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Critic wrangle: “Fat Girls.”

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"Holy crap."
22-year-old Ash Christian wrote, directed, stars in and takes a bit of a critical beating for "Fat Girls," his film about a gay teenager in conservative Texas and his overweight best friend. Michael Koresky at indieWIRE uses the occasion of the film’s hitting theaters to dwell on the current state of the gay coming-of-age tale, which, he writes, "has become as rote, unimaginative, and self-regarding as the mainstream teen dreck that crowds multiplexes."

Case in point: Ash Christian’s preening "Fat Girls," a film as crude as its title that treads such familiar ground that it’s nearly impossible to distinguish from its DV brethren. With its stunning lack of visual ingenuity in its parade of flat, barely cobbled together scenes, one might think it the work of a child. Well, that wouldn’t be far off: the directorial debut of the only 22-year-old Christian, "Fat Girls" (the title refers to Christian’s homogenized description of the state of mind of gay men) seems to be haphazardly shot from the kind of script that most aspiring filmmakers write in their late teens and then disregard when the world opens up to them a little bit more.

"Fat Girls is fully in the ‘quirky indie’ mold," adds Noel Murray at the Onion AV Club, "populated by frumpy characters who sport slack expressions and enthuse about silly life plans. (Christian’s morbidly obese best friend, for example, proudly announces her plan to go the community college and become a nutritionist. Ha ha.)" Stephen Holden at the New York Times suggests that "For all its veneer of sensitivity, ‘Fat Girls’ turns ugly in a farcical sequence in which Sabrina gets stuck inside a Volkswagen Beetle while making out with Rudy. Even on the crudest finger-pointing level, it isn’t funny."

It’s not all negative: "Despite its many shortcomings, Christian’s film exhibits an understanding for high school cliquishness and the ensuing sense of alienation felt by those who don’t fit in," allows Nick Schager at Slant, while Abigail Deutsch at the Village Voice writes that the characters "mope in and out of classrooms wearing expressions of gaping, undisguised horror that alone justify the existence of this film," and salutes that fact that the film "goes to some lengths not to be another high-school movie, which means prom stinks and no one can sing."

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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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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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

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