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DID YOU READ

Maggie Carey Talks Dirty About The To Do List

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For every movie about a guy’s quest to lose his virginity, there’s a girl’s story left untold — but The To Do List has that on the top of its list to remedy. Our heroine, Brandy Klark, played with much aplomb by Aubrey Plaza, is her graduating high school class’ valedictorian, but she has a singular goal to achieve before she starts college — and it’s to sleep with hot older guy about town Rusty Waters (played by Scott Porter). Since she’s a virgin, her plan is to get some experience under her belt first, so she makes a checklist of every sexual practice she’s ever heard of, with the goal to acquire skills she thinks it would be necessary to finally “graduate” in this arena.

“People said, ‘Aubrey’s too pretty. Guys would just sleep with her, no problem,'” the film’s writer/director Maggie Carey told IFC. “But she doesn’t want just any boy. She wants a hot college boy, and she has no way to wow him. She’s inarticulate in front of him.”

Brandy, however, is far from inarticulate in front of everybody else. She’s the quintessential high-achieving smart girl at school, who in any other movie or sitcom would be portrayed as a nerd, even if she’s a cute nerd. Think Carol Seavers on Growing Pains, Jesse on Saved by the Bell, Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tracy Flick in Election, Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. Some of these girls are referenced visually in the film, which takes place in 1993, since the costume designer actually tracked down wardrobe items from Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills, 90210. “When Rachel Bilson shows up at the pool with a great black and white print with the midriff showing, that was something Donna would have worn,” Carey said.

Although these girls did sometimes get the hot guy (or hot girl, in Willow’s case), they usually had some degree of romantic feeling about it. The ones who were a little more cynical about it — Stacy in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Ferris and Angel in Little Darlings — had to pay a price of sorts for their nonchalance.”One thing that was very important to me is that losing it wasn’t a bad thing,” Carey said. “I didn’t want Brandy to regret it. It didn’t happen as she thought it would, or the way she expected it would, but she was in control. The audience never had to be worried for her, so you’re not uncomfortable.”

Some of Brandy’s first experiences with making out, digital stimulation, and hand jobs are with her male study partner Cameron (played by Johnny Simmons). From his perspective, this constitutes a romance, but not in Brandy’s eyes.

“That was something that even when I was trying to get the movie financed, marketed, and tested, people kept calling it a romantic comedy,” Carey laughed. “But this is not romantic! This is a comedy comedy, not a romantic comedy. Don’t get me wrong. I love romantic comedies, but that’s not what this is. Brandy is stereotypically male, and Cameron is stereotypically female, because he’s sappy about it, and she’s more methodical, treating sex like she’s studying for a test.”

Hence her penchant for wanting to get the terminology right. A funny discussion between Brandy’s friends (played by Alia Shawkat and Sarah Steele) is a debate about what to call a particular sex act, pre-Internet when you couldn’t look up sex slang on Google. “It’s the one most people kept asking me about, when I sent out a draft of the script for feedback,” Carey said. “Fingerbang. One person said, ‘No, I think it’s called, ‘Fingerblasted.’ Another would write back, ‘I think it’s fingerbombed.’ So I turned that into the argument in the movie.” (The term that confused Carey most growing up? “Pearl necklace. No one was doing it, but people would make jokes about it, and you’d be like, ‘What is that? What? No thank you!'”)

During one of these feedback sessions, Michael Cera came up with an alternate title for the film — The Fuck-It List. “That was a pretty brilliant title,” Carey chuckled. “We actually were going to call the film The Hand Job at one point, and then once we started location scouting at schools, we realized we couldn’t keep it.”

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Final Countdown

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 IFC.com

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Rev Up

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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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…