BACK TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME, AGAIN.
They went from heavy metal to musical shows to dog shows, and now Christopher Guest and his fellow mockumentarians of This is Spinal Tap fame are turning their attention to folk music; we get to follow several legendary performers as they prepare for a reunion concert. There’s such hard work behind this film, such affection for its characters, that you could label it a dedication more than a mockumentary. There are no big laughs; with humor this discreet, only repeat viewings give you a chance to catch all the jokes. The phony songs are quite engaging; wonderful performances from Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, as well as a priceless one from Fred Willard.
2003-U.S. 92 min. Color. Produced by Karen Murphy. Directed by Christopher Guest. Screenplay: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy. Song: “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow” (Michael McKean, Annette O’Toole). Cast: Christopher Guest (Alan Barrows), Michael McKean (Jerry Palter), Harry Shearer (Mark Shubb), Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Bob Balaban… Fred Willard, Parker Posey, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Ed Begley, Jr.
Last word: “One of the first things Gene [Levy] and I do is write the story around the actors that we know because not every actor can do this kind of work. It’s a very different kind of movie. We always try to choose something that’s kind of odd about our looks. Obviously, Gene’s is pretty different [in the film], and I thought I would just go for this shaving the top of my head, which was difficult, in real life, to walk around like that. It’s an odd thing. My daughter said, ‘By the time it grows back, you’ll be bald.'” (Guest, About.com)