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A Serious Man

A Serious Man

Date: Nov 25 2009

Themes: Work

Grammar: Adverbs


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There’s an expression in English, “When it rains, it pours.” This means that when something happens that hasn’t occurred in a long time, it happens in large amounts. For instance, say someone didn’t get a date for a whole year, and then he suddenly had dates with five different beautiful women in one week. “When it rains,” he might say, “it pours.”

“When it rains, it pours” could also be the slogan for the new movie A Serious Man. Unfortunately for the main character, Larry, it doesn’t pour beautiful women in his life. It pours bad luck.

Everything seems to be going fine for Larry, until all at once his wife tells him she’s leaving, his brother gets arrested, and his job becomes threatened. Find out why Devan and Beren are excited to go see this dark comedy about a man who experiences a flood of misfortune.


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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Beren:  So, are you into the Coen brothers at all?

Devan:  They’re those type of directors that I don’t even have to know what the movie’s about, I’ll just go see it knowing that they made it, ‘cause I know it’s gonna be good.

Beren:  They do a lot of black comedy. I mean, that’s basically all they do. Did you see Burn After Reading? That’s the Coen brothers, right?

Devan:  It is. I didn’t see that one. But I’m planning on going and seeing that new one, A Serious Man.

Beren:  Oh, I saw the trailer, but I’m not really sure exactly what it’s about. But it’s another one of their…a take on a classic story, right?

Devan:  Yeah. It’s based on the story of Job. And it’s basically about this guy in the Midwest in the 1960s and all of these bad things keep happening to him. Like he’s just got this unlucky streak. And it’s kind of about what’s your breaking point. It’s definitely one of those dark comedies you’d expect from them, but it’s more personal this time, it seems like.

Beren:  Huh.

Devan:  But it’s definitely another one of their movies that’s based on a different story.

Beren:  Like O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Devan:  Exactly.

Beren:  That take on The Odyssey?

Devan:  Exactly.


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Devan is a huge fan of the Coen brothers, two siblings who make movies together. She enjoys the black humor of movies like Fargo and The Big Lebowski so much that she’ll go see anything the Coen brothers make, even if she doesn’t know what it’s about. Although she missed the brothers’ last film, Burn After Reading, she’s looking forward to their new movie, A Serious Man.

A Serious Man is a take on the Old Testament story of Job, who suffers many trials that make him question the existence of God. But like most Coen brothers movies, A Serious Man isn’t entirely serious. It raises interesting questions about life, but it also includes a lot of dark humor.

How do you cope when bad things happen in your life? Have you ever had the experience that “when it rains, it pours”?



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Saudi Arabia

thank you for this lesson .

when bad things happen , I directly rise my face to the sky , where the real god ,

becaus He testing me with these bad things , and He is the one who can left it from me , and he always do .

I experience '' when it rains …...'' so-so _

01:26 AM Nov 26 2009 |



United Arab Emirates

I don't Know exactly how do I cope with the bad things , but in general I ask for help from my parents or friends , because I believe that they will help me a lot ..

08:06 PM Nov 25 2009 |

Lázaro Pina


It seems to be a funny movie!

05:38 PM Nov 25 2009 |



But i've heard this proverb like this:It never rains,but it pours.

03:26 PM Nov 25 2009 |



Yeah things may going wrong at some point of time in life, but I always believe we should always be confident that everything will be alright!!

02:54 PM Nov 25 2009 |



it's really good.i like it .you know i did not know thae exactly meaning of “when it rains, it pours”?  now i could know the meaning of it through this lesson.its really helpful to me to learn english.thank you so much to the ebaby.com stuff.



01:57 PM Nov 25 2009 |



Viet Nam

lol! I like this lesson!

01:02 PM Nov 25 2009 |


United States

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11:39 AM Nov 25 2009 |



i wish i have seen it before! i have to manage some time to see it today because you really induced me to!!! have a nice day to you all! i already have a set up to make today more pleasant guys!!

08:42 AM Nov 25 2009 |




Coen brothers ,they are classic.I mean I watched their movie ,definitely the black comedy type, and it really tells us something. something incredible, ridiculous,and thought-provoking.I like them! Burn afer Reading, No Country for Old Man are great.Maybe now I should see the new one.thanks for your recommendation.

04:47 AM Nov 25 2009 |



I don't know exactly how to cope  bad things in my life, I just coping them one by one, till there is no something weighing on.  I think I ever had that experience. 

04:42 AM Nov 25 2009 |




i  think everybody can not  give up oneself, in the unlucky streak

04:11 AM Nov 25 2009 |

Ahn Soo-hyun

South Korea

I don't like black comedy and horror movie. I prefer action movies and touching movies.

Sometimes, srtangely to say, I used to cry while I was watching the movie. I don't want to stop my tears.  Sometimes, running tears help me to keep good eye sight and refresh my mind.

Please recommend your touching movies in your country.

03:25 AM Nov 25 2009 |




It is so terrible that I haven't enjoyed any films for a long time, perhaps since i graduated from my college in June!!!! Because the work is a little busy and have no time to run it! God !!!!!

02:47 AM Nov 25 2009 |



yeah, it's a very interesting sentence of "when it rains, it pours". I had this kind of experience, especially as to bad thing's coming up,  as the chinese proverb says that troubles never come singly, I thind it has the same meaning to " when it rains, it pours."  that's very bad luck.

02:04 AM Nov 25 2009 |

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