Watch Eels’ This Is 40 Outtake

Michael Nelson | January 2, 2013 - 2:17 pm

I haven’t seen Judd Apatow’s new film, This Is 40, so I can’t really comment on its flaws or virtues, but I will say that I’m impressed by the film’s deep connection to music. That’s essential to the plot, of course, as star Paul Rudd plays an independent label honcho, but Apatow doesn’t skimp on the real-life talent giving his fictional world some verisimilitude. The soundtrack includes utter gems from Ryan Adams and Fiona Apple, among others, and Rudd is joined onscreen by a handful of musicians playing themselves, including Graham Parker and Bille Joe Armstrong. We’ve got a couple deleted scenes here, one featuring Eels’ Mark Oliver Everett, who plays a lovely version of “What I Have To Offer” before dropping the bad news: Eels will be leaving Rudd’s indie label and signing with Warner Bros. Hard to believe either Eels or WB would agree to such a pact in 2012, but hey, that’s the movies for ya. Watch:

The other outtake features Armstrong telling Rudd about a new project he’s hoping to work on, which will blend “Norwegian death metal” with Belle & Sebastian. This stuff, frankly, drives me nuts. There’s almost no such thing as Norwegian death metal. Norway is, however, widely renowned as the birthplace of modern black metal, having spawned Mayhem, Burzum, Immortal, Emperor, Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Thorns, Satyricon, 1349, and a million others. Bille Joe then makes empty mentions of burning down churches and white supremacists, which are pretty obviously references to church-burning white supremacist Varg Vikernes, aka Burzum. So I think it’s fair to say that whoever wrote that scene fucked up, calling for the line to read “death metal” when it should have read “black metal.” It’s not exactly a crime against cinema (or music), but man, that kinda stuff just takes me out of the moment. If you’re peppering your dialogue with arcane music references, you absolutely have to get those references right, because if they’re wrong, the joke isn’t funny and the dialogue is dishonest. “Norwegian death metal”? Gah. I swear that’s the kind of thing my mother says. SMH. Watch it anyway: