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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes
• Commentary with Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy
• 18 Deleted/alternative scenes and outtakes
• “Home for Purim” poster gallery
• Theatrical Trailer
How about another movie centered on Hollywood’s shallow and dumb populace? It’ll be fresh and funny, really.
Christopher Guest, Catherine O’Hara, Ed Begley Jr., Eugene Levy, Harry Shearer, Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Ricky Gervais, John Michael Higgins, and the mighty Craig Bierko!
Just think of it as a fictionalized version of what probably happened on the sets of Crash and Shakespeare in Love. The production of Home for Purim, a bad movie featuring bad actors and a clueless director, appears to be going nowhere. Everyone involved is sleepwalking through the proceedings. Things begin to change after a trip report is posted on one of those unsavory film web sites. Suddenly there is Oscar buzz for the movies’ star, Marilyn Hack. The Hollywood hype machine starts churning. Studio heads, producers, agents, publicists, entertainment show hosts and many other characters with very little screen time get involved. As award season nears, half the cast and the movie itself seems considered a lock for nominations. What will happen when the nominations are announced? Will anyone remember a day after seeing this movie?
Shearer was willing to try anything to get Bringing Down the House 2 in production.
As a fan of Christopher Guest’s style of comedy, I found For Your Consideration immensely disappointing. It’s unfair and downright lazy to base this movie on his previous work, though. I’ll try and keep the comparisons to a minimum. On it’s own, the movie is nothing more than an average comedy that’s easily forgettable. There are plenty of laughs, but none of them are very memorable. I’m having a hard time recalling the moments where I know for a fact I chuckled. They’ve escaped from my mind with Sasquatch-like elusiveness. On the plus side, the movie should hold up very well on second viewing, too bad it’s most likely a one and done situation.
What makes an acceptable size for an ensemble? I’d say it should be proportionate to the movies’ length and scope. This is where the film’s biggest problem lies. There are too many characters. The movie can’t decide where the focus should go. Should this have a small scope, concentrating solely on the actors dealing with their newfound Oscar buzz, or should this touch upon every cog in the award season hype machine? Guest tries to answer but of these questions, but it only overloads the movie. Too many very funny people are vying for 86 minutes of screen time. The movie plays out like a series of cameos with Catherine O’Hara, Harry Shearer and Parker Posey given everything else that’s left.
Pull the strings!
Eugene Levy, also co-writer of the film with Guest, is underused playing the agent for Shearer’s journeyman actor. Did he just hop on set between call times for the latest American Pie Presents Direct-to-Video Defecation? Levy is just one of many actors not given enough to do. What’s surprising is that he and many others still find a way to have at least one funny moment in the film. To me this only hurts the movie. The supporting characters are funnier and have more potential than the main characters. All of these funny little moments left me unsatisfied. The movie needs a lot more breathing room where the characters can be given, say two notes instead of one.
O’Hara gives a good performance as the closest thing to a main character. Marilyn Hack just isn’t all that interesting. There isn’t much to learn about her and nothing to grab onto emotionally. There is no depth to any of the characters. They all exist as hollow shells of human beings. This is mostly likely a stab at everyone working in the movie business. It’s a nice dig, but that doesn’t make a compelling movie.
What ends up elevating this movie into mediocre territory are the scenes with Fred Willard. He makes every one of his scenes count as entertainment journalist Chuck Porter. He’s a crude bastard that never ceases to be hilarious. I could have watched an entire movie about him. In fact, an entertainment show journalist who took their job too seriously would have been a funnier premise and covered the same ground as For Your Consideration.
Bierko will often go cross-eyed when contemplating his own greatness.
Anyone with half a cranium could tell you award shows are nothing more than a chance to conduct some group session grab ass. I don’t need another movie exploring the emotionally vapid entertainment industry. It’s not a new idea and it’s not an idea that can take you many different places. The actors will always be portrayed as shallow and self-centered, the studio heads will always interfere, and the producers will always be clueless. What is meant as parody feels more like inside jokes between industry veterans. For Your Consideration is a misfire by Christopher Guest and his stable of performers. It should still make you laugh, just not for a very long time.
This disc was a screener only. The special features include a commentary with Levy and Guest and 18 deleted scenes. Scenes that must be bad if they couldn’t make the cut of an 86 minute film.
Believe it or not, that extra bit of flavor is a dash of mustache trimmings.