Guest and crew miss their mark in this awards season send-up.
Christopher Guest (Best in Show, Waiting For Guffman) returns with his usual crew to spoof the hoopla surrounding a fictitious movie-within-the-movie titled “Home For Purim” as it starts to generate Oscar buzz. His usual crew is here, including Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean, Ed Begley, Jr., Harry Shearer, John Michael Higgins, Parker Posey, Jane Lynch,Fred Willard and so on. Ricky Gervais (The British Office) also joins in on the fun.
Unfortunately, For Your Consideration is a hit and miss affair, leaning mostly on the miss side. The previous Guest films were shot in a “mockumentary” style, with interviews interspersed within the narrative-driven content. For some strange reason, Guest made the call to abandon that formula for this film, possibly as a result of the mixed reception to 2003’s A Mighty Wind. It doesn’t fix the problem. Consideration feels like it’s missing that key element that drove the other Guest films.
Although For Your Consideration is an improvement over the mediocre Mighty Wind, it’s a far cry from Guest’s best work. On one level, the poking fun topic of the awards season buzz is probably a little too inside to appeal much to non-industry insiders. For industry insiders, there’s really nothing new here. The jokes are too obvious (probably to appeal to add broader non-insiders) and the plot is too formulaic. You can see the entire throughline only minutes in.
I expected the amusingly titled film-within-a-film, “Home For Purim,” to contain some pretty funny spoofs on its own, but those scenes are probably the biggest disappointment. “Purim” is too over-the-top to seem as though it could actually be an acclaimed movie within any world, even a satirical one. Like the outside film, its jokes are too obvious, retreads of gags done better on Saturday Night Live or even other Guest films.
For Your Consideration feels kinda like the dumbed-down Christopher Guest film. It doesn’t succeed in parodying the industry in any new ways. The jokes just don't feel orignal. Others just seem flat. With such a talented group, there are some laughs here and there, but on the whole it feels like underachievement from a group I’ve come to expect so much more from.