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“Homewrecker,” the crazy chick and the convict meet cute.

“Homewrecker,” the crazy chick and the convict meet cute. (photo)

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Reviewed at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

“Homewrecker,” the winning entrant in Sundance’s inaugural low-budget NEXT program, won me over with an early scene at an upscale Chelsea bistro. Mike (Anslem Richardson), a locksmith who’s out on work release, has essentially had his day hijacked by Margo (Ana Reeder), your archetypal crazy chick. She thinks her boyfriend Charles (Stephen Rannazzisi) is cheating on her, and insists Mike follow Charles into a restaurant to strike up a casual conversation with him and figure out if her suspicions are true.

It’s all terribly sitcom set-up, and you’re wincing in anticipation of the awkward hijinks that are sure to ensue when the black convict tries to talk to the uptight white gallery owner he’s never met before about the intricacies of his dating life. But Mike asks him Charles if he thinks the shoes he’s wearing will be okay for a date, tell Charles he’s just out of jail and is out of practice, and Charles is immediately disarmed. “I’m happy for you,” he tells Mike. And he means it.

And so goes “Homewrecker,” a slight but charming comedy from brother filmmaking team Brad and Todd Barnes that keeps undermining its own strenuously quirky set pieces with an overwhelming generosity towards its characters, who are allowed to expand far beyond the labels I’ve just pinned on them. In “Homewrecker”‘s New York, people are genial and open — not unnaturally so, but just enough, enough that life in the big bad city might not seem so hopeless for a fundamentally nice guy who believes in true love and who’s just trying to get back on his feet. Even loopy Margo, who has the potential to be a seriously problematic character, is just grounded enough to keep tugging sympathy periodically back to her side.

“Homewrecker” does not yet have U.S. distribution.

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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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