By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders.
For Your Consideration
I’ve never raved about the Christopher Guest films. I think they’re cute and have enough funny moments. I don’t mind watching each one when it comes out but their comic genius doesn’t give me the intellectual orgasm of something like The Colbert Report. For Your Consideration gave me a catharsis of some sort, but it wasn’t a good one.
Movie Review: For Your Consideration
This one isn’t even a mockumentary. It’s actually just a straight story of the production of Home for Purim, a clearly incompetent film that somehow gets some Oscar buzz on the internet. As the filmmakers start believing their own hype, they get further and further away from anything of actual quality.
Unfortunately, the problems with Home for Purim are the same for For Your Consideration. The performances are so lost that even the talented cast can’t make sense of them. They rely way too much on funny hair which is not the sort of thing on which these movies trade.
Every joke is totally obvious. An agent tells the actor he’s the most important client, then takes a cell phone call. Of course he did, that’s the most obvious conclusion of that setup.
The Purim film is being performed in the style of a ‘50s movies with all the awkward elocutions and outdated language that entails. That’s not funny. It’s just stupid. Even idiots making a bad movie wouldn’t decide to mimic the writing and acting half a century ago.
Harry Shearer’s character’s performance as an old Jewish father isn’t amusingly bad. It’s obviously bad because Harry Shearer doesn’t look old. You have to tell us that he’s 60 because he looks like a guy in his late ‘40s. So it’s no surprise when he gives a hackneyed performance with a clunky accent.
By the time they start trying out poster concepts, you know they’re going to be idiotic. Obviously it’s a movie about people who don’t know how to make a movie, so they’re going to show a few silly pictures.
I’m not saying a film about Hollywood has to be a satire of the industry. There’s plenty of that. But if you’re going to take a world and make comedy out of it, there has to be a point of view. If the point is that Hollywood is ridiculous anyway, you’d best show real Hollywood. Anyone can create something ridiculous and then call it ridiculous. If the point is that idiots make a bad movie, there still has to be a real Hollywood environment. This story exists in a world where all of Hollywood makes movies about police paperwork and the news show hosts dress in costumes. Also, the jokes have to be funny.
They rely so much on aimless comments. There is a place for non sequitur, but there’s no purpose to it. If you’re going to say something random or inappropriate, there has to be someone reacting to it like it’s unusual. Since everyone is absorbed in their characters, they all feed off each other and nobody is stopping them to make actual comedy.
When they’re making jokes about wieners (hot dogs and the double entendre), how desperate are they? It’s like Who’s Line Is It Anyway? where they contrive situations and put weird characters in it. But those are funny in two minute bits. Not in 90 minutes of movie.
For Your Consideration feels like the gang is either so out of it they have no observations to make, or that it’s all so inside it’s like a bad home movie. Perhaps there is a fabulous film to be culled from the editing room trims, but the version they chose to put together is a mess.