This sketch features a couple breaking up, with dialogue constructed exclusively from 154 film titles. (Liar Liar, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Unfaithful, and Whore are included.) The video—made by the Brooklyn-based, five-member comedy troupe POYKPAC—stars Ryan Hunter, Jenn Lyon, and Maggie Ross.
“It started to seem like there was this period where all these movies kept coming out with names like How Do You Know and Rumor Has It…, and they were mostly romantic comedies,” Hunter, who also wrote and directed “Movie Title Breakup,” tells me. It took him two days to write the sketch—staring at his computer, searching through IMDb for applicable titles. “It was almost as if Hollywood was running out of names to call movies, so they started using phrases—like we were trending toward a world where every human phrase ever said was going to be the name of a movie.”
The video was posted to YouTube Tuesday where it already has over 165,000 views, but it has been sitting on Hunter’s digital shelf for almost two years.
“We shot this a year and a half ago…in a restaurant in Brooklyn that I don’t think exists anymore,” he says. “I didn’t know if I had really achieved what I wanted to accomplish, so I marinated on it for [this long]. I thought maybe I was gonna reshoot it, but then said to myself, no, I’m never gonna do that, and just finally put it on the internet.”
The reaction, so far, has been positive, which is good news for the sequel Hunter says he might shoot (he’s keeping mum on the details, only saying that he has it mostly written). Gizmodo called it, “supremely clever,” Slate dubbed it, “well-crafted,” and the Huffington Post praised it as, “funny and innovative.”
“Movie Title Breakup” might remind some viewers of another fairly recent web video: “The Beatles Argument” (by CDZA, another New York group), which depicts a lovers’ quarrel sung almost entirely in Beatles lyrics:
POYKPAC’s other hits include “Mario: Game Over,” “Hipster Olympics,” and “The Walken Dead.” The group, which formed in January 2006, currently operates on an on-off basis, as members are generally active in other projects. POYKPAC member (and former Slate staffer) Taige Jensen has recently done some documentary work with the New York Times, and co-wrote and illustrated Coloring for Grown-Ups with Hunter. Jenn Lyon is starring in George Lopez’s upcoming FX comedy series.