Saturday, June 30, 2007

FILM REVIEW - For Your Consideration

As a big fan of previous Christopher Guest films, I eagerly awaited the arrival of his most recent movie on DVD, having missed 'For Your Consideration' at the cinema because of a short run ( never a good sign ). Having seen it, I can understand why, even for fans, it is a big disappointment, it never quite gets its humorous muscles adequately working. Everything seemed a bit laboured, pointless or, sad to say, predictable. It has all the usual Guest repertory company of actors, all doing what they do best, but falling well below par. Guest's best movies – Best in Show, Mighty Wind, and even Spinal Tap, were episodic and character driven. He definitely has an affinity and ear for musical parody. Within these movies there were definite clusters of characters, whose personalities and interactions grew and became richer and better defined during the course of a film.

'For Your Consideration' has none of this character driven integrity. As a consequence each character seems isolated, you never get to really understand where they are coming from. Even the sublime Jennifer Coolidge doesn't get to steal the show with a devastating cameo, as she usually does. What meaningful groupings there are, rarely go anywhere amusing. There is one double act - Jane Lynch & Fred Willard as Hollywood TV presenters, who are very good, they portray their characters with a satirical sharpness of observation that is severely lacking elsewhere. There is also a very funny interview with Nina Conti and her monkey puppet, in the special features worth viewing. I for one want to see more of this woman, her two brief scenes in the film were off the wall hilarious.

Guest's other foray into parodying theatrical types 'Waiting for Guffman', though still a weakish film, had some glorious moments of spot on improvised dialogue or situations. It was saved from cinematic perdition by good ensemble acting, something which 'For Your Consideration' lacks. As this film proceeded my heart sank progressively ever deeper into the sneary mud of disappointment, until I couldn't wait for it to come to an end.

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