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NPR Arts & Life

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Spy' And Other Director-Actor Pairings

A drawing of two clinking martini glasses.

This week, we're lucky enough to welcome our pal Audie Cornish back to the panel for a discussion of Spy, the latest comedy (after The Heat and Bridesmaids) to team Melissa McCarthy with director Paul Feig. (If you're nostalgic, you can listen to our affectionate review of The Heat here. It's also the episode with a whole segment on The Price Is Right. Happy Friday!)

We talk about a lot of things Spygets right, but more than that, we wind up in an extended conversation about pitfalls it somehow manages to avoid: jokes not made, assumptions not entertained, story beats not hit. In the end, we just liked it, and we thought it was funny. (And while Audie is not a calling-out kind of person and didn't identify the piece on alleged humiliations of McCarthy, it's an argument worth reading and you can find it here. I don't agree with it, but I get the concern.)

In our second segment, jumping off the Feig/McCarthy collaboration (to be repeated in the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot), we talk about those director/actor pairings that repeat across films. Is it really a matter of muses and inspiration? Is it aesthetics? Is it just people who like each other? It's hard to tell, but we try to comb through some of the possibilities.

As always, we close the show with what's making us happy this week. Stephen acknowledges that he is happy about the sheer weirdness of the box office returns for a recent love letter to an unlikely target. Glen is happy about a book he recently reviewed for Monkey See and another one we hope he will soon. Audie is happy about a new film she's interested in and a book that might teach you a thing or two about music. And I am happy about an opportunity to remember a very wonderful singer from whom I've gotten many, many hours of happy times as well as a new singer from whom I got a real set of goosebumps last weekend.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: the show, me, Stephen, Glen, Audie, producer Jessica, other producer Kiana, and pal and producer emeritus Mike.

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