This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.
- The great Marvel vs. Marty debate.
- Double the Paul Rudd, half the fun.
- Joker’s reign of terror continues.
- Little Women enters the Oscars race.
- Important Mandy Moore update.
People have become so obsessed with the internet meme of Paul Rudd seemingly having not aged a day since he first made falling in love with your hot step-brother romantic in Clueless that it’s easy to forget that, sometimes in the midst of not looking older, he acts. (As someone who has aged roughly 10 years in the last 24 months, I find this whole meme very offensive.)
And it’s not just when he’s dabbles in ruining cinema as Ant-Man that he acts these days. Now he’s on Netflix! The comedy series Living With Yourself premiered last week on the streaming service, boasting a premise that should ostensibly be a dream for fans of his work and eternal youth: He plays two characters. Well, one character twice.
The idea here is that Rudd is Miles Elliott, a once-promising writer who moves to the suburbs to start a family and sees his spirit crumble when that goal becomes complicated. A coworker, noticing the lights going out, recommends a magical spa, which Miles visits. It turns out that the spa’s secret is that they clone you—but only the best parts—and discard the other, original body. A glitch, however, finds both versions of Miles very much alive, and suddenly the world is dealing with two Paul Rudds.
Rudd is excellent casting in this. His special Hollywood trick is that he’s both the you that you are now—relatable!—and the aspirational version of yourself, the version of you that you wish you could be. Living With Yourself is the televised embodiment of that very sentence, with schlubby, Everyman Miles increasingly bitter about how slightly better—thicker hair, better posture, more joie de vivre—clone Miles is.
It’s kind of like a Choose Your Own Paul Rudd Adventure. Do you like your Paul Rudd in Knocked Up, dadbod mode? Or do you prefer superhero Rudd? Living With Yourself’s got both! It’s also got...not much more than that.
Living With Yourself is a quick binge, and with enough twists to keep you rapt even as things get, well, pretty boring, actually. It’s watchable, and borders on enjoyable, but is two clicks away from its potential to be actually great. Maybe a trip to the spa will fix that...
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the controversial Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix is on track to be the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time. At the moment, it’s taken in over $745 million, putting it well within reach of Deadpool’s $783 million haul, the current record holder.
This is all, of course, not adjusted for inflation. When that math is done—LOL, I’m not going to do it!—films like The Matrix Reloaded, It, and The Passion of the Christ still top Joker. Then again, there are some bullish predictions that Joker is on its way to $1 billion, in which case, sorry to Mel Gibson and Jesus!
Joker’s box office returns, however the math shakes out, are massive. Maybe Martin Scorsese really is onto something about cinema being dead.
Little Women had its first awards season screening this week, and according to social media reactions from those in attendance, praise Greta, it is good! Like Oscar-worthy good.
In case you haven’t watched the trailer for the upcoming film 23 times (a week) like I have, Lady Bird writer-director Greta Gerwig is behind this latest adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott novel.
Saorsie Ronan plays Jo March, and should, according to first reactions, receive her fourth Oscar nomination for her work. She is just 25, a fact which my therapist and I are already keenly aware of. Breakout Florence Pugh, who plays Amy March, is also getting tipped for the supporting actress race, which is an exciting change of pace from watching cult murders in the Swedish countryside in Midsommar.
I haven’t seen it yet—a LA-only screening, rude!—but am excited to see Gerwig thrust back into the Oscar spotlight. In fact, she joins A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’s Marielle Heller, The Farewell’s Lulu Wang, and Hustlers’ Lorene Scafaria as four women who should be major players in the notoriously male-dominated Best Director race.
It will be truly thrilling to see on a scale of zero to one, maybe, how many of them Academy voters will nominate!
Mandy Moore is on the front of the current issue of WebMD magazine, and I just thought you should know. We stan a self-diagnosing cover girl!
What to watch this week:
Mrs. Fletcher: Kathryn Hahn is a goddess, and we’re lucky that she acts for us.
Frankie: Ira Sachs is an unbelievably heartfelt filmmaker, and we’re lucky that he directs for us.
The Kominsky Method: I enjoy this show wayyyyyyy more than I ever expected to.
BoJack Horseman: It’s the last season, pay your respects.
What to skip this week:
The Current War: Director’s Cut: For a movie about the invention of electricity, you’d think it’d have more spark! Ba-da-dum!
Halloween: I hate it.