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For Your Consideration (2006)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
Director:
Christopher Guest Christopher Guest
Starring:
Catherine O'Hara Catherine O'Hara
Stephen Rannazzisi Stephen Rannazzisi
Ed Begley Jr. Ed Begley Jr.
Eugene Levy Eugene Levy
Harry Shearer Harry Shearer

6.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Comedy, Showbiz Comedy
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: December 07, 2006
Since the beginning of 2006, there has been one 'must-see' motion picture on my list; one film that took precedent above all others; one film that was certain to be one of the most entertaining and thoroughly fulfilling cinematic endeavors of the year. This film was "For Your Consideration". It was a film that was destined to be phenomenal - Why? Because of the track record. "This Is Spinal Tap" took the comedy genre into a whole new arena; "Waiting for Guffman" was a non-stop laugh riot; "Best In Show" was as ingenius as it was heartwarming; and, "A Mighty Wind" took the mockumentary into new areas by injecting just enough raw emotion and drama to supplement the holes left from the strains of the subtle comedy. "For Your Consideration" takes all of the good from each of those four films and misplaces it. Where did it go? I don't know, but it certainly kept its distance during the filming of this disappointment. "For Your Consideration" is the most disappointing film of the year, and I can't tell you how upset I am with Christopher Guest. I know he's probably tired of the whole mockumentary format by now, but if you're going to try your hand at something new and different, make it totally new and totally different. Don't try to direct a mockumentary that is not a mockumentary. You can't have the best of both worlds.

The film wants to be a scathing indictment on Hollywood awards season, but there's just not enough there to make it anything more than tepid. The film follows three actors - stars of the new motion picture, "Home for Purim" - as they cope with being swept up in Oscar buzz. Marilyn Hack (Catherine O'Hara) is best known for playing a blind prostitute in a film that came to her in her prime, something that is currently evading her; Victor Allan Miller (Harry Shearer) earned his claim to fame by playing a wiener on television, though he strives for more serious acting endeavors; and, Callie Webb (Parker Posey) is the newcomer who cannot believe she is even being considered for a possible Oscar nomination. The film follows these three actors on the set of the film, and afterwards, when they are hitting all of the talks shows. Eugene Levy co-stars as a sleazy manager, Christopher Guest as the overly-Jewish director of the film, John Michael Higgins as the PR rep for the film, and Ed Begley, Jr. As the overtly-homosexual married man/make-up/stylist. The rest of the gang from the other films are here also, in varying supporting roles, and Ricky Gervais, Sandra Oh, Richard Kind, and other newbies also pop up in supporting roles with little merit.

The central theme here seems to be - bad wigs are funny. I can't count the number of actors put in ridiculous hair pieces, and I suppose those are intended to be humorous. I need a little more than Hair Club for Men to make me laugh. The big problem with "For Your Consideration" is that it goes for the same humor that made the mockumentaries so successful. The problem with that is "For Your Consideration" is not filmed as a mockumentary, but rather as a straight-forward motion picture. The humor does not translate at all. Some of it even seems sad and rather pathetic, when compared to previous efforts. The John Michael Higgins character makes various references to not knowing what the internet is - that might have been hysterical a decade ago, but not in 2006. Those jokes have long since expired and Christopher Guest should know that. It felt like the entire team just half-assed this effort to get something out there as soon as possible. The filming and the editing are sub-par, at best; there is not real character development; and, the audience doesn't get emotionally invested in any of the characters. Fred Willard's character, an entertainment show host, gets so nasty and cruel at the end, it doesn't make us laugh - it makes us wince. They were trying to re-create the Fred Willard magic from "Best In Show", but that was just impossible to do. And, poor Jennifer Coolidge is so misused, when she could have been the highlight of the film.

But, despite all the bad, there were a few glimmers of the good. Catherine O'Hara really shines here in a role and a performance that are so much better than the rest of the material surrounding them. O'Hara manages to make Marilyn a sympathetic character, at first. When she walks out looking like Joan Rivers gone horribly, horribly wrong, that sympathy switches to pity. At the end, she has a really touching moment when she is watching the announcement of the nominees - a very real and very genuine reaction, and it makes you really upset that the rest of the film didn't make that moment far more memorable. Parker Posey was also quite enjoyable as Callie Webb, as was Rachael Harris as her lesbian lover, Mary Pat Hooligan. Harry Shearer delivers one of his overall best performances by playing, namely, himself; and, Michael McKean and Bob Balaban were entertaining in their brief screen appearances as the writers of the film. I also liked the fake film scenes that we see throughout the film, one dealing with the pilgrims and the other a buddy cop film. Christopher Guest obviously had some good ideas for this project, but most of them were too muddled and got lost along the way, turning "For Your Consideration" into a rather bland and unfunny piece of cinema.

Writing this review was not something I ever intended to do, which is why it has taken me so long to get it done. I would have never believed I would dislike a Christopher Guest comedy as fervently as I did "For Your Consideration". It was like watching a slow and steady train-wreck, and there was nothing I could do to get that train back on the tracks, as badly as I wanted to do so. Catherine O'Hara is amazing, as always, and the other two stars of the film handle the material admirably, but the rest of the cast seem to be reaching for something they can never achieve. Christopher Guest needs to either stick with the genre that has served him well, or do something entirely different. This towing the line thing does not seem to be working. "For Your Consideration" is the most disappointing film of 2006, and I would dare say it one of the most unfunny comedies I have seen in a long, long time - maybe ever. "Let's Go to Prison" would probably make you laugh more.

3/10.
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Optimus Prime #1: Optimus Prime - added 01/12/2009, 01:09 AM
I really like Christopher Guest... this was a big letdown. It had it's funny moments, but didn't really do anything for me. 5/10.
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