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Don't consider this one at all

  • Dec 23, 2007
Pros: It is not quite 90 minutes long

Cons: It is 90 minutes of failed jokes

The Bottom Line: I never thought I'd say this about a Christopher Guest film: DO NOT bother. Watch another Guest film, or just another film altogether.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

Christopher Guest’s way of making films with his cadre is something I tend to admire—or rather admired for two films. The problem is that the usual suspects (Catherine O’Hara, Ed Begley Jr., Eugene Levy, Harry Shearer, Parker Posey, Jennifer Cooledge, Fred Willard, Michael McKean—there are several others, but these are usually given significant roles and have been in most, if not all, of Guest’s films) seem to have run out of things to say.

For Your Consideration is a metamovie. The plot shows the actors on the set of a B movie called Home for Purim. Purim meshes Jewish traditions with Deep South accents—that hacked together babble that is part Charleston and part Dallas. Rumors start to circulate on the movie sites that actors in Purim might be considered Oscar worthy. It starts with the very aptly named Marilyn Hack (Ms. O’Hara), then to Victor Allan Miller (Mr. Shearer), then to Callie Webb (Ms. Posey). This cycle begins to feed on itself. As the attention rises, the studio wants to make the film less Jewish. So we are then presented with Home for Thanksgiving. The excitement continues to feed its own fire as the potential nominees show up on one ersatz talk show or another. Who gets nominated? Who doesn’t?

Who cares.

The spontaneity of this troupe’s earlier films, particularly Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show is totally gone. A Mighty Wind was barely passable, so when you slog into For Your Consideration what you get is a group of typically very funny actors running totally out of steam.

Mr. Guest’s form of humor centers around the embarrassment or the cluelessness of people who should be embarrassed. In all of the films, self-important people puff for the mocumentary cameras.

Consideration uses a different method. Rather than make it a mocumentary this is just a film about the film business and making a film. YAWN. Seinfeld did that better and already (I will grant that it did the idea of meta-television well even if I hated it the show).

The mocumentary style at least had a sort of dissonance/consonance about it. One character would puff themselves up while another character in the scene would mimic what the audience should—something like shock at just how important these people think they are (the dinner with Eugene Levy and Fred Willard in Guffman where a certain masculine surgery is almost grossly blunt comes most readily to mind). This balancing act is utterly missing from For Your Consideration. It is just one embarrassing moment after another. I don’t find that funny at all. At best it is just pathetic.

Also, as the film progresses, the ending is obvious; again this is a victim of the narrative direction Mr. Guest chose for this one.

The acting is pretty much the same here as in all the others: they all appear to be closer to “real” people than actors since that is what their role in these films has been (in an ironic way). The problem is that these “real” people have nothing at all to say. I can think of nothing more embarrassing than a joke that falls flat except a whole bucket full of jokes that fall flat. Let’s say you split your pants bending over to tie a shoe—this is funny to many people and if you don’t take yourself too seriously it is funny to you too. And it will always make for a fun story later.

For Your Consideration has about a dozen people trying desperately to split their pants when they bend over but it never happens.

And just glancing at the reviews before this one--many of my cohorts seem to agree.


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More For Your Consideration reviews
review by . July 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Review...For Your Consideration...
You can count on me to endorse just about anything attached to the name Christopher Guest. The man had me at Waiting for Guffman.      If you're at all familiar with Guest, you get a cookie (but not really). If not, lemme break it down for you. Guest is a genius of the mocumentary. His holy trifecta (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and A Mighty Wind) are a hilarious      I finally got around to watching his 2006 film, For Your Consideration. …
review by . November 01, 2008
Christopher Guest, the Master of the Mockumentary, takes a satirical look at movie-making by using the old movie-with-a-movie technique. We see a really bad, low-budget movie called, "Home for Purim" being made by a motley collection of actors, writers, publicists, make-up artists, etc. One by one the actors hear they might be on the short-list for an Oscar nod so they make the talk-show circuit and await the official announcement.     I liked that this movie was less a mockumentary …
review by . March 26, 2007
I've never seen any of Christopher Guest's work but "For Your Consideration" shouldn't be considered for much, other than a poorly cast misfire not quite eligible for a razzie. The story revolves around several characters all involved in one way or another with the making of a film in Hollywood. We see parts of the film being shot interspersed with snippets from a fake "Entertainment Tonight"-like show. Some of the main characters in the film within the film soon generate a bit of Oscar buzz and …
review by . February 24, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Christopher Guest is a creative spirit who has been able to make some very funny films like 'Best In Show' where his technique of avoiding a script by giving his cast of actors an outline as matrix for a scene, letting them ad lib the idea a couple of times, then accepting the second or third take as the final product - pasting all the bits together in the edit. Sometimes it works: sometimes it flounders. Or to quote a famous advertisement 'Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't'.     …
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Paul Savage ()
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I name and describe everything and classify most things. If 'it' already had a name, the one I just gave it is better.
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Christopher Guest (director ofA Mighty Wind,Best in Show, andWaiting for Guffman) and his sparkling troupe of improvisational satirists return with a sardonic look at C-list (or perhaps D- or E-list) actors driven to the brink of madness by the possibility of winning an Academy Award. Marilyn Hack (the ever-brilliant Catherine O'Hara,Beetlejuice), a modestly talented character actress, hears of an Internet rumor that she might be nominated for the dubious movie she's currently making,Home for Purim. Soon buzz is flying about all the rest of the cast (which includes Harry Shearer and Parker Posey) and everyone starts clawing for as much attention as they can get while appearing modest and unambitious. Despite the movie's target being so familiar to them,For Your Considerationis not Guest & Co.'s best work--in an effort to give everyone in the huge cast face time, few of the characters gain any comic traction or have a particularly engaging storyline; the mockery stays on a fairly surface level. Nonetheless, some of those surfaces are pretty funny: Fred Willard and Jane Lynch are devastating as a pair of predatory infotainment hosts, while Jennifer Coolidge (Legally Blonde) turns in a daffy and surreal performance. Throughout, the movie's anchor is O'Hara; the way her character is virtually crushed by the hype has a surprising richness and depth. She remains a cinematic treasure.--Bret Fetzer
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