Friday, July 10, 2009

For Your Consideration (2006)

Movie quotes:
"You can't throw the baby out with the bathwater because then all you have is a wet, critically injured baby."
- Lane Iverson (Michael McKean)

At a glance:
Christopher Guest’s first ever misfire looks behind the scenes at low-budget film-making; an attempt is made at both comedy and sincerity, but neither is delivered

Our review (with spoilers):
This inside-Hollywood film looks at the making of Home For Purim, a 1940s Jewish-themed drama about the American South. Three of the actors (two in the twilight of their careers, and one just making the jump from comedy) find out that they may be nominated for Best Actor Academy Awards. It’s likely these are just rumors and nothing more, since the script, performances, and direction are not really a-grade.

There are talented performances by Guest’s usual team of potentially hilarious comic actors, but, sadly, very little of the film is funny. The too-broad jokes do not feel like they have a basis in fact (for example, an agent who has never used the Internet). What did make me laugh were the intonations and accent (is that supposed to be New York?) of Christopher Guest’s character. I also appreciated the wonderful Catherine O’Hara. She gets the best character to play here: a fully fleshed out role as an ageing actress who believes her waning career may be on the ascension.

Christopher Guest movies are not meant to be side-splittingly funny. Rather, they are best appreciated as low-budget, humorous and affectionately-made gems, featuring a returning cast of familiar faces. Waiting for Guffman, Guest’s first and funniest, benefited from its status as a true comic surprise. Best in Show had perhaps the broadest comic appeal and was the most successful of the lot. A Mighty Wind was not as funny but was carried by the humorous, entertaining folk music parodies and moments of touching sincerity. For Your Consideration doesn’t have the music, comedy, or sincerity to salvage it.

Rating: 1 of 4

Other reviewers said:
"The problem with For Your Consideration is that it breaks the cardinal rule of comedy: it just isn't funny."
- Ted Murphy (Murphy's Movie Reviews)

"The best jokes are the true jokes, and truth has not been best served here."
- Anthony Quinn (Independent)

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