Film News

Today Is McLovin's 40th Birthday

The faux persona made famous by Superbad has reached an age milestone.

You might be at work right now, but don't be fooled — today is a national holiday.

June 3, 2021 marks the 40th birthday of McLovin: the faux persona made famous by the 2007 teen comedy Superbad.

The anniversary came to our attention thanks to the film's co-creator and co-star, Seth Rogen, who shared a photo of the iconic fake ID to Twitter. "Happy 40th birthday McLovin," Rogen wrote, with the addendum: "We wrote this joke when we were 14 years old." Happy birthday to our favorite 25-year-old Hawaiian organ donor.

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CULTURE

12 Surprising Celebrity Siblings

Not all celebrity siblings are as obvious as the Hemsworths

Celebrity siblings are the best.

When they aren't goofing around and having the same kind of fun we have with our siblings (while generally being much more attractive) they are occasionally getting into slap fights and reminding us to be glad we don't have a family reality show.

Some famous siblings like Chris Hemsworth and Liam Hemsworth, Jake Gyllenhaal and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the Olsen twins and the Kardashians basically come as a set. Others like Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen are less obvious. Today is the day we look deeper to celebrate all the celebrity siblings we've overlooked.

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CULTURE

34 Pop Culture Things We're Most Thankful For This Thanksgiving 2019

We're all counting our blessings at Popdust.

square enix

It's almost Thanksgiving, so here at Popdust we're trying our best to stop dwelling on the fact that our entire world is going to sh*t, and instead, be appreciative of all the pop culture stuff we're thankful for in 2019.

Here they are in no particular order:

1. The Lumineers New Album

The Lumineers

Instant Classic.

2. The constant whining of the Pokemon fanbase on Reddit and Twitter

Pokemon Sword and Shield The Pokemon Company

A week after the launch of Sword and Shield, the angry man-babies are still crying hard.

3. Baby Yoda

baby yoda disney

Even cuter than a whole flock of Porgs.

4. Keanu Reeves still not getting #MeToo'd

Keanu Reeves AFP/Robyn Beck

Keanu Reeves has continued to be infallible.

5. Veterans Day trending spelled wrong

veterans day

A boomer misspelled it "VeTRANS Day." Hilarious.

6. White Men arguing for more representation for White Men

angry white man

If there's one thing all white men have in common, it's constant oppression.

7. Our new writer Keith and also our other new writer Abby

Combos Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Keith brings me Combos to snack on. Abby is also nice.

8. That video of Amanda Bynes confirming that she was sincere about wanting Drake to murder her pussy

Amanda Bynes ABC

This was important to clarify.

9. That none of us got famous for our famous moms paying for us to get into college

Olivia Loughlin CREDIT: ROB LATOUR/SHUTTERSTOCK

We're all failures, but at least we're not Olivia Jade Loughlin.

10. Attack on Titan Season 3

attack on titan kodansha

Attack on Titan still has my vote for absolute best TV season of 2019.

11. The optimistic hope that the FFVII Remake will actually be amazing

final fantasy 7 remake Square Enix

I'M GOING TO RELIVE MY CHILDHOOD.

12. A New Half-Life game

half life alyx Valve

It might be a dumb VR game, but it gives us hope that Half-Life 3 is on the horizon.

13. Fleabag Season 2

Fleabag Season 2 BBC

The second season was somehow even better than the first.

14. Another year without a Toby Keith hit

No matter how bad the rest of the year was, we can all take solace in the fact that Toby Keith doesn't have any hot new songs.

15. Harry Styles

Harry Styles THEO WARGO GETTY IMAGES

Our boy killed it on SNL.

16. A conclusive ending for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

marvel endgame Disney

Mainly though, we're just done with Marvel.

17. That I can bring "OK Boomer" with me to Thanksgiving dinner

OK Boomer Shutterstock

Seriously though, shut your awful, racist boomer family down.

18. Dolly Parton's resurgence

dolly parton

Dolly Parton will always be a national treasure.

19. The Angry Woman Vs Cat meme (the cat's name is Smudge, fun fact)

woman vs cat meme

Meme of the year.

20. The Cats trailer horror

Cats Trailer Universal Pictures

Scarier than any horror movie of the past twenty years.

21. Finding out 21 Savage is British

21 Savage ROY ROCHLIN/GETTY IMAGES

Seriously?

22. That they still play 21 Jump Street and Superbad on TV

Superbad Sony Pictures

Some things never change.

23. Tekashi 69 snitching on everybody

tekashi 69 GETTY IMAGES

Place your bets.

24. FKA TWIGs

FKA Twigs 22nd Annual Webby Awards WireImage

Robert Pattinson done goofed.

25. That Taylor Swift wrote the song Lover all by herself, and then didn't get nominated for a Grammy

Taylor Swift CREDIT: EVAN AGOSTINI/INVISION/AP/SHUTTERSTOCK

She has enough Grammys as is.

26. Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself

jeffrey epstein

Really though. It was an inside job.

27. Ronan Farrow proposing to his husband on a page of his own book

Ronan Farrow NPR

Talk about balls.

28. Amanda Palmer's Antics

James Duncan Davidson

Love her or hate her, at least she's interesting.

29. Dan's brief stint as a beloved ARMY spokesperson

BTS Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

That time when I called out The Hollywood Reporter.

30. The Edne and Mack Feud of 2019

CBD hemp leaves on wooden background, seeds, cannabis oil extracts in jars Getty Images/iStockphoto

CBD is bullsh*t.

31. Victoria's Secret fashion show canceled officially forever

victorias secret

It's about time.

32. A$AP Rocky a point of discussion in impeachment hearings

ASAP rocky trump

We truly live in the stupidest timeline.

33. Vastly improved Sonic trailer

Sonic Trailer Paramount Pictures

Conspiracy theory: They had the original design ready to go all along.

34. The incredible art in Demon Slayer

Demon Slayer Shueisha

Most gorgeous anime of 2019.

BBC

Amidst the loud colors, fanciful outfits, and poppy beats of your average K-POP boy group music video, the most foreign element to an average Western viewer likely has nothing to do with the pageantry. Rather, it's the fact that the boy band members frequently touch one another.

Take the music video for BTS's "Boy With Luv" featuring Halsey, for example:

BTS (방탄소년단) '작은 것들을 위한 시 (Boy With Luv) feat. Halsey' Official MV www.youtube.com


All the members of BTS sit on a couch together, with one member's arm draped around another. Their relationship isn't portrayed as sexual or romantic. They're just really close friends. In Japan and South Korea, this act of intimate, platonic touching is called "skinship." And it's viewed as totally normal between straight male friends.

Human beings crave physical touch, and a lack of touch, or "skin hunger" as some psychologists call it, can result in negative psychological effects similar to depression. But in Western culture, straight men platonically touching other straight men is stigmatized. Two women can hold hands or cuddle without any fear of presumptions that they're sexually intimate with one another, but for male friends, this isn't the case.

The same is true for emotional intimacy. In spite of what many believe, men crave emotional intimacy just as much as women do. At the same time, men are socialized to be stoic and emotionally unavailable, especially around other men. As a result, men struggle to make and maintain friendships compared to women, which can lead to intense loneliness, especially later in life.

Unfortunately, Western media offers lackluster representations of male friendship, oftentimes relegating anything deeper than surface-level bromance to the realms of goofball comedy or "gay panic" humor. Movies like I Love You, Man and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry turn male friendship into a source of laughter rather than a genuine connection between two people who care about one another. Even Scrubs turned the close friendship between J.D. and Turk into a jokey musical number, rife with homoerotic innuendo.

Scrubs - Guy Love (HD) www.youtube.com

Surprisingly, the best representation of a healthy male bromance to-date was in the 2007 high school comedy Superbad. Amidst all the stupid dick jokes, the relationship between Jonah Hill's Seth and Michael Cera's Evan feels as real as any rock solid high school friendship––the kind men tend to miss and yearn for as they age.

While Superbad's plot revolves around two high school losers' quest to get laid before going to college, the movie also possesses a solid emotional core regarding fears of growing up and moving on in life. Arguably,one of the best male friendship scenes in any movie comes near the end of Superbad when, after a big fight, Seth and Evan reconcile during a sleepover. The two talk openly about their fears regarding college and losing touch and verbally express their platonic love for one another. It's a sweet, honest scene, funny but not played for laughs.

I Love You, Man - Superbad (7/8) Movie CLIP (2007) HD www.youtube.com

"I love you. It's like why don't we say that every day, why can't we say it more often?" says Evan.

"I just love you, I just want to go on the rooftop and scream 'I love my best friend Evan,'" replies Seth.

They're right. Why shouldn't male friends be more intimate with one another? Why are two men platonically showing affection for one another seen as socially inappropriate?

For whatever reason, the stigma gets pushed constantly. Worst of all, those pushing it are often well-meaning. In this misguided Telegraph article on "The 12 Rules of Male Friendship," the author lists rules like "3. Never openly verbalize that you value the friendship," and "7. Indirection can be intimate." It's hard to understand why these rules should have to apply to male friendships, especially when studies make it so clear that men feel otherwise and are capable of intimacy.

Similarly, fandom and shipping communities tend to imbue their favorite straight male friendships in fiction with sexual connotations, which may be fun but also further stigmatizes genuine emotional connection between male friends. A great example of this can be found in the Sherlock fandom's "Johnlock" conspiracy, which posits that Sherlock and John are actually written as gay characters in the BBC show, despite the creators' statements to the contrary. In fact, some writers even argue that it doesn't even matter what the actors behind the characters think about their own characters' relationships and motivations.

Even puppets aren't immune. Sesame Street pals Ernie and Bert have long been the subject of the "are they friends or lovers?" debate, which seems like a strange take in a series where nobody seems to have sexual or romantic motivation in the first place. Which begs the question: Why can't two guys just be very close friends? Why do we let society stop men from openly expressing friendships in healthy ways? Why shouldn't we cuddle with our bros?

FILM

Olivia Wilde's "Booksmart" and the Failure of (White) Feminism?

Twitter users took the meek opening particularly hard, with some decrying Hollywood's sabotage of female filmmakers and others criticizing the story. Did sexism lead to Booksmart's poor performance? No, but poor distribution, bad timing, and its niche appeal in a saturated genre did.

Tumblr: Jodariel

Early praise for the teen comedy Booksmart predicted that the film is "destined for instant cult status." But based on its disappointing opening weekend, movie-goers don't agree.

While the indie flick had a challenging release date, debuting while Aladdin and John Wick 3 were still dominating the box office, the film's critical acclaim and social media buzz contradict the film's mediocre $8.6 million in earnings. Twitter users took the meek opening particularly hard, with some decrying Hollywood's misogyny as sabotage of female filmmakers and others pointing out the story represents a narrow type of coming-of-age experience. Did sexism lead to Booksmart's poor performance? No, but poor distribution, bad timing, and its niche appeal in a saturated genre did.

Olivia Wilde makes her directorial debut with a quirky revamp of the nerds-gone-wild trope of teen comedies (the film's been called Superbad with teenage girls). Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) are high school seniors who realize in their senior year that their straight-laced behavior and high academic achievements have come at a cost: They don't have any crazy high school stories. They spend one-night party-hopping in an attempt to cram four years of antics into their last day as high schoolers: an over-the-top "One Crazy Night" story that Wilde and screenwriters Katie Silberman and Emily Halpern described as "Training Day for high school girls."

After the film's wide release on May 24, Taylor Swift, Mindy Kaling, Ryan Reynolds, and Natalie Portman were among celebrities urging their followers to see the movie. Reynolds tweeted his support, "BOOKSMART. Don't walk, RUN to see this. Today and all summer. Holy shit."

Taylor Swift took to Instagram to promote the film, resharing actor Diana Silvers story and writing, "JUST BOUGHT TICKETS!! Guys go see Booksmart cause in this house we support @oliviawilde."

popdust booksmart feminism Instagram

Much of the film's hype was driven by the fact that it's a well-done female-focused comedy, written by two female screenwriters and helmed by a female director. Actor Lily Reinhardt (Riverdale) posted, "Just have to add my praise out there for #Booksmart. I loved it. I had so much fun watching it and you can tell it was such a joy to be a part of. Go support women filmmakers!!"

Even Wilde called for moviegoers to support the film in feminist solidarity. After a slow opening day earning just $2.5 million across 2,500 nationwide theaters, she tweeted, "We are getting creamed by the big dogs out there and need your support. Don't give studios an excuse not to green-light movies made by and about women."

Soon, the film's hype turned into a controversy over its feminist significance. Is the box office turnout of a female-led film indicative of the feminist movement in Hollywood? Yes and no––but mostly no. Forbes' Scott Mendelson argued differently, calling Booksmart a "box office failure" and "a sadly predictable tragedy." He wrote, "It's yet another example of audiences getting the very thing they claim Hollywood won't give them and looking the other way." He regurgitates the Hollywood disparity that "men get hired on potential while women get hired on history" and suggests that poor ticket sales will buckle the futures of other female filmmakers. He simply urges, "[I]f you want the (female) filmmakers behind your favorite female-centric comedies, dramas and genre flicks to direct more studio pictures, you really have to support those films in theaters."

Firstly, the film's significance to feminism is overblown, as the causes and effects of Booksmart's underperformance are not solely contingent on movie-goers. Roxane Gay addressed the online bickering as simplistic views of both feminism and how the film industry works: "I've seen more than a few tweets basically pressuring people to see Booksmart or else more movies like it won't get made. This strategy never works and it is always deployed for movies that cater to anyone but straight white men." She adds, "It's aggravating. Going to a movie doesn't solve systemic issues in Hollywood. This idea that we are supposed to be so grateful for representation that we are in the wrong if we don't drop everything to offer or support is... a mess." Finally, she pointed out, "Smaller movies always struggle against big budget fare. And if Hollywood looks at these numbers and decides to not make another such movie, that isn't the fault of the audience. It's Hollywood's fault!!!"


Second, the decision to give the film a wide release crippled its chances of making a stronger impact. As Slate points out, "Booksmart was set up for failure" (if you call sixth-place at the box office a "failure") by United Artists Releasing, Annapurna Pictures, and MGM. The indie flick should have been rolled out slowly with a limited release that expanded to wider theaters. The momentum of word-of-mouth and critical praise could've generated more revenue and perhaps led to breakout success similar to A24's Lady Bird.

However, Booksmart was also released on Netflix in France the same weekend it opened in US theaters, which speaks to the film industry's larger problem of streaming platforms deterring at-home viewers from becoming movie-goers. Complicating matters further is the niche appeal of a coming-of-age comedy, which already makes finding the right audience for Booksmart tricky.

Olivia Wilde commented on the film's questionable distribution, as well as its ideal audience. On Friday, she posted, "A wide release for a small film is def a major gamble. I'm lucky my first movie is in any theater at all! Also proud a movie like this can be seen by the entire country at once. We made @Booksmart for everyone. 🐼"

popdust booksmart feminism Giphy

On the matter of inclusion, some strongly disagree with Wilde. Film producer Franklin Leonard replied to her call to support "movies made by and about women" that are crushed by "the big dogs" by noting: "I completely understand being disappointed about 'Booksmart"s opening. I am too. You're going to have a hard time convincing me not to be happy about another big budget studio film starring people of color overperforming expectations, domestically and especially abroad." Similarly, writer and activist Millie Kendall criticized the film's focus on white women: "The fervor over Booksmart not doing as well as more diverse movies perplexes me. Did you think yet another predominately white coming of age story was going to appeal to the Black and Brown audience that drives the success of more diverse films??"

As a female-centric coming-of-age comedy, Booksmart faced multifaceted challenges at the outset. Online criticisms range from the film focusing on white feminism at the exclusion of people of color to condemning movie-goers for not supporting small indie films at the box office. As one Twitter user noted, "The hilarious thing about searching "Booksmart" on Twitter is that half the people think "the controversy" is about white feminism versus intersectional filmmaking and the other think it's about supporting small movies at the box offices."

popdust booksmart feminism Giphy

Does the disappointing performance of Booksmart signal the downfall of feminism? Of course not. Is the women's movement in Hollywood dominated by white feminism? Frankly, yes. Is Hollywood going to stop green-lighting female-centric films? Not likely; they can't afford to. One study found that female-led films, in general, outperformed male-led movies between 2015 and 2018. Hollywood also isn't primed to cut down on female representation because, with male speaking roles outnumbering female speaking roles 2:1, there's too little to cut.

Humor

Jonah Hill Doesn't Smoke Weed, and Other Surprises From Last Night's New Yorker Festival

"I'm not good at being famous," Hill said at his "Supergood" event at NYC's SIR Stage 37

Jonah Hill joked last night that this morning he would wake up to dozens of conspiracy clickbait articles as to why he was sweating last night at the New Yorker Festival: "Jonah Hill Found Sweating Profusely After Drug Binge and Wild Orgy." But that couldn't be further from the truth. Actually, the "Superbad" star was nursing what he claimed to be "like a 104 fever" while talking with David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker. That wasn't the first misconception that people have had about Jonah Hill.

To start, Remnick, in a rare lapse of journalistic perfectionism, misreported that Hill went to Bard College. "I wish I had gotten into Bard," Hill responded. The 32-year-old Jewish L.A. skateboard fanatic spent a year at Boulder (an investment his mother referred to as "her $40,000 sweatshirt") before transferring to the New School, where he wrote obscene one-act plays that ended up banned -- one such play being about Hitler's college roommate. His forbidden plays gained major popularity among students at the East Village bar, Black and White.

Acting was not one of Hill's initial goals, but he dreamed of writing and directing. He was entranced by Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, and cited it as a film that affected him as strongly when he was nine as it did when he was thirty-two. His major acting break came when he met Dustin Hoffman's sons and would entertain them (and later Dustin himself) with prank phone calls. One of his favorite stunts was calling a hotel as "Tobey Maguire's assistant," asking if the hotel could accommodate Maguire's ridiculous requests: one being that Maguire liked to travel with "mid-size dogs that were actually aquatic." And most of the time, the hotel clerk was agreeable, no matter how bizarre the request. Anything for a celebrity. It's a trick that he still does now to practice working on his characters.

Hoffman overheard one of these calls and was able to arrange an audition for Hill for I Heart Huckabees, in which the terrified Hill was granted a tiny role among some of the biggest stars in the industry. From there, Hill met Judd Apatow and his career took off.

"Superbad" was what Remnick's son described as a millennial cult classic. Papa Remnick asked if Hill was ever annoyed by the perception that people have of him in his less "serious" roles. He doesn't resent this perception because he gets to play all different types of characters, especially those he played in "Moneyball," "The Wolf Of Wall Street," (where he finally got to work with his hero!) and most recently, "War Dogs."

Hill said, "I don't smoke weed." He's already an anxious guy, he said, pointing to his sweaty shirt, and therefore doesn't need any more paranoia.

Perhaps the most surprising fact of the night to learn was that Jonah Hill is not always funny. While he got famous for his comedic roles, he has breakups too, and doesn't always feel like cracking jokes. He has a tiny sick twinge that he might win an Oscar one day, but the thought is immediately buried in self-doubt. He said to the crowd, "I feel like I'm being boring," and wondered how much The New Yorker would refund us for our tickets.

When asked about his relationship with the media, Hill said, "We're dating, but we're not exclusive." Of course he's hurt by the sting of the media, and was able to sum up the feeling profoundly: "Creative people are the least suited to being creative." He claims they are the most sensitive people, and the least capable of taking criticism. After reading a bad review or seeing negative comments online, Hill says he usually cries in his bed for a day and a half. "I get hurt by shit all the time."

The sweetness of Hill, which I think we can all love about him, is that he remains humble throughout the fame. He's still best buddies with Michael Cera, and is eternally grateful to Apatow for teaching him to laugh, Scorsese for teaching him how to combine technicality with emotion, and Bennett Miller for teaching him the most important advice of all: "the words don't matter."

What's next for Hill? He's achieving another lifelong dream of directing his first film, "Mid '90s", about a 13-year old who falls in love with the world of skateboarding in L.A. That's the work that really means the most to him: the work that gets him back to his roots. He's not out for the glitz, the fame, or the girls. He's out to show you he doesn't smoke weed, and he sweats a lot.