Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#65 – Waiting for Guffman
Why is it here:
This is such a special movie. It opened the floodgates for Christopher Guest’s magical troupe and their wonderful series of movie ranging from Best in Show to A Mighty Wind to For Your Consideration. It delivered on the seeds of magnificence planted in This is Spinal Tap and hit the reality/documentary thing at the perfect time. A small town is always a source for great satire and comedy but this takes it to a whole new level with the whole theatrical event the town is building for and having Guest front and center is a truly golden thing. In subsequent films he shone the spotlight on others but his Corky St. Clair is absolutely priceless. If you love Parks and Recreation there is no way it’d have existed without Waiting for Guffman.
Moments to savor:
Corky’s dance. The intervention “Come out Corky we want you to live!” David Cross and math. The bear in the painting is standing on the guy’s foot. Bob Balaban gets butthurt. “I’m going to go home and bite my pillow!”
High. It’s a movie with nary a big moment. It’s all small and subtle and so brilliant I bet a lot of people would mistake it for a docudrama.
This is not the kind of film that’s on anyone’s Top 100 list. Which is why it needs to be here. It’s a gem of the highest order.