Posted: January 18, 2006 in Reviews Archive

for file 23 Magazine


From the writer who brought us WAITING FOR GUFFMAN and BEST IN SHOW is this gem of a film. Christopher Guest, who most people only remember from THIS IS SPINAL TAP so far writes stories about very ordinary people struggling to find some glimmer of meaning in their dull little lives.

He doesn’t rely on shock value (which even John Waters admits is getting harder) instead building simple plots and populating them with lots of true characters culled from his stock company of actors.

In this film the plot evolves around a reunion performance of old folk music acts that are going to be broadcast on public television. There is a divorced duet, Mitch and Mickey who are played by co-writer Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, the Folksmen (Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest) and the perky New Main Street Singers.

Fans of O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU ought to enjoy the music to this and many of the actors appear to be actually playing their instruments. When was the last time you saw that in a film? I’m trying real hard to think of one single reason to recommend this but it’s difficult. Films like this must be awful to market; no one seems to like them but the critics.

There’s no action to speak of, no nudity and it’s all about FOLK MUSIC for cryin’ out loud.

Does it really make a difference if I say it’s a well-written film and that most of the performances are well done? Fred Willard is the head of a talent agency who makes me laugh just looking at him. With his Sting hairdo, he captures the true essence of showbiz schmaltz. And he’s just one small facet of this film.

Check out the extra features on the DVD. I love the phony vintage TV appearances of the various acts like the Folksmens’ 1968 “Children Of the Sun? from their electric album that didn’t sell or Mitch and Mickeys’ cameo on some make-believe detective drama.

There’s also a shot-on-video “broadcast? of the reunion performance that is minus all the editing cuts when you see it in the film. This is a clever, witty film and how many of those does Hollywood produce today? Fans of SCTV should enjoy this and if you’ve ever seen WAITING FOR GUFFMAN or BEST IN SHOW I really shouldn’t have to recommend it twice.



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s