May 14th, 2003

Wedding day

Things that don't blow: A Mighty Wind

So Tom and I went to see A Mighty Wind last night, and to my surprise, both of us thoroughly enojyed it. I was expecting to, but Tom was one of the people on whom I forced Waiting For Guffman a few years back. As I recall, that night ended with pitchforks and torches.

But no, Tom and I really liked it, and so after the film, I went home and checked out IMDB to see what other people had thought of the movie, and I guess I'm consistently amazed at how many people actually miss the point of Christopher Guest films. Oh, sure, This Is Spinal Tap is generally well liked, but a lot of people take the "if you've seen one..." attitude toward his work, and I don't think this is fair. I was in a bookstore last week evesdropping on one of the clerks who stated that "by the 25-minute mark, I'd gotten the joke." I think it's more likely that by the 25-minute mark she'd gotten A joke.

Fercryinoutloud, kids, the Mockumentaries are not one-joke films. Yes, Guest always takes time to mock the conventions of the documentary format. The appeal of this format, however, is to combine the best qualities of a documentary and a fictional story. As viewers, we get to explore the story from each character's point of view, creating a much larger picture. Usually the story is fairly mundane (as in the case of A Mighty Wind which could be summarized as "A folk music pioneer dies, and his fans put together a tribute to him"), and seeing the story and its events intertwine from several different angles makes it fascinating.

On the other hand, I could just be an enormous Christopher Guest fan. The man isn't infallible (know anybody who will admit to seeing Almost Heroes?), but he's damn good at what he does best.

Anyway, yeah. Go see A Mighty Wind. The covers of Eugene Levy's solo albums alone are worth the price of admission (unless you go to see it in Madison, in which case you'll have to go to WestGate and pay at least fifty cents too much). Now if you'll excuse me, we ordered lunch from Cool Beans today, and my Sir Isaac Turkey is here.