Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
Hey, I heard Catherine O'Hara is so splendid in Christopher Guest's latest ensemble comedy, "For Your Consideration," she's a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination.
It's true -- she is that good. And she's long overdue. (I would already have given her an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, a Peabody, a Nobel and a People's Global Golden Choice Award for her performances as Lola Heatherton and Dusty Towne in the 1982 SCTV "Network 90" Christmas special alone.)
I'm serious. Except for the Oscar buzz part, because I really don't know if there's any Oscar buzz about O'Hara (though I also don't know why there shouldn't be). The awards rumor just happens to be part of the anecdotal story of "For Your Consideration," another improvisational lampoon from the most comedically inspired movie stock company since the heyday of Preston Sturges. "Waiting For Guffman," "Best In Show," "A Mighty Wind" -- it's an unalloyed joy every time these people get together to make a movie.
Guest co-wrote and directed the definitive and most uncannily incisive, satire of modern indie-Hollywood back in 1989: "The Big Picture," in which a film-school graduate and award-winning short-film director (Kevin Bacon) endures a passage through major-studio development hell on the way to making his first low-budget feature. Since "Guffman" in 1996, when Guest revived the pseudo-documentary approach he had helped pioneer with "This Is Spinal Tap," his movies in that style have focused on show biz of some sort -- community musical theater, a dog show, a folk concert reunion -- and the laughs stem from the characters' ambivalence about indulging their wildest ambitions, and their inestimable faith in the magnitude of their (or their dogs') own talents. And there's no more ripe subject for comedy than vanity.