Enlightened: A New Age of Comedy

Richard Lawson & Brian Moylan · 10/11/11 11:41AM

Because it loves nothing more than it loves a challenge, HBO's newest show Enlightened takes on the complicated world of self-help and recovery. So, what did we make of Laura Dern and screenwriter Mike White's character study?

Justin Long and Mike White Are Gay Married and Hating It

Richard Lawson · 06/07/10 10:14AM

Many anti-gay activists want to figure out how to eradicate the frivolous, sex-crazed gay lifestyle. Mike White and Justin Long have the answer: let them get married! In this charming pro-gay marriage video the two actors show how its done.

The Rising Hotness of Taylor Kitsch

Richard Lawson · 04/08/10 09:33AM

His hotness — career hotness — is definitely, um, hottening up. Also today: Harrison Ford will never tire of killing aliens, a new Laura Dern series excites, a new William H. Macy series exhausts (for some reason), and Twilight!

Diane Keaton: From Here to Obscurity?

STV · 09/26/08 06:15PM

No one around here really wants to have the Save-a-Fading-Hollywood-Icon conversation every day. But less than 24 hours after Ed McMahon's sad, bought-and-paid-for declaration that "I am officially a rapper," the quiet dumping of Diane Keaton's new film Smother (or the fact that there even is a Diane Keaton film called Smother) leaves us no real choice. The Oscar-winner's latest is her fourth consecutive Straight-to-Flopz™ effort since 2007, as well as the third during that time (alongside Because I Said So and Mama's Boy) in which she's portrayed a suffocating harpy mom. Worse yet — depressingly so — Smother is the first Diane Keaton film in our adult lifetimes that we didn't even know existed until after it opened. Not. Cool. And it's not like rookie distributor Variance Films didn't have a trailer (follow the jump), a decent cast (Liv Tyler, Dax Shepard, Mike White) or even a fun poster to market. So what happened?Part of it is Keaton's own fault. After a tandem comprising Something's Gotta Give (her most recent Oscar-nominated role) and The Family Stone, Keaton has coasted chronically through paycheck after paycheck. We'd seen hints as recently as 2001, when her mob comedy Plan B went straight to video, but her reputation as a selective stateswoman of American cinema slid for real with Because I Said So and the heist flick Mad Money. They combined for $62 million domestically but were generally reviled as beneath their star. And they were beneath Keaton; The Family Stone wasn't going to make anyone forget Annie Hall as a whole, but as late-career matriarch roles go, she was as good as she'd ever been. Then came the DVD- (and hell-) ready Mama's Boy, co-starring Jon Heder and essentially remade as Smother with a date-movie-palatability quotient bumped up. Neither found traction with critics, but Variance didn't bother with press or preview screenings at all. That settled it for critics, with Ebert-thwacking indie grump Lou Lumenick positing "Diane Keaton Scrapes the Barrel" and another reviewer asking: "Does Diane Keaton owe some loan sharks a considerable amount of cash? Are there incriminating photos of her that she’s insistent never see the light of day?" We wouldn't rule it out. And the thing is, she's still so smart and funny and beautiful — too much so for all of this. Smother, Diane? Really? The optimist in us has to move ahead assuming it's a rough patch, but so help us, if we her selling credit reports in a miniskirt on Pimp Ed McMahon's arm, we'll come save her ourselves. This is serious.

STV · 07/14/08 11:10AM

School Reunion: We're learning more today about the tearduct-tweaking, franchise-ready School of Rock "reboot" that Mike White teased us with at the LA Film Festival; Variety has word about School of Rock 2: America Rocks, which Scott Rudin will produce and to which Paramount has attached Jack Black and director Richard Linklater. And as opposed to White's cruel stonewalling last month, the plot is apparently now safe for public dissemination: Black returns as teacher Dewey Finn, who leads "a group of summer school students on a cross-country field trip that delves into the history of rock 'n' roll and explores the roots of blues, rap, country and other genres." No word yet as to whether or not Black will exercise his newfound clout to add in an autobiographical narcotics-dabbling interlude, or if he and White will save that for the inevitable School of Rock 3: Rehab High. [Variety]

Swindlers, Sex Tapes And Coreys

Mark Graham · 06/27/08 09:00PM

· Things we learned at the Los Angeles Film Festival this week. School Of Rock 2 isn't a pipe dream. Guillermo del Toro isn't going to milk The Hobbit. Women deserve equal talk show hosting rights, too. Nobody wanted to make Animal House. Chris Carter is as secretive as ever. Did somebody order stake?
· The battle between the Paps and the Surfs was kinda like the Greasers versus the Socs, only with the newly blackberry-less Matthew McConaughey playing the role of Dally. But what of the rematch?
· Mini-Me showed the world his mini-me, which should help him knock down that large tax debt.
· Raffaello Follieri, Anne Hathaway's sketchball ex, got pinched for attempting to defraud God. A judge set bail at $21 million, but who's gonna take care of the dog?
· Mary Kate Olsen de-pruned herself long enough to convince Dave Letterman that her old arch enemy Spencer Pratt is, indeed, a prat.
· No one was safe as we counted down the Hollywood's Top Ten Worst Kissers.
· Wall-E manged to get fatties and Republicans up in arms without saying a word.
· Whoa, who raped the Coreys? One mystery solved, one to go.
· AC Slater found himself embroiled in Chesthairgate.
· The Emasculation of Joshua continued, as Katherine Heigl used her whipped husband as an ashtray and made him curl her hair. Joshua did not escape unscathed.
· You can ongratulate Jason Bateman on the impending Arrested Development movie, but be sure you don't bring up pregnant teens.
· We had a dream. We had an awesome dream. Mainly b/c it was filled with lesbian werewolves.
·: Noted blog-hater Patrick Goldstein entered the blogosphere. We can only guess how many of his 1,100 pageviews came from his IP address.
· Which groovy comedy superstar is openly courting other men to touch his monkey? Perhaps they should frequent the Fox and Sony lots?
· Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits. We'll miss you, George.

There's a 'School of Rock 2' Script, and it Made Mike White Cry

STV · 06/23/08 07:50PM

At a LAFF panel on Sunday, filmmaker Mike White was discussing the vagaries of screenwriting with fellow directors Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Twilight) and Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl), trying to narrow the enduring creative gap between an indie like The Good Girl and a studio picture like the 2003 Jack Black vehicle School of Rock. "I actually just completed a draft of what's potentially the sequel, and I'm still, like, crying as I'm writing the script," he said. "I try to come at it from a personal place—"

Newly Non-Sexist Judd Apatow Reaps Benefits of Wikipedia Whitewash

STV · 04/21/08 11:15AM

If you observe Judd Apatow's pervy rom-com assembly line with even casual frequency, you probably don't need a Wikipedia entry to remind you how accusations of sexism and misogyny have plagued the writer-producer-director over the years. At least we hope you don't, because an eagle-eyed Defamer reader points out this morning how a loyal defender / relative / Universal publicist has spent the better part of the last week expunging the dirty little non-secret from the Wiki record. From Katherine Heigl to Mike White, follow the jump for a few of the latest line edits.

Kightlinger, White Clash Over Whose Love Of Animals Seems Crazier

mark · 06/06/07 01:41PM

Today's LAT story chronicling how a lawsuit over the Mike White film Year of the Dog filed by onetime pal Laura Kightlinger has irreversibly damaged their relationship is just the latest reminder that the soul-devouring entertainment industry eventually gobbles up even the strongest of Hollywood friendships, sparing not even the bonds between formerly struggling, Jack Black-adjacent writer/performers who self-identify as borderline obsessive animal lovers. At issue: Kightlinger claims that the crazy-cat-lady script she once gave to White was appropriated for his recently released crazy-dog-lady movie, an accusation that's led to a breach of implied contract suit, waking nightmares, and nasty recriminations in the pages of their hometown paper. Report the Times: