Sunday, 17 August 2008

No.26 : Waiting For Guffman

IMDb Link :

The small town of Blane, Missouri is celebrating its 150th anniversary and the local amateur dramatics group plan the highlight - a play showcasing Blaine’s colourful history.

This film from Christopher Guest follows the same formula of other films he’s done such as ‘Best in Show’ and ‘For Your Consideration’ albeit in a less successful manner. The film follows Corky, (Guest) a wannabe Broadway star as he casts, produces and stars in his production ‘Red, White & Blane‘ . His hopes of taking the show to Broadway are enhanced when he gets a memo stating that top critic Mort Guffman will be attending the opening, and closing, night.

The usual ensemble cast are present, with Fred Willard and Eugene Levy shining brightest for me as a pair of aspiring show men. Most of the laughs are gentle in nature with the players‘ obvious and oblivious lack of talent the main source of fun. It was a bit grating when some of the numbers ran long as clearly they were meant to be awful, I just didn‘t need two minutes of screeching to hammer home the point.

The script is mostly adlibbed within a predetermined structure, and while you admire the casts‘ talent and ingenuity it doesn‘t excuse the sparse number of actual laughs provided. Yes they are deluded and untalented and the town is dull but what‘s so funny?

I also feel that the title was a mistake, as the ending will be no surprise to anyone with a passing knowledge of Beckett, and even then there is hardly any waiting done anyway ; for Guffman or anyone else for that matter.

Despite the few nits I’ve picked I still enjoyed the film. It is the weakest of Guest’s recent comedies but the cast are likable and there are some smiles, but no laughs, along the way.

Best Bit : David Cross’ U.F.O expose

‘W’ Score 15/23

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