Though the American public didn’t exactly embrace the Entourage movie with open arms last weekend, the American comedy community did, launching podcasts, charity drives, and masochistic viewing marathons around the film’s release. The fictional life of Vincent Chase, his three live-in bros, and his bombastic manager were ripe for parody, and the results were generally outstanding.
But what would happen after these comedians, who had spent weeks if not years dreaming about the potential and hilarious greatness of the Entourage movie, actually saw the pretty shitty Entourage movie? The A.V. Club wanted to know, so we got two people intimately involved with the pre-Entourage hype on the phone together to find out. Below, we chat with Wendy Molyneux Drake, a writer on Bob’s Burgers who just signed on to pen the lady-centric 21 Jump Street adaptation and raised $30,000 for charity just by saying she’d see the Entourage movie, and Jon Daly, who talked about the show and its characters with a wealth of fellow comedy writers on an Entourage-centric episode of his podcast, Rafflecast, last week. Neither one of them was all that impressed with the cinematic exploits of the whole Entourage gang, though they were pretty funny about the whole thing.
The A.V. Club: First off, you both went to Gil Ozeri’s Entourage-A-Thon this past weekend, which looked like total anarchy. How was that?
Wendy Molyneux Drake: I went on Friday when it was all still fresh, like I watched the last two episodes of season one.
Jon Daly: And I was in season five, when Johnny Drama was filming Five Towns. It wasn’t a disaster but it was at the point—it was like the orgasm of the whole thing, Saturday night. It was the climax, but I was also there for the dark turn that it took after the climax.
When I got there, I was expecting more of a podcast feel, like really watching Entourage and saying stupid things about it. And it was just a full-on party, and there were crazy drunk people. Everyone there was drunk, whether you were watching Entourage or putting the thing together. It was a real mess. And there was a porn star there who, every time Vince was fucking, he was supposed to take out his dick and start jerking off.
WMD: That was also happening on Friday night.
JD: I never talked to the porn star, but I was astonished by how mellowed out he was about taking out his dick and jerking off, but then I thought, that’s his whole job, and then it was totally normal.
WMD: Yeah, I didn’t take out my dick at all. I didn’t even want to… which is really weird for me.
JD: Every time I watch Entourage I want to take my dick out. It’s the thing to do.
WMD: I just want to take my vagina out every time I see those guys.
JD: I wish I had a vagina to take out, because those guys got me dropping my panties.
WMD: Right? They’re real panty-droppers, every last one of them. Did you see the movie this weekend?
JD: I did, yeah. Good lord.
WMD: Yeah. It wasn’t good.
JD: It wasn’t good. But if you judge it by how entertained I was, it was good. I thought it was, at the very least, completely unique, and made me feel different than any other movie has, in my life. So that’s saying something, I guess.
AVC: In what way?
JD: Its value system is amazing to me, and it’s depressing because there are people that are like that out here. And it sucks, but it’s also just like, “Whoa! Like this is what you’re impressed by?” And the feeling that they conjure, with all this—they go outside and it’s like Kelsey Grammer, some football player, and David Faustino. The feeling of the constant cameos just made me feel like, at times, it was almost like an art film because they just give this feeling that Hollywood is this place where you go outside and see nine celebrities.
WMD: The other thing that kind of dovetails with that is if you pay attention to the background extras, it’s also like a fantasia where no matter where they are, every woman who walks by behind them is beautiful. It’s not just the women that they’re interacting with and the women at the party, it’s the background. I mean, I live here—I live in Burbank, the glamour capital of Los Angeles—but it’s as if it’s in a dream world. You can almost look at it like the opposite of outsider art. Just like the ultimate male fantasy brought to life where there’s never anything ugly you have to put your eyes on, ever. Even if you turned around, the woman standing behind you would also be as beautiful as the woman you’re talking to. It’s like an endless buffet.
JD: You know, you have to hang out with Johnny Drama, so the women alleviate that suffering. But yeah, it’s pretty misogynist.
AVC: In the world of Entourage, what’s in it for the women?
JD: Apparently they get to fuck Kevin Connolly, because he got so much pussy in that movie it was crazy. How many times are we going to see E., post-orgasm, with that look on his face. And the women he’s getting with are totally insane.
WMD: And at one point they literally say in the movie, “No matter what else we’re doing, we’re always trying to get laid.” And it’s almost like a nightmare where you’re never allowed to not think about fucking, which, it’s fine to think about fucking, like a regular human being does, but they’re trapped in a jail of their own making where everything has to be about fucking all of the time. I mean, maybe that’s what it’s like for [Entourage creator] Doug Ellin or something?
My other thing was right at the very beginning, Vince talks about his broken marriage, and his description of how they broke up is, “We had sex, and I fell asleep, and when I woke up she was gone.” That’s their ultimate fantasy. And he was like, “We’re going to stay friends.”
Maybe it’s a view into Ellin’s mind? Like, “It would be great if I could marry a girl, say I didn’t want to marry her, then she’d fuck me, then I’d fall asleep and she disappears, but we’re friends.” It’s like this five-part fantasy of a 10-year-old boy or a 13-year-old boy, maybe, where he gets everything all in one night and then there’s no consequences at all.
I found the whole thing to be a disturbing peek into one man’s psyche. That’s kind of my takeaway.
AVC: It makes me wonder a lot about Mark Wahlberg as well.
WMD: Yeah, maybe it’s more Mark Wahlberg. Or some collective psyche?
JD: I don’t think it’s Wahlberg. It’s a collective. I always wonder how much Mark Wahlberg has to do with that show anymore. Like he shows up and just pimps his other projects. His cameo was just going, “Yeah, watch Wahlburgers!” And they’re like, “How many of those Ted movies are you going to do?” And he’s like, “I’ll do Ted movies until I’m dead. I love Ted, boom, boom!” It’s amazing.
WMD: That scene opens with him saying, “What happened? Did your girlfriend lock you out of the editing bay?” And I was like, in what scenario is somebody’s girlfriend in the editing bay and angry at them and has locked them out.
Everything about women is like—Ronda Rousey literally breaks Turtle’s arm—spoiler alert—and so women are either just beautiful wall candy or they’re actively, aggressively harming you. It’s the weirdest thing. It was so weird.
JD: Well, she’s a certain kind of male fantasy.
The movie is so… I’m trying to put it together logically but it’s just like the part where Ari goes to Santa Barbara, right? And he like finds out from Haley Joel Osment that the movie’s not going or something, and then he goes back to L.A. and like two things happen and then the movie is done. And not only that, Drama, who Haley Joel Osment was trying to cut out of the movie, is back and he wins a Golden Globe for his performance! It just makes no sense. The movie makes no sense at all.
WMD: Another amazing part was that in the scene before, Ari literally tells the financier that Vince doesn’t want anyone to see the movie before it’s done. The next minute, they’re having a screening for 500 people at Vince’s house that the financiers are not invited to. Then Vince at the last minute decides not to show his movie at this screening, but at that moment, Pharrell [Williams] walks in, and Vince is like, “The projector’s broken, but Pharrell just walked in. Pharrell, will you do a song?” And then they go to Pharrell, who’s wearing the hat, and he’s like, “Oh, Vince, I hate you Vince, I’m gonna get you,” and then they cut away and Pharrell doesn’t do a song. Which is like having Bruce Springsteen in your movie and being like, “Bruce Springsteen is going to play!” And then he doesn’t play.
JD: I thought that was just because they made that movie for like $15 million, and they had to make it look like it was $100 million, and so they had that first scene with the yacht and the wave runners out in the ocean, and that’s what they blew all their cash on, and then it’s just these kind of cameos and there’s no way Pharrell is going to show up on set for more than 20 minutes. He just shows up and goes, “I’m gonna kill you, Vince,” and then they pull out to a shot of the stage to give the impression that later on Pharrell is probably going to play a show. But not right now. We’re not going to show that. You get it. It’s Entourage. That’s probably what will happen.
WMD: I’m going to make a whole movie of very famous people threatening to do the thing they’re known for, but then you go away from them before they do it. I guess that’s kind of what that movie was.
JD: The thing with Ronda Rousey and Turtle, like Turtle meets Ronda Rousey, what does he do? He insults her or something? And then she hates him, she’s like, “Fuck off,” and then all of a sudden he shows up at a gym to fight her with a crowd. And then she kicks his ass, she does the arm bar and she breaks his arm, and then after that, do they have sex, or…? I don’t think they do! I don’t think anything really happens.
WMD: They definitely stay together because they’re together at Lloyd’s wedding. The credits start, and then they go back to the movie and you get to see Lloyd’s wedding. Which had one of the only things I liked about the movie, that there were five synchronized swimmers in the pool synchronized swimming for no reason.
JD: I liked those synchronized swimmers. I was like, “Whoa, they thought of something! That’s great.”
WMD: Right. Like it was the only time I was like, “Oh, I kind of like that idea. Synchronized swimmers in the pool at a wedding.” It was one of the only highlights of the movie.
JD: Yeah. In the infinity pool.
The whole movie proved that each season of Entourage could’ve been an hour and a half, because it functions as a season nine of Entourage. Everything happens, it’s just consolidated into an hour and a half, with so many more cameos.
The cameos just had this surreal quality. Like Kelsey Grammer’s cameo, when Ari shows up and he’s like, [With Kelsey Grammer inflection.] “You’re fucked.” And he’s like, “what are you talking about, Kelsey?” As if they talk all the time. “What are you talking about, Kelsey?” “The people who show up here are fucked so I assume since you’re here that you’re fucked.” Like, what? And everyone seems like they’re sleepwalking through it. Liam Neeson shows up in a car and then Ari pulls up in a car beside him, and he flicks Ari off, who is the head of a studio, and goes, “Fuck you, Ari.” Why is that happening?
WMD: It feels like every line of the movie was written in a panic, because they probably had enlisted about 250 people to get cameos from, and these were the 25 they got, so the lines were sort of written in a panic, but also you get the feeling that like after every line there was a high-five between two people. A total high-five of like, “Yep, we fucking nailed that. We did it.”
JD: And every cameo ends with them saying, “Later!” Even Kelsey Grammer: “Later!” And then they whip pan away to facilitate another in a long chain of cameos. They’re just like, all right, it’s Liam Neeson, “Later!” All right. “Later!”
WMD: Another thing I loved was at the very beginning they’re watching a documentary about themselves that Piers Morgan is doing at the very beginning. That’s there because I think the studio was like, “We want people who never saw the TV show to be able to get into this movie,” so they wrote in a thing where Piers Morgan is doing a story on Vincent Chase, and they say the word “entourage” out loud, of course, to explain to the novice Entourage-watcher who everyone is. And they’re watching it and they’re laughing at everything that gets said about them. And our theater was silent. Like as the characters on-screen laughed at every line of the movie, but the audience was silent.
And they were watching TV outside, and the TV was on a table thing outside that was completely uncovered and by a pool. It was just the beginning of the fact that Entourage doesn’t take place in any kind of reality. It was like, “What happens when it rains?” The TV is just sitting out there by the pool! Not under a shelter or anything. Like every little detail was off somehow. Nothing seemed real at all, and so it was sort of disorienting from beginning to end.
AVC: Our film editor said the most unbelievable part of the movie is that anyone—especially the Hollywood Foreign Press—would like Hyde, the movie Vince is making.
WMD: That sequence is so bad!
JD: It’s so bad! It’s like Zack Snyder’s party fantasy. He shoots those balls of super ecstasy into people’s mouths? Oh my god!
WMD: It was like a take on that show Angel.
JD: And it’s called Hyde, so it reminded me of the cheesy club out here, and then, and then I was like, “Oh, he’s Dr. Jekyll,” and then, his skin, when he turns into Mr. Hyde turns into electricity or something? It’s like, “Oh, that’s the movie that everyone loves.” It’s amazing.
WMD: And the idea that that would be a Golden Globes movie… just on the surface of it, that type of movie is never ever a Golden Globes or Oscar movie. Also, notably, Jeremy Piven was once in a movie called Dr. Jekyll And Mrs. Hyde, so maybe another inside joke in a movie riddled with inside jokes.
JD: I also love that they’re fantasizing about Cadillacs. They’re all about Cadillacs. Like who cares? Who fucking cares about Cadillacs? And then Ari gets a Ferrari, and it has a license plate that says “Ari’s Ferrari,” and you’re like, “Oh, that’s clearly his Ferrari because Ari wouldn’t have a Cadillac, because you have to have a cool car for Ari,” but then clearly Cadillac gave them a bunch of movie money and they’re like, “Oh man, look at that Cadillac!” Like the Cadillac commercial that Ari had, did you see that? Where he’s in Italy with his wife? It’s how the movie starts with Ari in Italy with his wife, and she’s just like, “You’re miserable, Ari. You need to be working hard and be vicious to be happy. You need to like be a studio head to be happy!” And he sees a car and he chases the car and it’s this Cadillac. It’s like, what is happening? I think Cadillac won Entourage, and Ronda Rousey, she scores. She wins. She’s in so much of that movie, too, and she gets to look hot and fight and do everything she does. It’s like a commercial for Ronda Rousey.
WMD: I have to say I like Jerry Ferrara because he gave money to the charity that I’m watching Entourage four times for, so I have to say that he was the Meryl Streep of the movie. But honestly, he and Ronda Rousey looked the best in the movie. Their storyline is the least obnoxious. Whereas the E. and Sloan storyline, they have this big fight, where she’s like nine months pregnant and he cops to the fact that he’s been sleeping with all these other women, which she’s like, “It’s none of my business. I’m fine with it.” And then he talks to—
JD: In the same scene!
WMD: Then she gets in her car after having that conversation, rolls down the window and says, “E., I want to try again to make it work.” And you’re like, “No! No you don’t. No, no, no.”
JD: She’s pregnant, and she’s like, “I get horny when I’m pregnant,” and then he’s like, “I’ll fuck you,” and then she’s like, “No,” and then she leaves and she’s like, “I’ll try again,” and they’re like, “Okay, we’ll try again.” It’s amazing.
WMD: It’s like they took every idea in the world, put it in a bucket, drove out to the Midwest, waited for a tornado, let every idea in the world go into a tornado, and then picked up the scraps they found and made a movie out of it. It’s the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen.
JD: I think they had to cut so much story for all these cameos, and that just makes it like, “What is happening?” It’s so disorienting, like every individual story, and it all adds up to a big mind fuck. It’s amazing. Did you watch the show?
WMD: I watched two years of the show, I think, when it was first on. I think I said this at Gil’s the other day, but the first two years I had it in my head that this was going to turn into basically what Silicon Valley is today, which is a funny, satirical look at Hollywood—but it increasingly over the first two years became lifestyle porn. And I was like, “No, this isn’t what I thought it was going to be” and I stopped watching it.
AVC: There are no consequences ever.
JD: The outcomes are always positive. It’s like, “Uh-oh, we fucked up, but that made everything better! We got the #1 movie!” It’s amazing.
WMD: It’s super amazing.
JD: So, my first apartment in New York when I moved there, I was living with Adrian Grenier. I lived with him for eight months or something like that, and so I’ve always been obsessed with Entourage and I’ve watched every episode because of that. When I heard he got that show I was like, “Holy shit, he’s got a big HBO show,” and, same thing, I thought it was going to be eventually what Silicon Valley is—really smart. Because it wasn’t unfunny. At that point, I was really excited about Jeremy Piven. You know, he’s really good. Jeremy Piven’s not bad, he’s good. And that show is bad, but he’s the most entertaining part of the show, and I was kind of like, “This could be really, really good,” and yeah, then it turned into lifestyle porn, like you said. But the worst lifestyle. Like the worst man cave, Guy Fieri, disgusting lifestyle porn.
I kind of feel bad for the… No, I’m not going to ever say that. I don’t feel bad for anyone involved. They’re doing great.
WMD: I don’t feel bad for them, but the actors wind up taking a lot of heat because they’re the face of the show, but they’re not writing their own lines. There are puppet masters at work behind them who deserve a lot more heat for what happened here, but they’re not going to get it because no one in America knows who they are. I bet if you went to a mall in the middle of America and asked who the executive producer of Entourage is, they’re probably not going to know, so Mark Wahlberg is only going to take a limited amount of heat, whereas the actors are scapegoated for decisions made by producers and writers behind the scenes. So I feel… not bad for them, but they probably don’t deserve as much shit as they get.
AVC: They’re just hanging in there. It’s a job.
WMD: I think they each made $2 million for the movie, and every actor in Hollywood is going to say yes to $2 million for a movie.
AVC: Every actor at that level at least.
WMD: Yeah. Not actors who get $20 million per movie, but the people in Entourage.
JD: I feel like everyone’s in Entourage for free. Everyone’s just like, “Yeah, okay.” Like all the cameos are just free. I feel like they just knew people who own those houses.
WMD: Actually there was something on NPR that was the location manager for Entourage talking about it, and he said it really did—I was going to say open a lot of doors but that sounds like a pun and I don’t mean that—but it helped them get in a lot of places for less money and less trouble, because everyone in town was like, “Ooh, Entourage?” And I’m like, “Oh god, I’m living in a world where people are like, ‘Ooh, Entourage?’” That makes me sad.
JD: That’s also why I was surprised that it bombed, because as far as me and my friends were concerned, we’re like “Oh there’s this huge show, this juggernaut, Entourage—it’s like Sex And The City.” But then the movie—I don’t know how much money it made, but it was a bomb. It’s not good. And that blew me away.
AVC: It came in fourth at the box office.
WMD: I think it opened well the first two days and then it flattened out because all the fans went the first couple of days.
I didn’t think it would do amazing, like Sex And The City did. I guess what I’m saying is, I was right, guys. And I just wanted to brag about being right about Entourage.
One of my other favorite moments is when Sloan is pregnant and she’s at the hospital and they endlessly wheel her around the halls. Did you notice that?
JD: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, man.
WMD: Do you guys have kids? Have you birthed children?
WMD: Once you’re there and you’re in your room, unless there’s an emergency, you don’t get wheeled around on a gurney at all. And so there’s this endless scene where Sloan is about to give birth and she’s being pushed through the halls for a long time. And you’re like, “Where are they going?” Like I was worried about Sloan. What’s going to happen? Where are they taking her and what’s going to happen to that baby? And then after the baby is born, my sister pointed this out—she came to see it with me— after the baby is born, E. goes back out to the waiting room with his friends and then they all get right in the car and leave. After his own child is born.
It is like an art movie, where it’s like, “Did that actually happen or is that some character’s fantasy?”
JD: It’s like The Shining. It’s got all these things about it. It’s like that Room 237 movie. The Shining has all these things that are purposely confusing about it, but in Entourage, they couldn’t put it all together. They couldn’t slap it all together and make it make sense, so there’s these little logical lapses that make it feel like art. You leave and you kind like you were just looking at a Matthew Barney exhibit and just thinking about testicles for two hours or something like that. I don’t know. That’s terrible. Don’t write that.
WMD: And I only have to see it three more times, so who knows what I’ll think about it when I see it three more times.
JD: Wait, why do you have to see it three more times?
WMD: I did this thing as a joke where I put on the internet that I would go see Entourage for $10,000, and I would give the money to charity.
JD: Oh, I saw that!
WMD: I wound up making $32,000 and promising to see it four times. I had to add incentives for people to give more money because it’s for charity—it’s for CureSearch—and I was like, “All right, well if people are going to continue to give money, I’ll keep saying I’ll see it more times.” And so now I have to see it three more times, although I think I’m going to bring my computer one time and get some work done, like sit in the back.
JD: Oh my god. You’ll be the foremost expert on the Entourage movie. You’ll know more about it than Jerry Ferrara.
WMD: I think it might change me as a person, to see it three more times.
JD: I think the show changed us all.
AVC: It’ll be interesting to see how the crowds change over time.
JD: It’ll become all women. It will become really weirdly popular with women who are really self-hating.
WMD: There are so many bizarre things about it that you could almost view it like you view The Room or Rocky Horror Picture Show. It has the veneer of looking more like a real movie, but underneath it, it’s got the bones of a hot mess.
JD: It’s like if The Room had a budget and Tommy Wiseau just knew everyone.
It’s pretty amazing. I just… man. Billy Walsh, by the way, they put that [Medellin] tattoo on his back again just for a walkthrough. They gave him like three scenes to do, but it’s like, in every scene Billy Walsh is in, he’s just like, “What’s up guys! See you later!” And then he’s like, in another scene, he’s like, “What’s up guys! See you later!” And then at the end he’s at the wedding and it’s like, “Billy’s at the wedding, too? All right.”
WMD: They also had two cameos from Chad Lowe—he was in it twice.
JD: I know who Chad Lowe is mainly from that Hillary Swank moment at the Oscars where she was married to him or something?
WMD: Right. And he’s Rob Lowe’s brother. But he was waiting to audition with Johnny Drama, and then he was in the Lamaze class. Maybe this whole movie is secretly a backdoor pilot for the Chad Lowe movie. They’re just going to do a whole pilot about that. They’re just waiting to see if everyone loved Chad Lowe’s two appearances in it.
JD: What was Armie Hammer so mad about? They were like, “Armie’s pissed! Look how tall he is.”
WMD: He used to date Emily… oh, we haven’t even talked about Emily… how do you say her name? Ratajkowski?
JD: Oh, Ratajkowski. Yeah.
WMD: And that’s my first point, is that in this movie, a woman with the most confusingly spelled name of all time—I’ve never probably said it out loud until this moment—everyone in this movie knows how to pronounce her last name perfectly. That’s another piece of reality that’s not at all real.
There’s this whole storyline about her, and about how she’s actually the cause of the big trouble in the act two turn and all this stuff, and Haley Joel Osment loves her—and by love I mean wants to put his dick in, which I think is Entourage’s definition of love, and so does Vince. They both “love” her, and then they never resolve her. There’s nothing about her at the end. She doesn’t get to be present in that storyline.
JD: They get rid of her. That’s another surreal thing about the movie—they just get rid of her. She’s not an obstacle anymore. And she’s the “Blurred Lines” girl, right? She’s a time bomb. She’s just waiting to get found out as a no-talent person. She’s also beautiful, but they don’t make her look that great. I don’t know. There’s something about that whole thing that was like, “Kate Upton said no. Who can we get?” “Oh, the “Blurred Lines” girl will do it. We might be able to trick her.” “We couldn’t trick Kate Upton, we’ll trick the “Blurred Lines” girl. She’s dumb enough to do it.”
WMD: New York magazine did a whole breakdown of the timeline of the Entourage movie because Sloan was maybe pregnant at the end of the series, she wasn’t pregnant in the beginning of the movie, and then she’s pregnant when the film is done, that, in this timeline she has to have been pregnant for at least a year. But we all know how long it takes to get a movie made, so this is more like a two-year pregnancy for Sloan. But also this is 2011, so no one knows who Emily Ratajkowski is yet. Ronda Rousey isn’t really a big thing yet. They did a really great breakdown of what you’ve been getting at the whole time, that this is a weird art project and that it also takes place in no time. There’s no space, no time, no reality to any of it.
JD: Yeah there’s no consistent reality within the world. The reality is dictated by who’s the most famous right now. The whole movie was dictated by these cameos, and that’s what makes it so fascinating. Like, who can we get together on this shooting day?
WMD: If it’s 2011, Pharrell hadn’t worn that hat yet… Now I’m taking all of this from New York magazine. This is not me observing anything. This is me being mildly freaked out by the entire movie. Freaked out and threatened by the entire movie.
JD: It’s like that movie has a dick and it puts it in everyone’s face that watches it. You just feel gross. I can’t imagine what it’s like for a woman. For guys it’s a different thing.
WMD: Well, I went into it thinking I’d be sort of mildly entertained, and there would be a few things that were annoying or whatever, but I was blown away by how misogynist it was. I was blown away by the number of times a girl is referred to basically as a piece of pussy.
I’m a fan of Bad Santa and other things that have no morality in them, but they have no morality on purpose. That’s the point. They’re pointing out the lack of morality in a funny way, in their character. I’m a fan of that shit. The problem with Entourage is that in the end he—or whoever is creating this, let’s say it’s Doug Ellin or let’s say it’s the combined psyche of several people—they honestly think that they’re good guys doing the right thing. Like at the end where it’s like, “This baby is born, nothing else matters, now we all love babies,” whereas before babies were presented as the ultimate nightmare scenario, even though they’re trying to fuck, which is what creates babies all the time. There’s just wheels within wheels of this psyche behind this movie. And then in the end when they say it’s a girl, I was like, “Oh, that’s so tragic.” Like the idea of a baby girl born into this world—the world of Entourage, not the actual physical world we live in, although that’s debatable, I guess—but a baby girl being born. It’s like, “That poor fucking baby girl, I feel so sorry for her being born into Entourage.”
AVC: You could come away thinking that this baby girl is going to change them, but there’s really no reason to believe they’d ever change. They never have.
WMD: The only consolation is that it’s fake. It’s a movie. That’s the only consolation. But you have to believe that somebody behind this thinks that this is actually a good way to operate in the world, which is crazy.
JD: They should’ve just had E. murder a girl. They could have had E. kill one of the girls he’s fucking, and he buries her body in the back yard, and then everyone comes up and they’re like, “What happened?” And he’s like, “Aw, I killed this girl, I fucked her and then I killed her and I buried her in the back yard.” And everyone’s like, “What are we doin’ for dinner?”
WMD: “Are we gonna let this dead piece of pussy get in the way of our evening plans?”
JD: It’s fucked up. If there was a real moral center to that movie, at several points, somebody would have to be like, “Hey man, I’m getting out of here. We’re not friends anymore. Fuck you. You’re a bad person.”
WMD: It’s weird how it bumps up against the ethos of The Sopranos. That’s what I thought when I was watching it. But in The Sopranos the whole point is that they’re sociopaths. I think some people that watched it were like, “Oh, I love those guys!” But in real life, they’re sociopaths. They kill people. And their treatment of women and the way they view women, that they’re always at the Bada Bing or whatever, it’s all wrapped up in them being sociopaths. Whereas in Entourage they’re just supposed to be like, “Hey, we’re regular guys.”
JD: Even in The Sopranos, Tony will be like, “I know what Carmella wants because she’s a human being, but I’m a fucking psychopath and I’m not going to let her have it.” They at least know everyone’s a human and they’re sociopaths, so they don’t do right by anyone, but with Entourage, it’s basically just like women aren’t people.
WMD: When I was at the Entourage-a-thon, in the entire first season—I only watched episodes seven and eight of the first season—but in the entire first season, no two women spoke to each other. The entire first season of the show. I had been regarding this whole thing as a joke, and then I was like, “Oh no no no no, that’s genuinely bad. That’s a bad thing.” I guess there was half a conversation, because a woman spoke to another woman but she wasn’t visible—she was behind a door—and it was like, “Hey, you’re on camera, get out here now,” and the other one was like, “Okay!” And then in the movie I believe two women don’t speak to each other at all, except for two women who have fucked E. and who are playing a prank on him. Spoiler—this is probably the biggest, most suspenseful moment in the movie—but the idea there is that these two women are playing a prank on him about having [babies], and then they speak to each other, but only about him. So it doesn’t pass the Bechdel test, for sure.
JD: It passes the Ellin test, though, which is that women are garbage and they should be seen and not heard. That’s the Ellin test.
WMD: Yeah. My other favorite moment was when Jeremy Piven flies to that meeting, and then the movie turns into a detective movie. He figures out why Haley Joel Osment is trying to ruin the movie, and it’s presented as sort of a courtroom moment at the end where Jeremy Piven presents the reason why Vince and this guy have had a falling out over Emily Ratajkowski, and they literally say several times, “This whole thing is about a girl.” And I just want to say, “No, no, guys. I guarantee you this whole thing is not about a girl.” The whole movie, they say so many things that seem to be thematic things about the movie, but they’re so wrong and so off base. It’s crazy.
JD: Yeah. Oh, man. What she said. What Wendy said. You’re making me want to see this movie again. I think I was too high to absorb all this shit. I don’t want to ever pay for it again, but maybe I’ll see it again. You have a legitimate reason to see it again because you have tens of thousands of dollars.
WMD: And I have to write a review of it. After four times, I don’t know what I’ll have to say.
JD: I know. It is just like watching four episodes of Entourage.
They had a gay wedding in it, and I think that was their “We’re pretty open minded, bro. Boys getting married. This movie’s like… is this too ooey-gooey? Are people, like… aw, no… we’ll let these two dudes get married. The whole thing is about gay weddings, so that excuses any disgusting shit we do about women.”
WMD: Also Lloyd tells Ari that he loves him, and I think it’s like this oppressor’s fantasy where—I’m thinking probably way too deeply about it now—but that fantasy that the oppressor has that the person they’re oppressing secretly loves them, and that what they’re doing is good for them in a way. Because why would Lloyd love Ari? He genuinely expresses love for him in the movie. And I think Ari is probably the most lovable of the main characters, just because he’s acted better than the other characters, but it’s still just like, “What are you talking about?”
The other thing I liked about this movie is Jeremy Piven’s energetic running style.
JD: Running style?
WMD: He runs really funny, and I appreciate that. I was so desperate to find anything funny, that I was like, “Oh, look at the way he runs! That’s amusing.”
JD: Ari is a full character, with more than one side, and it’s sort of interesting. And, in a way, Turtle is a character. Turtle is a full character, sort of. He is a sketch, and Vince is half a sketch, and Drama is a sketch comedy character.
It’s weird that Turtle has a soul and he cares about women and he cares about falling in love. He is kind of an underdog. But everyone else is half a character. So whenever Ari is there, you’re just like, “At least I can watch this and know what’s going on, because he has desires, and his wants are clear, so everything’s clear.” That’s the advantage of Ari: Things make sense.
AVC: Let’s wrap this up. Did you guys like Entourage?
WMD: I should have been more high when I saw it.
AVC: Well, you have three more times to get high.
WMD: I deeply disliked it in a way that I didn’t expect to. I went in thinking this will be hilarious, because I went with like a group of 20 people, too, and I was like, this will be funny, this will be hilarious. But there’s something really dark going on under it, and so it wasn’t enjoyable in the way that I thought it would be enjoyable.
JD: It made me laugh really, really hard, but I laugh when I’m confronted. And the whole thing is a confrontation of your values. It confronts you on a deep level of, “Wait, I’ve been thinking one thing is good behavior, and everyone’s winning from being horrible,” and then you realize that’s real, and that happens every day, and it’s really depressing. So that’s what you’re looking at. It’s horrible.
WMD: I think there are some underpinning realities to it. My sister and I, because my sister is my writing partner—we did have a series of meetings with a father-son financing team that was producing movies and they were in a way just as crazy as the father and son in this movie. There are underpinnings where you’re like, “Oh they’re trying to do a satire, like these people do exist in the world,” but then they just don’t have a viewpoint on it. Especially on their main characters. There’s no authorial voice telling you what to think about them, other than that they’re awesome, and that’s not what makes for a good viewing experience. It’s just somebody being like, “This is awesome. Look at this. This is awesome.” That’s commercials. That’s not movies or TV. That’s a commercial.
JD: It’s a Cadillac commercial.
WMD: We did it, guys. We took Entourage down a peg.
JD: Thank god. Thank god because it really didn’t need it.
Are they going to make a sequel now? Is that what happens? It didn’t do well but… no, they can’t make a sequel.
WMD: I think it’ll make its money back, because I think they shot it for like $30 million, and it’s made a good portion of that back already, but I don’t know—I think a sequel is driven by something huge like what happened with Sex And The City. Sex And The City is one of the top R-rated comedies of all time, money-wise, I think? And this won’t even get close.
AVC: Is Entourage popular in Europe? Or in China?
JD: It could get really popular in China, just like, “Wow, Americans don’t care about women! This is so fun!” I don’t know. “Hollywood is amazing!”
I think we have to thank Wendy. Thank you so much for converting this movie into good. You’ve converted it, you’ve taken it, and you fought against it harder than anyone.
WMD: I will buy more tickets to it than anyone in America, because I took 20 people on Saturday, and then next Friday if it’s still in theaters, I’m taking a bunch more people.
JD: Only in order to educate those people about the depths of how low entertainment can go, and to possibly do some good flying in the face of this.
WMD: Also because I don’t want to drink a lot of alcohol by myself. I want to drink a lot of alcohol with other people.
JD: Also, I just want to say on the record, Entourage is a masterpiece, Vince gets the movie, it’s the best. I love it. Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah. Thank god for Doug Ellin.
WMD: And honestly, I’m probably just jealous.
AVC: Just like all women.
JD: Yeah, you’re probably just jealous. Wendy, stop whining.
WMD: I wish that I could, but honestly you guys, I’m on the rag. So it’s hard. You know what I mean? When you’re ragging super hardcore, it’s really hard to like anything.
JD: Yeah, if a chick is raggin’ it, she’s not gonna love fuckin’ seein’ some guys, like, kick ass!
Anyway, that’s what I have to say. And I thought I remembered it better. I might see it again. Can we see it together? Maybe I’ll see it again.
WMD: Yeah. I’ve got a lot of viewings, so look me up.
JD: I do want to stop thinking about it forever, but now that we’ve had this conversation… it’s worth seeing… just the way it fucks with your brain. It’s so weird. It is like The Shining to me. Eventually I was just laughing at how confused I was. I was like, “Oh my god, I’m so confused.” No movie should confuse a human being this much.
WMD: No, really. It wasn’t just that you were high when you saw it. It is just very confusing. I was just mildly drunk and it was confusing.