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 everything
you have coming to you.
Published on July 12 2004 by Jdubb
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny; not up to standards set in "Tap" or "Best in Show"
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...
Published on May 3 2004 by Scott Schiefelbein
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting mockumentary, now I see why,
This review is from: Waiting for Guffman (DVD)I didn't enjoy "For Your Consideration" but I decided to give director Christopher Guest another chance by seeing "Waiting for Guffman." Guest plays as Corky a quirky stage director celebrates his small town's history by putting on a play featuring local residents. Having recruiting a fun cast of SCTV and SNL make this one of the most creative comedies I've seen. It has many funny moments, especially from Corky. At times, I'm sure what the actors had to go through was embarrassing, especially when Willard and O'Hara were doing their duet. A way that that was put into perspective for me was when our school put on a performance of `Bye Bye Birdie', and the person who played Gloria Rasputin, a glitzy dancer who is not very good, commented how embarrassing it was to be bad.
The photography was amateurish, especially in the beginning, but that gave it a more authentic feel to the documentary-type it is. However, if this is all supposed to be a documentary, then there are a few shots that don't seem right. The townspeople are knocking on Corky's door, and then we see Corky sitting in the bathtub. Also, right after scene was done in the musical; we follow the actors going backstage. If the camera was just in the audience, how can it get on stage?
Much of the dialogue was obviously improvised, and it tells. Whenever someone just got a whiff, they went on to talk about whatever, and it's often very funny. Some of the deleted scenes on the DVD are just improv, especially from Fred Willard, who is just hilarious.
Something that makes this different from other movies is that there is no background music, because this is supposed to be a documentary. It really put more of an authentic feel. Another point that I loved is the combination of a regular movie and an ensemble movie. Instead of having some well-developed characters or no characters to care about, Guest put in deep characters, that have back-stories that we actually care about, and it's amazing that he can put all of it in 80 minutes. "Waiting for Guffman" is a very funny piece that isn't as much about the bad actors but the interesting story that goes on behind the scenes. If you enjoy quirky pictures that can be uneven but also funny, this is your type of movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars After years, and years of clinical research.,
This review is from: Waiting for Guffman (DVD)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 everything
you have coming to you.
5.0 out of 5 stars "I find I have no feeling in my buttocks.",
This review is from: Waiting for Guffman (DVD)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.
The group goes through the audition process for their role in the musical, then rehearsals, and finally the performance, during which they anticipate the arrival of an influential NY drama critic, Mort Guffman - hence the title.
There are a lot of funny little moments, such as Corky wearing those big pants and doing his little dance, or Levy singing "I Dream of Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair", or rehearsing his "how high a ridge I could not tell" line, or Willard talking about his reduction surgery and trying to show it to Eugene Levy who retorts in a Johnny Carson voice..."Medicin man not go near...'Dances With Stumpy'.
Much of the show music was written by Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer from "Spinal Tap" fame.
The DVD had deleted scenes with optional commentary, a text-based behind the scenes, a commentary by Guest and Levy, subtitles and a trailer.
"I'll tell you why I can't put up with you people. Because you're (...) people. That's what you are. You're just (...) people, and I'm goin' home and I gonna - I'm gonna bite my pillow, is what I'm gonna do!"
4.0 out of 5 stars What time is it?,
This review is from: Waiting for Guffman (DVD)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.
On the DVD side of things, I couldn't help but think the commentary was, well, boring. There was a lot of dead time. Guest seemed so bored during the recording, then again he could've just been kidding. We learn of the movie's incredibly small budget and cramped shooting schedule, however. And the deleted scenes are a treat, my favorite probably being the "Nothing Ever Happens in Blaine" song. Aside from that, there's little else, though. But the disc is pretty good (and cheap), so it's a no-brainer purchase. Get it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Guest Movie,
By A Customer
This review is from: Waiting for Guffman (DVD)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. This is definitely a DVD you can watch over and over without getting tired of it. Plus, you will have several new catch phrases in your vocabulary...I know I do.
1.0 out of 5 stars Few will enjoy this,
This review is from: Waiting for Guffman (DVD)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 and were kinda weird anyway. I admit that there is creativity here and I like the aspect of the improvisation that always accompanies Guest's films, but what good is improv and ad lib if it's not that funny? This film has it's moments but there are dozens of funnier movies out there.
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny; not up to standards set in "Tap" or "Best in Show",
This review is from: Waiting for Guffman (DVD)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. Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara are priceless as the travel agent-and-drunk-spouse who have visions of L.A. dancing in their heads. Parkey Posey (the DQ chick) and Corky have a hilariously saccharine duet in the "big show." And some of the throw-away moments (Corky's adoring male fan comparing Corky to Streisand) are priceless.
But the standard for Guest's films is very high. "Tap" and "Best in Show" are some of the most quotable movies I've ever seen, and "Guffman" just doesn't have the meat on the bones that these other films have. Still, an "average" Guest comedy is better than most other fare.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Side-Splitting,
This review is from: Waiting for Guffman (DVD)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 play.
Once again, the comedic genius of Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy comes to the fore as we watch the auditions, the rehearsals and the actual play itself. The mock-documentary style so perfected by Guest is perfect in this outing, as the straight-faced, oh-so-serious townspeople discuss themselves, their town (whose history is so funny that I was literally yelping with laughter) and the play.
And who is Guffman? A real-life Broadway producer, who is coming to view the show...and who knows what this could lead to? Outstanding acting by Catherine O'Hara, Guest, Levy, and all the usual ensemble makes for a comedic masterpiece. Keep your hand on the remote control, however. The dialogue is so funny that you may find yourself rewinding to hear the bits you've missed--over and over again.
The deleted scenes are as good as the movie, and provide so much enjoyment on their own that they should be released as a separate entity! Ditto for the oh-so-serious voice-over commentary by writers (and actors) Guest and Levy. This DVD is simply a treat from end to end.
This 1997 outing is as good, in my view, as the brilliant "A Mighty Wind," and certainly worthy of "This Is Spinal Tap." A must-have!
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive!,
This review is from: Waiting for Guffman (DVD)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. It is amazing, how addictive this movie is. There are no special effects, no glamour, no fancy sets . . just a bunch of supposedly every-day kinds of people who, with their display of integrity and seriousness, mirrors how so many of us would react in the same situations. I have a real problem not perseverating with this move . . watching it over and over again! From Parker Posey's audition to Eugene Levy's Martian, or Christopher Guest's solo dancing, this movie is more than hysterical . . it is fun to watch.
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting, but not in vain (or is it "Blaine"?),
This review is from: Waiting for Guffman (DVD)"Waiting for Guffman" is generally considered the follow-up to the now-legendary rockumentary "This is Spinal Tap." Despite having a different director (this gem is directed by its star, Christopher Guest), iut has the same brand of straight-faced hilarity from one hysterical moment to the next. It's one of the funniest and most underrated films of the 1990s.
The dinky but proud town of Blaine Missouri (the "footstool capitol" of the world) is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a (for them) major celebration of civic pride. Self-exiled theatrical producer Corky St. Claire (Guest) happens to be living in this town, after the failure of his last New York show (he almost burned it down). Corky sees this as an opportunity to get back to Broadway, by creating the historical musical "Red, White and Blaine." In theory, the musical will outline the town's history (complete with a visit by President McKinley and UFOs... on different occasions, of course).
Corky is even more elated when a Broadway scout, Mr. Guffman, is supposed to arrive to gauge "Red White and Blaine's" Broadway potential. This is his ticket out of there... and ditto for the slightly odd citizens who are cast in the play: a deadpan Dairy Queen clerk (Parker Posey), a pair of bickering travel agents (Catherine O'Hara and Fred Willard), and a dentist with a lazy eye (the incomparable Eugene Levy). Despite a round of problems, cast losses, and the temporary loss of an irate Corky, the show must go on. But will Mr. Guffman arrive in time to see it?
In small relatively unknown towns, the people often dream of big things. Quite a few of them also have intense civic pride over stuff that nobody else could care less about (crop circles?). The heart of "Waiting For Guffman" is poking fun at the absurdities of middle America, but not a cruel way. You laugh with the "ship of fools," not at them.
Every scene in this movie brims with deadpan hilarity -- all the more striking because of all the ad-libbing that went on. The humor is not the fart-joke variety; it includes everything from Ron's... well, reduction surgery to "We consider ourselves bi-coastal if you consider the Mississippi River one of the coasts." It's pure brilliance from beginning to end -- especially the end, when we get to see the "Red White and Blaine" musical. Guest's comic talent is in full bloom there.
Guest is the soul of this film -- his flamboyant, arty theatrical producer is a big fish trying to get out the tiny pond. Fred Willard (in his usual grinning obnoxious dolt role) and Catherine O'Hara are hysterical as a not-so-happily married couple. And Eugene Levy -- always a treat -- is subtlely funny every time he makes his eye wander.
Underrated and brimming over with kindly satire, "Waiting for Guffman" is rivalled only by "Spinal Tap." A comedy treasure.
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Waiting for Guffman by Christopher Guest (DVD - 2001)