Corporate satire: Love & other drugs, Charlie Sheen, Wilco

Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal in "Love and Other Drugs" (2010)

"Love and Other Drugs" is a corporate satire, a romantic comedy, a weepy melodrama with Judd Apatow-influenced lewdness. Written by Zwick, Charles Randolph and Marshall Hershkowitz, it begins with college drop-out Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) charming the pants off every woman he meets. He’s smart and glib. Naturally, he bags a job selling anti-depressant drugs to doctors. He also bags artist Maggie Murdock (Hathaway).She’s at least as smart as him. She’s sharp and sarcastic. And she’s in no hurry to settle down in a relationship. Everything is terrific: his career – boosted by his company bringing Viagra on to the market – and their sex life". Source:

Charlie Sheen’s Covert Operation spoof short intruding the CBS lot, leading a band of soldiers known as “Strike Team Five”.

"To Empire gatekeepers, Charlie Sheen seems dangerous and in need of help because he’s destroying (and confirming) illusions about the nature of celebrity. He’s always been a role model for a certain kind of male fantasy. (I don’t know any straight men who fantasize about Tom Cruise’s personal life). Sheen has always been a bad boy, which is part of his appeal—to men and women. There’s a manly mock-dignity about Sheen that both sexes like a lot. What Sheen has exemplified and has clarified is the moment in the culture when not giving a fuck about what the public thinks about you or your personal life is what matters most—and what makes the public love you even more (if not exactly CBS or the creator of the show that has made you so wealthy).
The midlife crisis is the moment in a man’s life when he realizes he can’t (or won’t) any longer maintain the pose that he thought was required of him. Tom Cruise had a similar meltdown at the same age in the summer of 2005, but his was more politely handled (and, of course, he was never known as an addict). Cruise had his breakdown while smiling. Cruise is still that altar boy from Syracuse who believes in the glamour of Empire earnestness, and this is ultimately his limitation as a movie star and as an actor.
Arrests. Accidental overdoses. Halfhearted stints in rehab. Martin Sheen’s teary-eyed press conference. The briefcase full of coke. The Mercedes towed out of the ravine. The misdemeanor third-degree assault on the third wife, who also went to rehab. Sheen chain smoking on TMZ. The priceless dialogue. (On CBS executives: “They lay down with their ugly wives in front of their ugly children and look at their loser lives.”) The September 11 conspiracy theories. Shooting Kelly Preston in the arm. Fucking porn stars Ginger Lynn and Heather Hunter and Bree Olson.
It’s thrilling watching someone call out the solemnity of the celebrity interview, and Sheen is loudly calling it out as the sham it is. He’s raw and lucid and intense: the most fascinating person wandering through the culture. We’re not used to these kinds of interviews. It’s coming off almost as performance art and we’ve never seen anything like it—because he’s not apologizing. It’s an irresistible spectacle.
Charlie Sheen kissing ex-wife Denise Richards at the 59th Golden Globe Awards, 20th January 2002

What do people want from Sheen? I’m not denying he has drug and alcohol problems—or even that he might struggle with mental illness. What fascinates us is the hedonism he enjoys and that remains the envy of every man—if only women weren’t around to keep them liars. Do we really want manners? Civility? Empire courtesy? Hell, no. We want reality, no matter how crazy. And this is what drives the Empire to distraction: Sheen doesn’t care what you think of him anymore, and he scoffs at the idea of PR". Source:

"I had written a story in my head that if I ever got famous, I would bring in a taste of old Hollywood", he says. "Everything was too conservative. I was still carrying the flag and leading the charge, but there was nobody else out there."
His rebellion, Sheen says, was driven by drugs and alcohol. "I didn't intend the reputation to get as out of hand as it did. Once it caught on, I thought, "OK, now I have got to fuel this fire. 'This is what I do and this is who I am' which is the complete opposite of who I am. I am a pretty shy pretty introverted, mellow guy." His high life came to a halt in May 1998, when he nearly died from a drug overdose".

"Trust not your evil overlords, they will discard you and then abandon your precious family. Liars and fools all of them. Get out while you can, good sir.
Hiya Chuck-E-Cheeseball. Where ya hiding, silly clown? Behind your narcissism? Your greed, your hatred of yourself or women? Which personality are you cowering beneath for transparent cover? I see you, you little worm. I see you behind your plastic smile, your bitchy pout and your desperate need to be liked. Forget love, that ship sailed when you were born. Think of me often, loser, during your most quiet moments. Think of me as you pray to the silly God of AA.

Let’s do a scene, maggot. I speak first, DUH.

Me: Are you an assailant?
Fuck Borre: I’m a show runner
Me: You’re neither. You’re an ugly clown sent by corporate fools to collect your fill.

The scales of justice are in a state of radical disarray. Together, we must right this infantile wrong. One final note, Sheen’s Korner is now for sale as a sports bar. You know where to find me, so I bid you adieu. Stay tuned good soldiers, I’ll see you all very soon on the battlefield". Source:

"I won’t live in the middle anymore. That’s where you get slaughtered. That’s where you get embarrassed. From the prom queen" -Charlie Sheen

Jeff Tweedy performing with Wilco at The Grand in Wilmington (2008)

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart - A Film About Wilco (part 5), directed by Sam Jones in 2002

"Both Nonesuch and Reprise are owned by AOL Time Warner. In other words, the same suits who supposedly found Wilco's approach too artistic to tolerate when the band was working for one part of the company apparently found it commercially viable when the band was working for another part. In the movie, this comes across as simply an ironic twist of fate. But it's more than that. In fact, Nonesuch's move makes the whole "victim of multinational capitalism" narrative look rather suspect. After all, if Reprise's axing of Wilco was really the inevitable result of a corporate ethos that privileges commercial appeal over artistic integrity, then Nonesuch's decision makes no sense". Source: