Films featuring
Ed Begley Jr.

For Your Consideration

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Reuniting virtually all of the personnel from Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration is a middling Hollywood comedy that trods familiar ground and never quite gets its comedic feet under it. Once again, as in A Mighty Wind, co-writer and director Christopher Guest’s affection for his characters undermines the potential for humor. The subject of Oscar hype in Hollywood might be ripe for scathing satire, but all this movie can manage is a softball thrown underhand.

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A Mighty Wind

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The biggest problem with A Mighty Wind is that it gets so involved with telling its story that it occasionally forgets to be comedy. Make no mistake, it’s not a bad story, but it’s not a story of talentless but enthusiastic losers like Waiting For Guffman or of hilariously obsessive dog lovers like Best In Show. The faux-folk musicians in A Mighty Wind are actually quite good at what they do and they’re not clueless buffoons like Spinal Tap. The dramatic elements, especially the story of Mitch (Catherine O’Hara) and Mickey (Eugene Levy) take control and the outright comedic elements, especially those of Fred Willard, tend to hang in the air like a loud fart at a funeral.

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Best In Show

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Best In Show is easily the funniest of the three Christopher Guest mockumetaries, if only because it keeps a bit of distance from its subjects and is better able to take its jabs at these uncommonly obsessive people. The movie doesn’t hold dog fanciers up for abject ridicule but it does expect them to be able to take a joke at their expense.

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This is Spinal Tap

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After doing for heavy metal what Blazing Saddles did for westerns, This Is Spinal Tap also managed to spark a minor cottage industry known as the Christopher Guest mockumentary. Now, Tap was hardly the first fake rock documentary, since The Rutles had been around for several years. Eric Idle’s spoof of Beatlemania, however, never got near the National Film Registry as did Rob Reiner’s affectionate yet lacerating take on head-bangers.

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