Entourage has arrived at your local multiplex like Charon pulling up in his sweet ghost yacht, ready to ferry the recently departed shades of Maxim-era excess into the afterlife of cinema. Already, thousands have lined up, placing a projected $20 million in oboli in the mouth of this dead HBO show to secure their passage to L.A. heaven, where they will brunch eternally with their bros, dance with babes in bikinis, and nothing will ever hurt or delay bottle service again. Still, not everyone is so eager to get on board. Like Johnny Drama says, in the very first line of an actual movie that was approved and filmed and released: “I think I’m going to have to jack it before we get there.”
And truth, Johnny Drama, there have been lots of people jackin’ it, long before we were even within boob-hailing distance of the Entourage yacht. Since it was announced, the film has been barraged by solipsistic commentary and works of masturbatory self-indulgence, with critics spluttering all over themselves that a story about the difficulties of meeting the $100 million budget on your would-be DJ superhero franchise, while also dealing with Way Too Much Pussy, is somehow not a universal one—or particularly worth making into a movie. And frankly, that is one kind of masturbation that Entourage creator Doug Ellin doesn’t find hilarious. Because Doug Ellin made a movie for real people, not the friendless, brunchless dudes who sit on social media, complaining like some guy overtired from Way Too Much Pussy.
“If you talk to real people instead of little, bitter guys sitting on their Twitter accounts—real guys who have friends go, ‘This is my friends. This is how I grew up,” Ellin tells the L.A. Times of these real bros who are too busy bro-ing to care about such petty criticisms or subject-verb agreements. Real salt-of-the-earth types, like LeBron James. “LeBron James?” Ellin asks, obviously rhetorically. “I go out to dinner with him, and he goes, ‘This is my E. This is my Drama. This is my Turtle.’” Want even more concrete proof than a dinner anecdote? Look: LeBron James hasn’t tweeted since April. He’s clearly too busy playing with his Turtle, and living that life Entourage documents with such unsparing honesty.
In fact, if you can accuse Entourage of anything, it’s probably of being too real: An estimated “90 percent” of Entourage is “actually real,” Ellin tells the New York Times, reminding us that it all comes directly from Hollywood, epicenter of reality. For instance, the part where Haley Joel Osment’s wild-eyed, gun-toting Texan stereotype locks Adrian Grenier’s Vincent Chase out of the editing room, all because he wants a rewrite on Vince’s dubstep Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde? That is not just some fanciful contrivance created for Entourage’s requisite bare minimum of conflict. That is “literally taken from good friends of mine having to deal with financiers who don’t care about movies and just want to make money,” Ellin says.
Entourage is literally a documentary, and Ellin is literally a guerilla reporter, embedded deep inside the mortared frontlines of filmmaking. And, like shaky soldiers hiding the terror in their eyes by sharing photos of their girlfriends back home, Ellin’s Hollywood friends have allowed him to capture just those sorts of gritty, intensely private moments for posterity.
“I think now that the whole world has gone to reality TV, nobody wants to hide anything anymore. Everyone wants to give everything away,” Ellin says approvingly of those players’ eager participation in Entourage, which is literally The Act Of Killing with hotter bodies.
Still, there are always casualties in the eternal war for truth—just like how sometimes you throw a party and your new, expensive dinosaur head gets smashed. As the New York Times reports, a scene from Entourage depicting exactly that even caused “a bit of trouble” for Kevin Connolly, the adenoidal elf known as “E.,” with his real-dude friend Leonardo DiCaprio. “He just rolls his eyes. He’s like, ‘Really? The dinosaur head thing?’” Connolly scoffs. Grenier chimes in, lamenting, “In Hollywood, in a world of narcissists, everybody is going to think it’s their story, that it was about them”—even something as universal as dinosaur head-ownership. “Yeah, Leo, you’re not the only one with a dinosaur head,” Connolly agrees.
Indeed. Get over yourself, Leo. Entourage is but an unblinking camera trained on the Hollywood hills, capturing the unfiltered lives that happen to wander in front of it, and maybe say, “Fuck!” or something so they can be in the movie trailer. You’re so vain, you probably think this dinosaur head is about you.
Its unwavering dedication to realism even extends to Entourage’s depictions of women, whose hot, undulating bodies in various states of undress Ellin is defiantly not afraid to put on screen. “Let’s be real: That’s what our town is made of, and it shocks me all the time,” says Emmanuelle Chriqui, whose role as E.’s sometimes-paramour Sloan has long provided Entourage with its most faithful depiction of the myriad ways girlfriends are a total drag. And while she believes Entourage doesn’t make “girls look super great,” hey, that’s just the reality that Ellin is so bravely depicting. “Those little hanger-on-ers, those little bikini-clad, perfect bodies that show up and flirt with the 50-year-old that they think is gonna make them a star?” Chriqui asks, somewhat rhetorically. “There’s so many of those it’s disturbing. I see it way too often, and it shocks me all the time. And the thing is, Doug isn’t afraid to show it.”
Ellin’s fearless commitment to baring the harsh truths and harsher breasts of Hollywood even extended to Entourage’s L.A. premiere, which was reportedly rife with “go-go dancers elevated on platforms and leggy young ladies being squired about by men who could have doubled as their fathers”—a confrontational tableaux orchestrated by its producers, who are unafraid to challenge audiences to their faces with the grim reality of attractive women. Not that Ellin or his stars think that the film is necessarily demeaning women by reducing them to sexy furniture to be straddled, then quickly disposed of, like a couch or sports car. That’s just how real dudes be.
“I don’t think that four guys in a car who say they would like to fuck that night are treating women poorly,” said Ellin, equally unafraid to spoil the entire plot of the Entourage movie to make an important point. Mark Wahlberg, executive producer and guy who turns up mid-film to plug his reality show about hamburgers, agrees that this is all very true to life. “I think a lot of women like hearing what it’s like when guys are talking with their friends unfiltered,” Mark Wahlberg says, and he should know. He’s been filmed talking to several women.
Besides, Ellin reminds us that Lena Dunham’s character on Girls “has had more sex than Vince”—an incredible accomplishment—while Connolly chimes in that “Kim Cattrall’s character on Sex And The City, she was hooking up with dudes left and right… Just because they’re guys that are out on the hunt to meet up with chicks and have a good time doesn’t make them such terrible guys.” After all, lots of real guys and a couple of specific HBO female characters do that all the time.
Also, they’re real guys—not Jesus Christ. “This is not a Christian values show,” Grenier reminds us. Jesus already got his story about dining out with his mooching buddies. It was called the Bible.
And just as Jesus came back from the dead to continue his ministry, now Entourage has been resurrected, to provide its own acolytes with a similarly practical guide to aspirational living—one that no amount of Romans jeering from their crumbling Twitter coliseum can destroy. In fact, their flung Rotten Tomatoes be damned, the only one who can stop Entourage at this point is God himself. “It’s a franchise that hopefully will never die until one of us does,” Grenier tells the New York Times. Like both Jesus and Entourage, he is unafraid to get real, even in the face of persecutors who know not what they do and probably have no friends.
On Earth, as it is in Entourage, oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh YEAHHHH.