When people talk about the strengths of HBO’s Girls, they tend to mention how relatable and real it is. I enjoy that show, but I don’t see a lot of myself in it besides the sporadic human truths that punctuate these never unclever, coddled existences. Noah Baumbach’s seventh film, Frances Ha (opening this week) is similar in its focus—Greta Gerwig (who co-wrote the script) plays Frances, a 27-year-old dancer who lives in New York. Watching her struggle to eat while feeding her creative impulses and flailing to assert an identity while not quite fully formed as a secure human being felt like a trip back home to me.
The trailer for Noah Baumbach's new movie, starring and co-written with Greta Gerwig, is black and white and indie all over. It ostensibly tackles the pitfalls of relationships and derailed ambitions. But so much adorable hipster nonsense is packed densely into two minutes of the Frances Ha trailer that it calls for a game of indie movie bingo. Some items spotted straight off the bat:
New Yorker staff writer and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell turns 46 today. Writer/director Noah Baumbach is turning 40. Charlie Sheen is 44. Former Bear Stearns chairman Ace Greenberg is 82. Novelist Kiran Desai turns 38. Veteran book editor Gary Fisketjon is turning 55. Big-time commercial director Bryan Buckley turns 46. Entertainment exec Garth Ancier is turning 52. Olympic snowboarder Shaun White is 23. Michael Huffington, the former Republican congressman and ex-husband of Arianna, is turning 62. And Adam Curry, the former MTV VJ and now a podcaster, turns 45 today.
· Last night on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, John "Leatherheads" Krasinski broke out his heretofore unheralded ability to demonstrate his "Muppet arms." Which, naturally, reminded us of Eric Stoltz's legendary (at least to us) "Muppet walk" from Mr. Jealousy. Whose impression is better? We'll leave that for you to debate in the comments. [CBS, YouTube] · Don't hit the beach this weekend unless your will is up-to-date. Because, if you haven't already heard, sharks are developing legs. [BuzzFeed] · In order to help ensure the Academy Awards don't befall the same fate as the Emmys, burgeoning comedy writer Nikki Finke makes an uproarious recommendation for who should produce next year's Oscars: the Chinese government! With a few more zingers like that, she just might land herself an offer to join Bruce Vilanch's writing team. [DHD] · Aspiring reality show participants, pay heed: Slate has cobbled together nine ways in which you can ensure you're not the first contestant to get kicked off your show. [Slate] · Finally, we can think of no better way for you to end this evening than by spending the next 30 minutes watching Dave Eggers interview Chris Elliott. You are welcome. [Goldenfiddle]
Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and Blink and staff writer at The New Yorker, turns 45 today. Others celebrating: Novelist Kiran Desai is 37, famed editor Gary Fisketjon is 54, and advertising guru Bryan Buckley is 45. Writer/director Noah Baumbach is 39. Charlie Sheen is turning 45. Former VJ and now Web personality Adam Curry is 44. And Arianna Huffington's right-wing ex-husband, Michael Huffington, is 61 today.
Last month, Emily and I had a like so totally deep conversation about who should be cast in our fantasy film version of Claire Messud's novel The Emperor's Children. We decided on Jeff Daniels as Murray Thwaite, because he'd played a very similar character in Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale. And, oh ho! Would you look at that—Baumbach has just been hired to write the screenplay! But we're a little peeved that he wasn't tapped to direct. Instead, Universal chose... Ron Howard? This is all wrong. You can't have the same man responsible for Splash and Backdraft taking on what is, essentially, a comedy of manners. Well, hopefully they'll take our advice and get Liv Tyler to play Marina. IF THEY KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR THEM.
Fox captured the online market for Adderal-abusing teens with its MySpace purchase, leading NBC Universal to pay $600 million to try and enslave the internet's female population by snapping up iVillage. [Variety]
Pick this one up, NBC, and the sins of Emeril and Good Morning Miami will be forgotten: NBC greenlights a pilot for Andy Barker, P.I., starring Andy Richter and co-written by Conan O'Brien, about an accountant who becomes a detective. [THR]
Jack Black joins Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Noah Baumbach's follow-up to The Squid and the Whale (the Best Picture of our hearts, not that it matters) for Paramount Classics. [Variety]
Phillip Seymour Hoffman gets his first post-Oscar gig (hopefully with his fancy new post-Oscar salary), starring with Laura Linney in The Savages for Fox Searchlight. [THR]
In case you weren't one of the chosen 130,000 few who got a screener—or even someone with $15 bucks to drop on the DVD— Crash will be re-released on 150 screens starting this Friday. [Variety]