Piper Perabo, Rob Huebel, &’Insecure’s Yvonne Orji Board ‘Spontaneous’ From Awesomeness Films


Covert Affairs alum Piper Perabo, Rob Huebel (Childrens Hospital), and Yvonne Orji (Insecure) have joined the cast of Awesomeness Films’ YA sci-fi drama, Spontaneous, from writer/director Brian Duffield. The pic stars Katherine Langford as Mara Carlyle, whose life is forever changed when students in her senior class literally start exploding for no discernible reason.
Perabo will play Angela Carlyle, the loving and concerned mother of Mara. Huebel is Mara’s caring father…

Rob Huebel on Getting Naked With Justin Long on Malibu Beach for New Show: ‘That Was Weird’


Rob Huebel does a lot of weird stuff on his new series, “Do You Want to See a Dead Body?” But getting naked with Justin Long during the daytime in the middle of a tony Southern California beach community just might take the cake.

Huebel created the show and stars as a version of himself who happens to be an ardent fan of finding corpses in Los Angeles and showing them to his famous friends. These include Adam Scott and Terry Crews, who appear in the pilot episode that was initially filmed for Comedy Central before the off-the-wall comedy series found a home at YouTube Red.

The “Children’s Hospital” alum told TheWrap that a particularly memorable scene to film was one in which he and Long make their way across a nude beach in Malibu and end up getting hassled by a pair of nude-beach bullies. But of course, there are no actual nude beaches in Malibu, meaning that the two stars — not to mention numerous other actors in the the episode — had to strip down on a regular beach, causing considerable confusion to onlookers.

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“When we’re shooting that, of course there’s other people around, and there’s kids around, and there’s old people sitting there on the beach, and everyone’s looking at us — and then people start filming it [on their phones],” Huebel said. “We had to send a bunch of production assistants and beg them, ‘Oh, please don’t put Justin Long nude fighting with these other three men on the internet.’ That was weird.”

Huebel’s goal with the show, which started its life as original shorts for Funny or Die, was “to make a show that was totally absurd and aggressively funny.” He also enjoyed getting to “play a total idiot.”

“My friend Owen Burke from Funny or Die, we would just joke about this idea,” the star said of an earlier period in his career. “We were in New York, we would hang out late, go out drinking and then eventually it would get to a point in the night where there would be a lull in the conversation, and I always as a joke just throw that out there, ‘Hey, do you want to go see a dead body?’ And he kept laughing at that and was eventually like, ‘You should shoot that for Funny or Die,’ so that’s where it came from.”

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Huebel pointed out that the show was loosely inspired by his fascination with 1980s projects like “Stand by Me” in which kids could head into the woods in search of adventure, not to mention moments from Huebel’s own youth when he and childhood pals would “find Penthouse magazines in these weird forts of teenagers.”

Does he have ideas in mind for future seasons? As long as corpses remain undiscovered, Huebel and his friends are ready to gape at them.

“There’s still so many dead bodies out there in so many different towns — I found a few here in Los Angeles, but what about New York City?” quips the “Big Mouth” voice actor. “I’m sure there’s some dead bodies that haven’t been found. What about Austin, Texas — or San Francisco? I need to go to some of these other towns and take famous people and find more dead bodies.”

(Huebel, who co-stars on “Transparent,” declined to comment on Jeffrey Tambor saying over the weekend that he will not return to the Amazon show after two women accused Tambor of sexual harassment.)

“Do You Want to See a Dead Body?” is currently streaming on YouTube Red. 

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Transparent is on a Birthright trip, and no one is going to want to see the photos


In theory, there’s a lot of dramatic potential in the setup for the second half of this season of Transparent. The rest of the American Pfeffermans (minus Simon and Sarah and Len’s kids) arrive in Israel to meet Moshe, prompting a slight confrontation with his other family and kicking off a road trip that will consume…

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‘Fun Mom Dinner’ Review: Toni Collette, Molly Shannon Go Wild, Predictable Hijinks Ensue


“Fun Mom Dinner” kicks off the way you might expect a comedy with that title would: a montage of four mothers’ school mornings, with each trying with varying degrees of success to wrangle their spawn until one ends up with poo on her face. Such broadness doesn’t bode well for the feature debuts of director Alethea Jones and scripter Julie Rudd.

But although the filmmakers return to outsize wackiness too frequently, the film mercifully isn’t one chaotic gag after another. The titular event is launched when the relatively with-it Jamie (Molly Shannon) invites the new parent at her preschool, Emily (Katie Aselton, “Casual”), to join her and hyperorganized rule-following mother Melanie (Bridget Everett) to dinner that night.

Emily’s down but asks if she can bring her friend and fellow school mom Kate (Toni Collette). After some quick inhales and hesitation, Jamie diplomatically says that Kate doesn’t hang out with other moms. The reason, as the film wisely shows instead of tells, is that Kate is a bit difficult, with a particular rivalry with Melanie, who serves as a “proud parent volunteer” overseeing the school parking lot.

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Though Kate refuses, at some point during the day Emily confesses to her that her marriage to Tom (Adam Scott) has gone cold, with him ignoring her subtle flirtations and regarding his watching their kids as a babysitting favor. So she tricks Kate into thinking that she wants to have dinner to talk about her woes. How Kate doesn’t suspect it was the mom gathering all along requires a suspension of disbelief that will come in handy until the credits roll.

The night, unsurprisingly, starts off contentiously, with some name-calling that helps the film earn its R rating. There’s an angry walkout by one party with a just-for-show follow by another, but then a scandalous vape doobie and a call for peace ensues. Soon, all four women are smokin’ in the girls room and embarking on a dine ‘n dash when they set off the restaurant’s sprinkler system. Fueled by booze and weed, the game’s afoot.

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Rudd doesn’t just focus on the ladies, which relieves the zaniness some. Tom brought his brood over to Kate’s place so that he and Kate’s husband Andrew (Rob Huebel) can babysit together. Andrew seems to have a bit of a greater handle on this parenting gig, and the guys talk about their marriages. (“She has this whole thing about f–ing ‘fun,’” Tom complains while expressing how stressed out and tired he is.) Though, naturally, their night goes off the rails, too; the messup is relatively minor, and these scenes work as a nice palate cleanser to cut the moms’ increasingly frenetic actions.

It also helps that not all the women are eager to go wild. From the beginning, for instance, we see that single mother Jamie isn’t struggling with lack of control over her child as much as loneliness. “You aren’t just a mom,” she says to her phone’s camera. “You are a hot, hot single lady!” (After viewing a snap, she recoils: “Oh God.”)

Jamie then personifies low-key pot paranoia throughout the night. While Kate lets loose and Emily is tempted by good-looking (and/or scuzzy, depending on your perspective) bar owner Luke (Adam Levine), Melanie’s penchant for responsibility doesn’t flag, though the brashness that Everett brings to her character can be overbearing.

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The film is also boosted by its ’80s soundtrack, with hits from Pat Benatar, Heart, and the Go-Go’s popping up just when the film is starting to flag and “99 Luftballoons” serving as the inevitable karaoke number. Luke picked it for the ladies, having instantly warmed to them after assuming they were all mothers; though the group is offended, he proves that he meant it as a compliment by showing off his “Moms” tattoo. How having two mothers translates into loving all mothers is a mystery, but Emily’s got to get her flirt on somehow.

By the laws of screwball comedy, “Fun Mom Dinner” must culminate in an overblown crisis capped by a scene of sentimentality. Eyes are opened and walls dropped. It’s predictable, but at least there are some surprise turns in what promised to be a strictly by-the-numbers road.


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‘The House’ Review: Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler Win a Few Laughs But Go Home Empty-Handed


Watching “The House” is a frustrating experience, one that’s akin to finding bits of a manuscript as part of an archaeological dig. You get flashes of the clever comedy this might have been — a funny line here, an amusing bit of business there, the occasional whiff of relevance — but it too often lumbers along, coasting on the backs of some very talented performers.

If casting alone were enough to guarantee greatness, “The House” would be all set: in addition to leads Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell and Jason Mantzoukas, the film’s ensemble boasts an embarrassment of comedy riches, including performers like Nick Kroll, Alison Tolman, Michaela Watkins, Rob Huebel, Lennon Parham, Cedric Yarborough, Andrea Savage, Kyle Kinane and Rory Scovel, to name just a few. But you have to give actors roles to play and situations that are interesting and stories that matter, and that’s more than this steadfastly average movie can bother to offer.

Poehler and Ferrell star as Kate and Scott Johansen, suburbanites who are thrilled that their daughter Alex (Ryan Simpkins, “Brigsby Bear”) has just been accepted to a prestigious university. Sure, it’s pricey, but their town picks the top high school student each year and covers four years of tuition — until this year, that is, when councilman Bob (Kroll) announces that they’re building a lavish new town pool instead.

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It never occurs to Kate and Scott to save money by unloading their gigantic house (too much for three people, let alone two empty-nesters) or canceling their trip to Vegas with Scott’s best friend Frank (Mantzoukas), a compulsive gambler who’s been in the dumps since his wife Raina (Watkins) walked out. But winning and then losing a big stake at a casino gives the trio the idea to set up an underground gambling den in Frank’s house to make enough money to send Alex to college and to save the house from foreclosure in the hopes that Raina will return.

As comic set-ups go, this isn’t the worst one, but director Andrew Jay Cohen and co-writer Brendan O’Brien never have enough of a hold on the material, either comically or conceptually. “The House” squanders its periodic funny ideas — feuding neighbors, both male and female, get put in the boxing ring for high-stakes gambling; mild-mannered Scott is forced to become a brutal enforcer when they catch a card-counter; the rag-tag casino suddenly starts boasting neon and a waitstaff and spa — by lacking pacing or a consistent tone.

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The stakes should escalate, whether it’s Alex’s suspicion about what her parents are doing at night, or the local policeman (Huebel) figuring out what’s afoot, but one scene lazily bumps into another haphazardly and without structure or purpose. Poehler and Ferrell and the rest are certainly capable of improvising, but movies need a basic structure on which to mount those improvisations. Otherwise, it’s a series of intermittently amusing ideas that never quite lands on a narrative.

There’s certainly comedy to be found in contemporary economic anxiety — poverty was the secret weapon of “Bridesmaids” — but “The House” fritters away this notion, along with any number of other connections to reality. By the time Jeremy Renner shows up as an actual mobster threatening genuine injury, the film has become too much of a cartoonish exaggeration to support the weight of his malice. (His threats are solved with slapstick violence, and while the mounting degrees of his downfall provide a last-minute jolt of hilarity, they also represent a crazy tone shift that the movie hasn’t earned and cannot support.)

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Ultimately, “The House” is a mid-summer air-conditioning delivery system that most viewers will have forgotten by the time they go back-to-school shopping. Or maybe even by the time they get to the parking lot.

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