Waiting for Guffman
Directed by Christopher Guest, this film is both a mock-documentary about a production celebrating the 150-year anniversary of Blaine, Missouri and a satire of the world of small-time acting.
As such, the production of "Red, White and Blaine" is utterly absurd. The director, Corky St. Clair (Christopher Guest), is the stereotypical gay choreographer. Since there's so little talent in Blaine, St. Clair ends up with a cast for his show that includes Dr. Pearl (Eugene Levy), travel agents Ron and Sheila Albertson (Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara), Dairy Queen counter girl Libby Mae Brown (Parker Posey), a local mechanic (Matt Keeslar) and a retired taxidermist (Lewis Arquette).
It seems to me that to poke fun at bad acting, one must first claim some knowledge of good acting. Does Guest really know the difference or was "The Big Picture" somebody else's fault? How about Eugene Levy? You may (not) remember him from bit parts in such Oscar contenders as "Multiplicity" and "Father of the Bride II." Then there's Fred Willard, best known for cameos on bad television shows like "WKRP in Cincinnati" and "The Love Boat." When it comes to satirizing bad acting, Willard is a natural -- it's what he's been doing unintentionally his whole life.
Finally, it appears that some law was passed requiring Parker Posey to appear in all new independent films. After sitting through trailers for "Suburbia" and "The Daytrippers," I was sick of Posey before "Waiting for Guffman" even started. Perhaps this is proof that, despite all its posturing, independent film has become about as inventive and original as hitting someone in the face with a cream pie.
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