I'm a gigantic "Waiting for Guffman" fan. I also really liked "Best In
Show." I thought "A Mighty Wind," while not great, was creative and
tender. I saw "For Your Consideration" today and while there were funny
moments peppered throughout, the film comes off as half-baked. I sat
there until the last credit rolled trying to like this film, and
I appreciate that so many actors have joined up with Guest to be in his
movies, but there are now so many Guest "regulars" that there is barely
any character development. "A Mighty Wind" tried to remedy this by
giving each character one big quirk. "Consideration" seems to use this
tactic sparingly... both a blessing and a curse. What I miss is the
intimacy of "Guffman," where we got to know 5-6 characters very well.
"Consideration" comes off less as an ensemble cast, and more as a long
string of cameos.
Catherine O'Hara gives a brilliant, nuanced performance~ I wish we had
gotten to know more about her character.
*Definitely spoilers here!* As other reviewers have pointed out,
"Consideration" has a very similar ending to "Guffman." But whereas the
ending of "Guffman" is somewhat bemusing (Corky talking about his
shop), I thought the ending of "Consideration" was cruel, predictable,
Really isn't funny enough
After scoring a number of successes with his mockumentary style,
Christopher Guest strays slightly from his trusted formula to relate a
tale of a bunch of disillusioned mediocrities dreaming of better things
as they ply their trade. The problem with this one though is that it's
probably a little too close to home for comfort. While the film pokes
fun at these people, it also pokes fun at their aspirations, as if it
is laughing down at them and wants us to join in which leaves a bitter
aftertaste that isn't particularly pleasant.
Guest's big stumbling block is that, for his Oscar buzz strand to work,
the actors in the film within a film have to be reasonably good so, in
order to provide himself with a comedy backdrop, he has no choice but
to make the film itself a joke that would never get green-lighted in
the real world. The plight of the screenwriter, forced to compromise
his vision in order to see his work reach the screen is touched upon,
but the Comic Strip bunch did it better back in the 80s with their
Hollywoodisation of the British coal miners' strike. There's also just
a little too much familiarity about characters such as the clueless
director, the agent who avoids his clients unless they're doing well,
and the interfering movie executive.
While the entire cast are terrific it's probably the hard-working Fred
Willard who steals the show as a slightly insane presenter of a cheesy
TV movie show. The others have to work too hard against this aura of
pathetic-ness in which Guest has dipped them to garner many laughs, and
as a result it all comes across as a little too subdued..