For Your Consideration
Director: Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind)
Writers: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy
Producer: Karen Murphy
Starring: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Harry Shearer, Ed Begley Jr., John Michael Higgins, Jennifer Coolidge, Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Ricky Gervais, Michael Hitchcock, Michael McKean
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 86 min
read my spoiler disclaimer

by Andrew James
     The magic is gone... totally gone. Guest is a great writer and a talent behind the camera, but judging by what I see here, he is turning a crank that has nearly rusted to a hault. After the brilliance of films like Best in Show and his writing of This is Spinal Tap, For Your Consideration shouldn't be considered for much, other than a poorly cast misfire not quite eligible for a razzie.

      The story revolves around several characters all involved in one way or another with the making of a film in Hollywood. We see parts of the film being shot interspersed with snippets from a fake "Entertainment Tonight"-like show. Some of the main characters in the film within the film soon generate a bit of Oscar buzz and hopes and desires are brought to true life as the day of nomination announcements draw closer.

      Guest is often known as the master of the "mockumentary." In For Your Consideration he takes a step back and continues with the satire, but instead of the characters actually talking to the camera as they would in a documentary, this film has more of a "behind-the-scenes" feel to it. Still, because some of the scenes are shot in an interview setting, we still get a little bit of that mockumentary feel.

      Cutting to the chase, I found the whole thing to be pretty drab and unpolished. I get the jabs at Hollywood and its pretentious, procedural stiffness, but everything in the movie feels so fake and contrived that I just sat with my jaw open most of the time trying to figure out what is so not funny about all of this.

      The actors are so completely miscast that I wonder if Guest owes something to these people or does he just enjoy their company so much that he had to hire them for these roles, then mix them up to play completely the wrong parts. One example of this would be Fred Willard, who is usually hilarious for his boy-like, clueless nature playing an over the top entertainment show host that is so ridiculous that it isn't even funny. What is with that hair-do? It's not funny, it's just stupid. Most of the characters in this movie felt this way to me; including a horrible use of the great John Michael Higgins.

      This fact can be proven by the example of new-comer (to Guest's work) Ricky Gervais of the BBC's "The Office." His role was, although short, one of the best parts of the film and proves to me that Guest could do more by using new faces for more of what he is normally good at: old fashioned satire with the mockumenatry twist.

      Please don't write me and say "You're not getting it," because I do get it. I understand the quirks and subtle and not so subtle jabs at everything from the brainless barrel that is Hollywood gossip to the clueless nature of the execs to the attempt by starlets to appear humble to the sacred words of screenwriters and blah blah blah. I'm not saying the whole film is without merit and does't have a few good chuckles, but what everything boils down to (fortunately or unfortunately) is that in comparison to Guest's previous works, this is a film that pales in comparison and looks as though it is an attempt at a copy-cat production by a less experienced and less visionary film maker; by far his worst effort. Thankfully it has really no where to go but up on his next try (maybe with a fresh idea and a new cast?).

Press "PLAY" to watch the trailer

Links: - full cast and crew
Official Site
FLIXSTER PROFILE for For Your Consideration