60 Second Movie Review: For Your Consideration (2006)
March 24, 2012 2 Comments
Hearing Fred Willard interviewed on WTF with Marc Maron made me realize that I’d never seen the last of the Christopher Guest semi-improvised extravaganzas, For Your Consideration.
It’s a film about the making of a film titled Home for Purim. Think of a Jewish Tennessee Williams in which they keep in the southern setting, accents, and characters, and just layer on regular references to Jewish customs, taken to the absurd.
Just as the rumor of a Broadway critic visiting a local theater production ignites a furor in Waiting for Guffman, here the rumors of possible Oscar nominations do much to stir up trouble. It starts out with some very Hollywood problems, such as not being recognized at the studio gate and being ignored by one’s agent, but it quickly becomes about idiocies we all share, such as obliviousness and self-importance.
An array of Hollywood types show up for our (yes) consideration. There are actors who depend upon demeaning day jobs, like playing the part of a giant wiener in commercials, or starring in one-woman shows.
There’s also the air-headed producer dreaming up marketing ideas…
WHITNEY TAYLOR BROWN (Jennifer Coolidge): We should go a whole different angle that no one’s even thought of. What if we go on the angle of let’s play it down. Let’s tell people not to see our show. What about, what about, put a big ad in the paper and say “Don’t Come”?
There’s the director keeping his eye on the big picture…
JAY BERMAN (Christopher Guest): Simon, all I’m saying is I want it to be brighter. That’s all I’m saying to you. I wanna come in a room and I want to see an object, like a chair, or a light, or a sofa and be able to make out what it is.
There are the sensitive writers…
LANE IVERSON (Michael McKean): All I’m saying is I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater ’cause you’ll get a wet, critically injured baby, and I don’t think that’s what you want to put your name on.
There are the meddling studio executives, denying that they meddle…
MARTIN GIBB (Ricky Gervais): I don’t run around saying “I’m a gentile, look at my foreskin. I don’t shove it down your throat.”
There’s the publicist dispensing insight on actors…
COREY TAFT (John Michael Higgins): In every actor there lives a tiger, a pig, an ass, and a nightingale. You never know which one’s going to show up.
And there are perhaps my favorite, the vapid television entertainment reporters.
CHUCK (Fred Willard): You know what they say about blind prostitutes. You really have to hand it to them.
Unfortunately, rather than providing an avalanche of amusement, à la Best in Show, For Your Consideration runs out of steam. The ending is very predictable, as are the fifteen minutes leading up to it, and the denouements practically drag.
The narrative is the weakness of the film. The strengths are the actors, including some fun cameos. Did you know that John Krasinski existed outside The Office? When he turns around in his chair while in a cop uniform, it’s just like Jim Halpert turning around in his chair.
But despite those solid moments…
SIMON: Do you know how tight my aperture is right now? Do you have any idea?
…it’s another film I recommend only for those who already know they want to see it.
I give For Your Considerations one spit-take plus a single guffaw on my Improvised Reactions Ratings Scale(tm).
Last week’s movie review was of Tarzan and His Mate (1934).
Pop and Ceremony: Be Our Guest … And Make Another Movie
The Modern School of Film Podcast: Episode 4: Christopher Guest – “Can It Be Taught?”