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Ten Offbeat Comedy Moments from Wes Anderson Movies


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Director Wes Anderson is known for his innovative and offbeat sensibilities with blending odd comedy with artsy drama in ways that appeal to minds that are far afield – something most film fanatics tend to appreciate. He’s also known for having a steady stable of actors at his disposal, having given Jason Schwartzman and Owen & Luke Wilson their first break (Owen co-wrote a few of the films as well), and having elevated Bill Murray to the realm of Oscar contention.  His comedy stylings aren’t generally suited to being taken out of context, as they will be in this list of ten great moments from his films (for which we could find video clips), because most of the amusement is derived from having the weird characters bounce off each other. However, with the fresh release of his latest effort, “Moonrise Kingdom,” it’s well worth the trouble to take a look back over his filmography to find the funny. He’s not a super-prolific auteur, but in his case, it’s very much quality over quantity, and his films always find a way to get under your skin.

1. “Bottle Rocket” – The Planning

Anderson’s first feature film arrived in 1996, bringing the Wilson brothers with it as they expanded on Anderson’s short film of the same name. Owen plays Dignan, an oddball who has a meticulous plan for a string of heists that he’s trying to convince his disinterested accomplice Anthony (Luke) to go along with it. In this clip, we get a sense of Anthony’s malaise and Dignan’s uptight devotion to his ridiculous dream of being a master criminal. 

2. “Bottle Rocket” – The Heist

Why is Dignan’s dream ridiculous? Because this is what happens when you bring a getaway driver on board simply because he’s the only guy you know with a car, and why if nobody else is really all that into being thieves, your caper is likely to go pear-shaped in a hurry. Much like this clip. 

3. “Rushmore” – The Dinner

Anderson’s real breakthrough hit was this 1998 cult favorite that introduced us to Jason Schwartzman as the precocious, ambitious and belligerent Rushmore Academy student Max Fischer, who has formed a single-minded obsession with Olivia Williams’ Rosemary Cross, a teacher at the school who also gets involved with Bill Murray’s disillusioned industrialist Herman Blume.  However, when Luke Wilson’s Dr. Peter Flynn seems to be a threat for her affections, Max goes hilariously overboard in making him feel unwelcome. 

4. “Rushmore” – The Battle of Wills

Although Max admires Blume initially, when he realizes they are both competing for the affections of a rather uncomfortable Rosemary, their friendship degenerates into an enmity rather quickly, and a battle of wills, pranks and skullduggery ensues. It involves bees. 

5. “The Royal Tenenbaums” – Margot’s History

2001 saw Anderson returning with this ensemble dramedy about a fairly messed up family, thanks to the reckless self-interest of their patriarch, Royal (Gene Hackman), who is now trying to make amends.  However, such damage is not so easily undone, as we see when his adopted daughter Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) has her ridiculously sordid past revealed when both her husband Raleigh St. Clair (Bill Murray) and her pseudo-brother and secret crush Richie (Luke Wilson) hire a private eye to dig up the dirt. Murray’s response makes it work. 

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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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