This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.

DID YOU READ

Nancy Meyers, architecture pornographer.

Nancy Meyers, architecture pornographer. (photo)

Posted by on

Not to rag on the New York Times‘ inadvertent Week Of Women In Film, but after Manohla Dargis’ underdetailed manifesto on female directors, here comes Daphne Merkin going long in a profile on director Nancy Meyers.

The occasion is the upcoming release of “It’s Complicated,” and Meyers is by no means an unworthy subject for a lengthy interview: she is, as Merkin notes, arguably the most powerful female director in Hollywood, with control of final cut.

But… this article is such an epic fail in so many ways. Alarm bells went off early, when Merkin describes Meyers’ jewelry as “unblingy as can be” and quotes an anonymous studio marketing exec as saying (with admirably naked cynicism) the film is “a terrific populist comedy” because it “reduces well to a 30-second TV spot.”

To argue for Meyers’ significance, Merkin quotes “Elizabeth Hayt, a friend of mine in her late 40s who considers ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ to be a cultural lodestar” and grabs the (admittedly awesome) descriptive term “architecture porn” from “one disparaging poster on an Internet message board.” She claims Meyers’ body of work manages to “tease out the conflicted, humorous heart of adult life” (huh?).

12172009_architechtureporn.jpgMerkin dances around the most interesting things about Meyers (most of which are not about the actual experience of watching her movies), most obviously, the sexism issue — why does Meyers all but stand alone in the industry? — which the article touches on by raising the fact that Meyers is apparently as multi-take obsessive as David Fincher. Her friend John Burnham is quoted as saying “If Mike Nichols said to do another take there would never be any issue.” Pace Fincher’s notoriety for wearing actors down this way, that’s not necessarily true, but whatever.

The real area of Merkin’s fascination is the aforementioned “architecture porn,” to which she devotes at least a third of the article. If Meyers has any real visual trademark as a filmmaker, it’s the well-lit, expensively gracious homes her characters occupy, and the piece makes clear how much Meyers labors over them — Steve Martin compares her meticulousness to Scorsese, only focused on matters of interior design taste — and how closely they resemble her own life (for her house she ended up getting just the right beige color from Australia).

They are, in some ways, the message, more so than her achievement of making the fiftysomething professional woman as (or, in the case of “It’s Complicated,” more) desirable than the leggy twentysomething blond.

Which is why there’s something ringing hollow in the insistence that Meyers, whatever her formal gaffes, is doing something new and bold in recalibrating the center of romantic focus. She keeps the normative assumptions of the young-pretty-people romcom firmly in place, the world of fabulously expensive dates and high-pressure-but-barely-seen jobs. Every time I see Kate Hudson or whoever strapping on her shoes, I get weird visions of those It’s Just Lunch ads you see in airplane magazines, the ones about finding a mate who’s just as corporately fast-tracked, financially successful and all-round awesome as you are.

There are assumptions here about the correlation between money and romance — and no, it’s not just a flashback to the ’30s world of the flirtations of the rich and elegant, which always foregrounded class explicitly and served as a pleasing counterpoint to the Depression outside. It’s a little poisonous and always makes me feel poor. That’s something even more important than the people populating these nicely decorated frames.

[Photos: “It’s Complicated,” Universal, 2009; “architecture porn” from “The Holiday,” Columbia Pictures, 2006]

IFC_Portlandia-S8_best-of-skits_subaru-blog

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

Posted by on

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 IFC.com

IFC_Portlandia-S8_pick-a-lane_subaru-blog

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

Posted by on

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.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

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

Posted by on
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…