This oddball send-up of Hollywood begins when Nick (Kevin Bacon) wins a prestigious award for his expressionist student film. He becomes an instant "hot property" wooed by top agents and producers. Predictably, he gets sucked into his own hype and the glitz of Hollywood at the expense of friendships and love. What makes this film unusual is the cast of supporting characters, played by Fran Drescher, Martin Short, Teri Hatcher, J.T. Walsh, and Michael McKean. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays an irrepressibly surreal classmate who has a wacky but always optimistic view on life; her performance is one of the best in the film. Unfortunately, Emily Longstreth, who plays Nick's love interest, is old-fashioned and subdued, and has little chemistry with Kevin Bacon.
Some of the scenes verge on the hilarious in their refreshing weirdness. Even the music is quirky, with Jennifer Jason Leigh's theme song sounding like a carnival in a fever dream. The fantasy sequences mostly fall flat, however, and the screenplay doesn't go far enough to elevate the film above the stale premise. I can understand why this is a cult movie, though, since some of the scenes/costumes/characters are so over-the-top that they become unforgettable. It's a shame Christopher Guest couldn't hold it all together.