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“Feast of Love”

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By Matt Singer

IFC News

[Photo: Greg Kinnear in “Feast of Love,” MGM, 2007]

The movie is called “Feast of Love” and, indeed, there is much love in the movie. Too much, in fact. If this is a feast, it is one in which the host bought an enormous quantity of food, and now the guests feel obliged to stuff their craws until they’re nauseous and bloated. This sort of movie and that sort of meal calls for a kind of moderation that director Robert Benton appears unwilling to provide.

And it’s not just that so many characters are falling in and out of love — it’s that they do it so quickly as well! The various couples that come together and break apart in “Feast of Love” do so so quickly that it’s as if they’re participating in a timed track and field event. Take the film’s young couple, Oscar and Chloe. They decide to have children together after their second night together. Even if you fall in love with someone at first sight, even if you’re convinced you’re going to spend the rest of your life with the person, who drops that little nugget on date number two? At that stage, don’t people hint and tease and let their feelings out in drips and drabs? “Feast” is running a love sprint here, there’s no time for that.

The onslaught of swooning launches from the memories of Harry Scott (Morgan Freeman), a grieving college professor who assuages his insomnia by sharing with the audience his recollections of the past 18 months in the lives of his various friends and neighbors in Portland. There’s Bradley (Greg Kinnear), who runs Harry’s favorite coffee shop and doesn’t notice as his long-suffering, softball-playing wife (Selma Blair) falls for another woman (“I’m not the only one she tagged out!” she ambiguously informs Bradley when she finally comes out of the closet). And there’s also Oscar (Toby Hemingway), Bradley’s best barista, who’s the guy who informs his brand new girlfriend Chloe (Alexa Davalos) he’s ready to make some babies. Along the way, there are at least two extramarital affairs, a wedding, one off-screen death, one on-screen death, two different drug abusers, a kidnapped dog, and oodles of softcore sex scenes. No wonder Harry can’t sleep — who could with all this stuff on their mind?

Despite undeniably pretty cinematography by Kramer Morgenthau, despite a fine performance from Kinnear in a thankless role as a hapless baffoon, “Feast” gives off an undeniably “Crash”-ian vibe of didactic plot machinations: hell, someone even dies in a car. And with such a large ensemble all vying for screen time, too many of the characters remain little more that sketches (like Fred Ward as Chloe’s eeeeeevil father). “The unexpected is always upon us,” Freeman intones near the end of his drippily paternal voiceover. “And so we begin again.” Ready whenever you are, guys.

“Feast of Love” opens on September 28th (official site).

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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