A Mighty Wind
This movie is basically "This Is Spinal Tap," but old and fat. With folk music as his medium, director Christopher Guest has brought us a movie with a subject that mirrors its making: A bunch of worn and tired entertainers get back together to relive their creative exploits, tell old jokes, and hope desperately that someone will pay to watch the whole thing.
Take Guest's previous mockumentary, "Best in Show," substitute "folk concert" for "dog show", and you pretty much have your script. If there even is a script. The actors seem to make it up as they go along, and there are literally dozens of them trying to hungrily out-mug each other for precious morsels of screen time. To call this an ensemble piece would be an understatement -- it's more like a marginal comedian employment program, and like most entitlement programs, it doesn't know when to quit. The result is a film comprised almost entirely of tertiary characters.
A lot of the humor in "A Mighty Wind" doesn't even stem from actual jokes, so much as a realistic portrayal of the setups, getups and riffs of the folk scene circa 1968. I guess you had to be there. However, this highlights the fundamental laziness of this tepid troupe's mockumentary shtick -- they pick subjects that are mildly goofy, then lampoon them as mildly goofy. Gee, how incisive. I think it's time this crew took on an actual challenge and made a movie about the lighter side of prison rape.
The other thing about Guest & Co.'s mockumentaries is that they could not possibly be more white. The cast, the setting, the humor -- they're whiter than Wonder bread, whiter than goat cheese, whiter than a whitehead biding its time on Phil Donahue's ghostly, hairless ass. By the time you get to the end of the movie -- which abandons humor entirely to fill time with an interminable pretend folk concert -- you'll feel like that whitehead has burst all over the audience, and you're the unfortunate victim who forgot to bring a raincoat.
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