I’m a sucker for character studies of unlikeable people, and Listen Up Philip (USA, 2014, Tribeca Films) pulls no punches. Jason Schwartzman is repellant and yet strangely relatable as a pompous author who alienates everyone in his path with the help of his bitter Philip Roth–like mentor (Alan Rickman). Elisabeth Moss is amazing as his long-suffering photographer girlfriend. I laughed, I cried, I hated myself.
Not a day goes by that I don’t quote extensively from I’m Alan Partridge (England, 1997, BBC), a brutally hilarious British TV series about a failed talk-show host and his post-fame exile in small-town England. Steve Coogan so inhabits this character that it’s followed him his whole career, with Alan popping up in everything from books to a recent film. A well-timed, “That was classic intercourse. So, uh, thanks!” will really test the viability of a relationship.
— Bill Perrine, filmmaker, facebook.com/sdmusicdoc