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There & Back: Diablo Cody.

There & Back: Diablo Cody. (photo)

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Unless she changes her schtick, Diablo Cody, last year’s fresh face of screenwriting success, could become next year’s Shane Black or Joe Eszterhas, screenwriters who were briefly brand names until too many of their films tanked. In Cody’s case, the rise/fall cycle’s accelerated by the way she served as the main talking point related to “Juno.” With a stripper backstory and a pin-up girl tattoo, she was a journalist’s dream, shot to fame fast, and just as quickly sparked a backlash and sophomore slump anticipation.

Five months ago, the New York Times was profiling Cody and her posse as the hot young vanguards of female Hollywood. But now Cody’s plowed that power into “Jennifer’s Body,” which has received some rough reviews at Toronto.

“Jennifer’s Body” is a slightly more mainstream replication of the elements of “Juno”‘s formula for success: starlet Megan Fox instead of starlet Ellen Page, horror comedy instead of quirky comedy, Dashboard Confessional on the soundtrack instead of Belle & Sebastian. But Cody’s signature remains her dialogue, which transcends genres and presumably just needs a more commercial facade to really make bank: a hard-to-describe amalgam of purposefully outdated vernacular, incongruous pop culture references and sarcasm all mashing up against itself.

As Steven Zeitchik notes at the Hollywood Reporter‘s “Risky Business” blog, “Body” is replete new Cody quotebombs like “Jesus fries” and “What’s up, Vagisil?” And if you wonder what that means, it appears the cast and crew didn’t know either. It’s actually kind of remarkable that Fox stood up in public and admitted that at times, neither she nor director Karyn Kusama knew what they were filming. Fox: “I’d say to Karyn ‘What does that mean?’ And she’d say, ‘I don’t know, but let’s shoot it anyway.'” Nice.

Being able to get your screenplay filmed absolutely unaltered — even when it’s a patently terrible idea — requires an almost-impossible-to-get amount of clout. When, in all probability, audiences respond underwhelmingly to Fox trying to sound acerbic and funny without necessarily understanding what she’s saying, it’ll be the last time Cody gets that kind of unfettered opportunity. Her signature will be her undoing — now that’s a cautionary whale.

[Photo: “Jennifer’s Body,” Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, 2009]

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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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