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“Iron Man 2″‘s redeemed burnouts and other summer meta-casting.

“Iron Man 2″‘s redeemed burnouts and other summer meta-casting. (photo)

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On June 23, after nine long years of anticipation, Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise will finally be reunited in “Knight and Day.”

The last time they paired up was a very memorable incident indeed. The occasion was Cameron Crowe’s loopy-but-endearing “Vanilla Sky,” in which Cruise played a rich guy with a shit-eating grin and Diaz played a psychotic bitch who got to utter the immortal lines “I swallowed your cum! That means something!”

Their relationship, alas, wasn’t destined to work out — as generally happens whenever Penelope Cruz decides to become the third part of the love triangle — but now they have a second chance at love, this time with Cruise as the crazy one. It’s going to be a blast.

Meta-casting — the art of reuniting stars with past on-screen histories, thereby letting the audience make some connotative connections, or otherwise playing off past imagery — is something that doesn’t happen often enough. There are, still, some amusing examples from this summer.

The implicit subtext of “Iron Man 2″‘s Downey-Rourke face-off, as has been widely noted, is former burnouts redeemed and going mano-a-mano. Next Friday begins the limited release of “Cyrus,” in which Jonah Hill torments John C. Reilly — payback, perhaps, for “Walk Hard,” in which young Reilly kills his brother accidentally, only to have him show back up in the form of Hill as ghost. (Given the way they sort of resemble each other, I expect this to keep happening for years.)

06102010_eclipse.jpgHaving made out in “The Runaways,” Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart will get back to proper money-making business in the latest “Twilight” movie, which makes the Joan Jett/Cherie Currie biopic the rough equivalent of slash fanfiction.

Still to come as well are two especially piquant pairings of the rom com variety. In “He’s Just Not That Into You,” Justin Long found true love (with Ginnifer Goodwin) and Drew Barrymore didn’t (with Kevin Connolly). In “Going The Distance,” can they find true love… together? Bonus layer of context: the two have resumed their real life romantic relationship.

Similar questions confront us when thinking about Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman in “The Switch.” In “The Break-Up,” Bateman was Vaughn’s friend, watching the disintegrating relationship from the sidelines; now, after all these years, he can make his move! This will also be the second time a pregnancy has been the inciting incident for Bateman, after “Juno.” It’s like when Katherine Heigl gets pregnant in “Killers” and it ultimately seals an otherwise unstable relationship!

[Photos: “Knight and Day,” 20th Century Fox, 2010; “The Switch,” Miramax, 2010]

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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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