Stars: ** 1/2
Rating: PG-13 for language and adult themes
Run Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes
Christopher Guest knows a good spoof when he sees one. Unfortunately he’s seeing them in every conceivable nook and cranny and his shtick is getting stale.
Ironically Guest claims to be foregoing his flip mockumentary style in favor off a more linear narrative. You wouldn’t know it based on his troop’s overly-familiar meanderings and character co-dependence.
“Consideration” touches on a topic that’s rife with comic possibilities, the nauseating egos inherent in the film business. The project in question is a low-budget indie by the name of “Home for Purim” an intimate drama about a Jewish family’s troublesome reunion at the celebration of their dying matriarch’s favorite Orthodox holiday.
The “Purim” players are fringe celebs, a motley crew of wannabes and used-to-bees desperate for a break. One little mention on an obscure movie blog is all it takes to start tongues wagging over a rumor that faded personality Marilyn Hack (Catherine O’Hara) may be crafting an Oscar-worthy performance.
From blogger’s lips to cinema God’s ears. That tiny flame of thespian glory is fanned into a wildfire of publicity; suddenly everyone who is anyone is talking about “Purim”.
The buzz stimulates budding expectation, sparking interest at the top. Naturally the brass smells big box office, with a few minor changes to broaden the film’s appeal. Goodbye Purim, hello Thanksgiving!
Guest trots out the likely clichés with chaotic delight; the Ebert and Roper-like film critics fiercely defending their cine-turfs, the Entertainment Tonight-ish hosts (Guest regulars Fred Willard and Jane Lynch) perpetuating hot water-cooler gossip, and the slick as oil studio head (Ricky Gervais as Sunfish Classics President Martin Gibb).
Despite a crack target comic and fluent performances by Guest’s crew “Consideration” has a brackish been there-done that quality, a tired air of familiarity and distinct lack of stand-up sparkle.
Of course there are moments; the “Purim” theme sung round the holiday table, O’Hara’s mystifying Hollywood transformation and Willard gaily interviewing actors who have been snubbed by, not nominated for, Oscar.
The marvelous O’Hara rises above the pack, her hopeful anticipation so palpable it hurts and her response to the promise of career riches comic gold.
Guest is a gifted director with a devoted group of talent willing to take one for the team. Onwards and upwards!