Brow Beat

Seth Meyers’ Newspaper-Movie Parody, Aptly Titled Newspaper Movie, Goes All the Way to the Top

Do you like watching middle-aged white people typing for two hours? Do you enjoy men in bad ties and short-sleeved colored shirts? Do you thrill to the word sources? And do you just love long overly dramatic pauses while waiting for an editor to make a call?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then this is the nonexistent movie for you. Seth Meyers and his team of intrepid reporters have put together a trailer for what might just be the most comprehensive parody of the classic award-winning-movies-set-in-newsrooms-specifically-at-newspapers genre ever: Newspaper Movie. This one, unsurprisingly, goes straight to the top.

Meyers plays a number of recognizable characters: the lobbyist gorging himself on soft-shell crab while explain that this is how Washington works; the copy editor, “who thinks that because this story could bring down the president, it’s important to get the grammar right,” and of course, the grizzled, workaholic reporter with no personal life, coming home to an empty fridge. The parody chronicles the genre’s unrealistic tropes, including that fact that exchanging top-secret documents via manila folder while sitting on a park bench is literally the most conspicuous way to share intel (“What’s in that folder?” asks a bystander), and the way the characters keeps referring to themselves as the Fourth Estate, as if that is an everyday term.

“I thought the Fourth Estate was time,” says one reporter.

“That’s the fourth dimension,” says a frustrated Meyers.

“I thought the fourth state was Georgia.” “Not state, estate.”

One thing’s for sure: this cinematic celebration of newspapers and the people who make them is guaranteed to get glowing reviews from newspapers and the people who make them. As one mock review (from a real newspaper) puts it: “Our entire newsroom went totally apes#@* for this movie.”

Rachel Withers

Rachel Withers is a Slate Brow Beat assistant.