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Bohemian Crapsody

10 Awkward Karaoke Scenes in Movies

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Karaoke is a two-way street. Though it may seem like the most mortifying experience to stumble through a rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” it’s equally painful to be in the audience for. This week Portlandia will tackling this ancient art in a karaoke-themed episode, and we can only hope Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein don’t fall victim to the slew of awkward musical moments that we’ve seen a number of times over.

There’s a small sect of actors and actresses who have succumbed to the awkward karaoke scene on the big screen. It’s pretty much an art in itself: how do you (a) sing poorly enough and (b) make enough triumphant fist pumps to make everyone watching as uncomfortable as possible? Perhaps we can learn a thing our two from these awkward karaoke movie moments.

10. House Bunny, “Like A Virgin”

Even without the evil, blonde sorority pranking these easy targets, the ladies of Zeta Alpha Zeta are hopeless when it comes to being cool and singing a decent karaoke jam worth a damn. “Like a Virgin” is already a bold choice, but these ladies just couldn’t cut it either way. Sashay away, Emma Stone.


9. How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, “You’re So Vain”

There’s nothing worse than losing your cool on stage during a high-end dinner event. Oh wait! Yes, there is. That would be doing so while you’re dressed to the nines in a slim gown and screaming a Carly Simon classic through champagne-soaked vocal chords. Oh yeah, and your boss and your fake boyfriend’s boss are witnessing the whole thing.


8. The Cable Guy, “Somebody To Love”

Jim Carrey’s famous karaoke scene in The Cable Guy is both one of the most riveting and awkward examples of karaoke on the big screen. On the one hand, Carrey is spectacular as he throws his limbs and body all over the floor to entertain his guests, and kudos to his commitment to the bit! But that didn’t stop some of us from giggling awkwardly as he started flailing and flaunting his vocal shakes like the love child of Grace Slick and Peabo Bryson.


7. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, “I Will Survive”

“Everyone’s a goddamn singer.” Nancy, you couldn’t be more right, but you’re probably saying that because Jennifer Love Hewitt’s karaoke rendition totally sounds like it was doctored. But you can’t have an awkward karaoke moment without all of the bad acting that comes from the performer’s friends.


6. Only God Forgives, “You’re My Dream”

There are many aspects of the final karaoke scene in Only God Forgives that are unnerving. The stoic audience watching in silence, the variation of a creepy jack in the box melody, and…oh yeah, the fact that we just saw a battered Ryan Gosling lose his hands by the blade of a samurai sword.

5. Lost In Translation, “More Than This”

Scarlett Johansson knows how to work a stage, and her pink wig only works in her favor during her sassy rendition of “Brass in Pocket.” We just wish Bill Murray brought at least some pep to his step when he was passed the mic. Granted, Bill’s flat performance is perfectly in keeping with character’s state of mind. As a karaoke moment, it was awkward as hell.


4. Boys Don’t Cry, “The Bluest Eyes In Texas”

This right here is supposed to be a romantic interaction between Chloe Sevigny’s Lana and Hilary Swank’s Brandon, but all we hear are the gravely tones of these lost karaoke souls. These ladies need Whoopi to come in and transform these soft-mannered nuns into showboating Vegas headliners.


3. When Harry Met Sally, “Surrey with the Fringe on Top”

You gotta give it up for Harry and Sally for putting on a show in the middle of an electronics store, but we wouldn’t want to be a fly on the wall during this moment. We don’t blame Meg Ryan for latching onto the lyrics for dear life, especially since she wasn’t the one who picked the song. Hopefully she remembered this for the future.


2. My Best Friends Wedding, “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself”

Cameron Diaz taught Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney a valuable lesson about karaoke etiquette: if someone doesn’t want to get up in front of an entire bar and belt a tune, there might be reason for that. Not everyone can be the radiant star of the stage. If you try and force them, you come out with a trainwreck from which you simply cannot tear your eyes away, no matter how badly you wish you could avoid witnessing the destruction.


1. 40-Year-Old Virgin, “The First Time”

In a deleted scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Steve Carell gets up on stage to sing his karaoke jam…which is from the Broadway musical Zorba the Greek. Here’s the thing about singing Broadway during karaoke — don’t do it! Unless you have the sparkling pipes of Adele Dazeem.

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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…

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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. 

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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-Craft

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?”

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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).

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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.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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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.

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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.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

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.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.