"For Your Consideration"
Directed by Christopher Guest.
Written by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy.
Starring Catherine O'Hara, Harry Shearer, Parker Posey and
Release Year: 2006
Review Date: 11/28/06
After having a hand in writing and/or
"This is Spinal Tap",
"Waiting for Guffman" and
"Best in Show",
I am afraid I will be walking away from the Christopher Guest Gravy
Train because "For Your Consideration" was near-total dogshit.
And, if you can imagine this, seeing the
trailer actually hurts you here, because what few good laughs there
are in Guest's newest flick, "For Your Consideration", are given
away in the trailer, like the Fred Willard character's strange
hairdo or the funny lines of
white-guy-but-one-eighth-American-Indian Corey Taft (John Michael
Higgins, who almost saved
"The Break-Up" from
being total dogshit by himself). This go-round, the huge cast
of regulars in Guest's movies are part of what appears to be a
really bad gay-love wartime drama, "Home for Purim", written by
playwrights Philip Koontz (Bob Balaban) and Lane Iverson (Michael
McKean) and directed by Jay Berman (Guest). Somehow, one of
the film's stars, aging starlet Marilyn Hack (Catherine O'Hara), has
been garnering buzz on the Internet for her performance as the dying
family matriarch...and, after a long career of zero recognition, she
approaches her work with a new zeal. This only picks up steam
from there...former hotdog pitchman Victor Allan Miller (Harry
Shearer) also starts to generate the buzz, as does one member of the
imaginary film's gay lover duo, Callie Webb (Parker Posey).
The rest of the way, we get to find out if the Academy loves these
stars or not when the nominations are announced.
I saw this is a roughly-50%-full house in
Bethesda this week; it was easy to gauge the crowd reaction as I was
sitting there and then leaving as decidedly unhappy and/or not
laughing at all. There were probably only three or four
moments where there was even a low murmur after things that were
clearly meant to be funny were spoken by members of the cast.
"Best in Show" was one of the best comedies of the decade, certainly
a top-10 member when I consider the sheer number of belly laughs
that occurred for me during the presentation. Almost all of
the characters were funny, the script was fantastic and the end dog
show (hosted by Willard, in what is still my favorite role of his)
was pure genius. Then came
Wind", which I liked but I think I liked more because it was
done by Guest; even now, I am having a hard time remembering why I
was laughing during "A Mighty Wind", and I think part of that was
that kind of hope laughter that occurs when you expect genius (think
anytime you go see a Will Ferrell movie now) and are left with
mediocrity. "For Your Consideration" doesn't even give you
I don't even feel like talking about this
movie anymore...it just wasn't very good, especially when you
consider the pedigree of the Guest/Levy/McKean/Shearer combination.
Rating: Hard Vice
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard