Now don’t misunderstand, anyone can watch and enjoy Goodfellas. Clearly millions of people have and do. But if we’re going to be assigning ownership or staking claim as to who “understands it” best, I’m going to have to pull rank here. I’m pretty sure I meet the imaginary minimum vowel requirement in my name and I’m definitely sure I have the shady familial connections, and both of those requirements cancel out my unfortunate circumstances of being a “chick.”

P.S. Just because you have balls and watched Goodfellas doesn’t mean you can bust-balls. Get the f-ck outta here.

Cher Martinetti is a NYC-based writer who writes for IFC, Cracked, and Blastr. Follow her on Twitter where she’s occasionally funny by accident and/or tweeting about her dogs.

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

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

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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