Saturday, September 24, 2011

Movie Reviewed - For Your Consideration

Some of Christopher Guest's work is masterful. Best In Show was a great story about a lot of really compelling characters, portrayed perfectly. A Mighty Wind had a lot of that same magic. This Is Spinal Tap was decent, though didn't have the impact on me that it did for many others. So it stood to reason that I'd enjoy For Your Consideration, which features a lot of the same cast (Catherine O'Hara, Fred Willard, Eugene Levy, John Michael Higgins).

Unfortunately, it didn't happen that way.

For Your Consideration is a movie about a movie, which might make some of my description confusing. Anyways, the film is called Home for Purim, and it features a few lesser-known actors. Some way or another (it's never fully explored), a bit of Oscar buzz is generated about one of the leads, then another, then another. FYC follows the actors, the director, and other ancillary characters as the movie is tweaked, then completely altered, filmed, and reviewed. Their reactions are stereotypically Hollywood-ish, taking the whispers of awards and running with them, as far and as fast as possible.

Watching actors portraying "actors" acting like actors should have been an easy road to humor, but mostly it comes across as frustrating or disappointing. Honestly, the movie makes you wonder if the on-screen talent in the real world is just as shallow and jealous, and ultimately clueless. We all hear nice stories about Tom Hanks or Kiefer Sutherland, but who knows if they're accurate. Certainly we're at least willing to believe that a lot of Hollywood stars are more like the guys from Entourage and less like the guys from The Lonely Island.

Guest is well-known for having some looseness with his scripts, and sometimes that creates some gems, as I mentioned at the outset of this review. Honestly, A Mighty Wind and Best In Show are two really, really funny movies. For Your Consideration, though, shows you the risk you run when you allow actors to improvise dialogue. It can get messy, and unfocused, and if it's not funny, you just have a crummy movie.

The Last Word: Go watch the other two movies I mentioned. For Your Consideration is a pass.

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