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Matthew Broderick’s Wonderful World

Matthew Broderick’s Wonderful World (photo)

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Still boyishly handsome at 47, actor Matthew Broderick (“The Producers,” “Election,” and, lest anyone forget, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”) continues to split his workload between stage and screen. In the last few years, however, his film career has been more low-key, from voiceover work (“Bee Movie,” “The Tale of Despereaux”) to indies like “Then She Found Me,” “Diminished Capacity” and “Finding Amanda.” Could it be that “Inspector Gadget” himself no longer finds Hollywood roles as satisfying to the soul?

His next stop in Indiewood is writer-director Josh Goldin’s bittersweet debut “Wonderful World,” which premiered at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Broderick stars as bitter misanthrope Ben Singer, a failed children’s folk singer and divorced dad who only seems to find solace in smoking too much pot and playing chess with his Senegalese roomie Ibou (Michael Kenneth Williams). After Ibou is hospitalized, Ben begins a heartfelt but frivolous lawsuit against the city for “depraved indifference,” and begins his ascent from rock bottom with the help of Ibou’s sister Khadi (Sanaa Lathan). Broderick called me to chat about pessimism, marijuana, still being Ferris Bueller and his 2010 resolutions.

Ben’s glass isn’t just half-empty; the water itself is probably poisoned in his mind. What are you pessimistic about in these turbulent times?

Well, that’s a big question. I can be pessimistic about show business. As soon as I don’t have a job, I think I won’t work again. I’m definitely one of those. I don’t know if I’m all that pessimistic, but I am about show business. I think things aren’t going to work out right: “Oh, this play won’t work. This movie won’t be good.” I tend to do that too much, but I fight it. I don’t like to bring others into my world of negativity.

01072010_wworld1.jpgJosh Goldin claims that the character was inspired by his own cynical demeanor. What’s the reality of that confession, and what led you to trust and work with this first-time director?

We’ve been friends for, like, 20 years. I don’t see him as particularly cynical, but he says he’s from a long line of that. His grandmother was 90, and basically said before she died, “This has really been a terrible century.” He’s very funny and charming, fun to hang out with, so I’m always a little surprised when he says how cynical he is. He’s opinionated, and doesn’t like a lot of things. But his demeanor is cheerful, until something bad happens, and then he thinks that was of course going to happen.

The funniest people I’ve ever met in my life have mostly been cynical.

You’re supposed to see through the fake stuff to be funny, I guess. I don’t know, “cynical” makes me think like he’s pretending things are worse than they are.

Have you ever had career aspirations that flat-out failed, either because of bad timing, or it simply wasn’t your forte?

Sure. I’ve had parts that I read for and wanted and didn’t get. I’ve certainly had disappointments, so I can relate to that. It’s never gotten to the point where I just dropped out the way Ben does. Something good has always come about, but I can see that feeling. It’s not just his professional life. His divorce and the trouble with his daughter — there are a lot of grim things in his world, including his personal outlook. You don’t know how much he’s bringing on himself, or if it’s just circumstances.

01072010_WonderfulWorld4.jpgBen imposes that gloomy outlook on his daughter, which makes me curious if there are any beliefs or truths you have reservations about telling your kids while they’re still young?

My son is right at an age when you start to realize, “Wow, he’s learning how to deal with things by the way I’m doing it.” I am the example for him, and it’s hard. I’ll lose my temper with the dog, and he says, “Why were you so angry at the dog?” I wasn’t so angry. You just start having to be very careful. They really suck it in from what you do. The arguments you might have in the family, they’re going to remember all that forever. I wish I had a solution as to what to avoid with children, and what not to. I can relate to Ben. It’s hard to know what kind of worldview to give a kid.

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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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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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