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Waiting for Guffman

Christopher Guest , Fred Willard , Christopher Guest    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (323 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 67.73
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Waiting for Guffman + Best in Show (Widescreen) + A Mighty Wind (Widescreen) [Import]
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One of the funniest films in many a moon was hiding at art house theaters in 1998. Former Saturday Night Live comedian and Spinal Tap member Christopher Guest creates the ultimate parody of small-town dramatics, Waiting for Guffman. Corky St. Claire (Guest), an overwhelming drama director hiding out in Blaine, Missouri, thinks he has found the vehicle to put him back on Broadway: the city's 150th anniversary play, Red, White, and Blaine. As rehearsals start, we learn of the town's history ("the stool capital of the world") including a brush with a UFO. The mockumentary follows the various townsfolk wishing for stardom: Parker Posey as a Dairy Queen clerk, Catherine O'Hara and Fred Willard as stage-struck travel agents, Matthew Keeslar as the town's bad boy, and Eugene Levy (who cowrote the film with Guest) as a dentist who dreams of glory on the stage. The film is a hoot from beginning to end, and be sure to watch the closing credits. Fans of Guest's deft dry humor should not miss his other parody of the entertainment world, The Big Picture (Kevin Bacon as a student filmmaker who goes to Hollywood). --Doug Thomas

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "I find I have no feeling in my buttocks." July 7 2004
Hey Amazon censor - "buttocks" is not a bad word. Lighten up :-)
"Waiting For Guffman" is another Christopher Guest-and-ensemble-cast mockumentary, this time involving community theater in Blaine, Missouri, "the stool capital of the world."
There was no real script, but the actors did have certain plot-points to work around, and they pull off a very funny movie.
The musical in the movie, entitled "Red, White, and Blaine" is to be performed on the 150th anniversary of the founding of the town of Blaine, which involved cross-country wagoneers who at night believed they had reached the Pacific ocean, but when the sun rose they discovered they did not quite make it, subsequent quality stool manufacturing, and alien abduction.
There is the crop-circle scientist who explains that although the diameter and circumference change slightly, the radius is always the same, as is the weather - "when you step into that circle it is always 67 degrees with a 40 percent chance of rain - always".
There is the alien abductee (perhaps my favorite part) played by Paul Dooley. He had the misfortune to be probed by many aliens (though not all at once) which leads to his buttocks being numb on Sundays.
Cast regular Eugene Levy plays a Jewish dentist, and Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara are husband and wife travel agents who have never been outside Blaine. Bob Balaban plays the straight-laced local music teacher who is somewhat put upon trying to get Christopher Guest (Corky, the show's director) to hold proper rehearsals. Parker Posey is the local Dairy Queen employee with dreams of stardom and a father in prison.
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4.0 out of 5 stars What time is it? June 4 2004
Haven't you been paying attention? It's Midnight at the Oasis!
I originally wrote that this film is too deadpan and straight for my liking, especially coupled with a commentary that I still find rather boring. However, I think this is the best thing about these movies and Guest's personality in general. Most movies like this play down to their audience, continually winking at them and patting them on the back for getting all the jokes. Waiting for Guffman is so off the wall that it can play to any audience but a certain kind of people will get all the jokes and non-jokes (a term that I use for dialogue and scenes that don't have explicit jokes in them but have a humorous bent: take the scene with David Cross, for example).
Anything with Fred Willard is classic. Eugene Levy saying he was not the class clown, but sat near the class clown and studied him. And of course, "what do your keen and perceptive eyes see?"
Bestin Show is probably the funniest (not counting This is Spinal Tap), while A Mighty Wind is probably the most touching, feels the most complete and polished. Waiting for Guffman is so subdued though, which is why it's great. There's still a lot of laugh-out-loud (especially if you're a first time viewer, or the first time in a while) moments, and the ending is one of the best comedy endings of all time.
I love the little moments here, (Catherine O'Hara's little speech about "less is more" acting, Fred Willard telling Dr. Pearl "this is my wife Sheila, you may remember her from previous bills") there's just something so pure about these movies that makes them rewatchable. It's a pretty good movie, but keep in mind it's pretty rough and in my opinion the "worst" of the mockumentaries.
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If you are a devotee of Christopher Guest's films ("This is Spinal Tap," "Best in Show"), this is a must-have DVD. Guest's unique "mockumentaries" are among the most original, hilarious films out there, and while there are some who don't "get" the humor, I find them to be hilarious.
"WFG" is the tale of the sesquecentennial (150th anniversary) of Blaine, Missouri, which was founded when a less-than-intrepid bunch of pioneers mistakenly thought they had reached the Pacific Ocean. From casting calls through the end of the "big show," (including a Herculean snit by Corky that must be seen to be believed) we meet the typical bunch of Guestian misfits who want to "put on a show" for the anniversary -- the travel agents who have never left Blaine, the dentist who mistakenly thinks he's always the funniest guy in the room, the DQ soda queen with visions of L.A., and the director, Corky St. Claire. Corky, played by Guest, is actually one of the weak points in the film because he is so over-the-top (allegedly married to a distant and never-seen spouse, he shops for all her clothes) that he unbalances the rest of the cast.
The strength of these mockumentaries is that the cast is all equally bizarre. The rock band in "Spinal Tap" was insane, but they were all more or less living in the same insane parallel universe. Similarly, the dog afficionados in "Best in Show" were all equally bitten by the dog-show bug. In "Guffman," it's clear that no matter what, Corky is always going to be the biggest space cadet in whatever galaxy he's moving through.
This is not to say that there are not some hilarious moments.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting mockumentary, now I see why
I didn't enjoy "For Your Consideration" but I decided to give director Christopher Guest another chance by seeing "Waiting for Guffman. Read more
Published on June 29 2007 by Jenny J.J.I.
5.0 out of 5 stars After years, and years of clinical research.
I have determined that this is funniest movie of all time. If you don't agree with me, or even worse, if you don't
"get it", you are part of the problem, and deserve... Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Guest Movie
Of all of the Christopher Guest movies I've seen, this is the best. The others are fabulous as well, and definitely worth owning. However, I think this one is the most hilarious. Read more
Published on June 1 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Few will enjoy this
I know there are many positive reviews of this movie, but I can't quite tell why. I watched this with a bunch of friends and the only two who found it funny grew up in small towns... Read more
Published on May 25 2004 by "guitarlax84"
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Side-Splitting
Blaine, Missouri, the proud Stool Capital of the World, is celebrating its 150th anniversary, and to honor the town and its momentous anniversary, the locals decide to put on a... Read more
Published on April 12 2004 by Wendy Kaplan
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive!
The same old gang . . . playing the same kinds of roles as in Splash, Best in Show, Second City and the rest . . . but no less funny than any of their other work. Read more
Published on March 13 2004 by C Brunner
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting, but not in vain (or is it "Blaine"?)
"Waiting for Guffman" is generally considered the follow-up to the now-legendary rockumentary "This is Spinal Tap. Read more
Published on March 10 2004 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars Side-splitting Fun
Have you ever watched a movie that was so wildly entertaining that you couldn't help but be upset when the film drew to a close? Read more
Published on March 9 2004 by VacaChico
4.0 out of 5 stars Unpretentious DVD for an unpretentious film
Shot "mockumentary" style from the folks who help solidify the genre. This takes place in small town of Blaine, Missouri where the local talent struggles to put on a... Read more
Published on March 3 2004 by Tyler Tanner
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting For Guffman
"Waiting For Guffman" is in no doubt a great film. From the direction of Christopher Guest (Best In Show) to the superb acting (Eugene Levy, Christopher Guest, Bob Balaban, Parker... Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by Joe Carugati
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