Consider this: New Christopher Guest film skewers Hollywood

By |2018-01-15T20:08:32-05:00November 30th, 2006|News|

“Dying is easy. Playing a lesbian is hard.” Or so says the actress playing Mary Pat (Rachael Harris) in the Jewish holiday film-within-a-film “Home for Purim” in Christopher Guest’s new comedy “For Your Consideration.”
Mary Pat’s declaration is a jab at Marilyn Hack, the veteran actress portraying the dying matriarch in “Purim” played by the brilliant and woefully underappreciated real-life actress Catherine O’Hara. So it is fitting that an Internet rumor regarding a possible Oscar nomination for Hack’s role in “Purim” should fuel the plot of “For Your Consideration.”
As Oscar-buzz builds, what was initially a B-movie at best quickly becomes “The Little Movie That Could.” The more Hollywood gets caught up in the hysteria the higher the Academy Award hopes climb for the cast of “Purim.”
The premise is much like Guest’s 1996 film “Waiting for Guffman.” Featuring many of the same stars as “Consideration,” “Guffman” is about a small-town theatre troupe that hangs its hopes on a visit from a famous Broadway producer.
While the stakes are higher in “Consideration,” there aren’t as many laugh-out-loud moments. In fact, “Consideration” is less funny than 2003’s slightly disappointing “A Mighty Wind” which was less funny than 2000’s dog show send-up “Best In Show” which was less funny than “Guffman.”
“Consideration” just isn’t as fresh as its predecessors. This is especially evident in Eugene Levy’s portrayal of slimy Hollywood agent Morley Orfkin and Guest’s own role as the oh-so-Jewish director of “Purim” Jay Berman. Both felt like characters we’d met before making jokes we’ve already heard a million times.
The quick-witted Parker Posey plays actress Callie Webb who plays a lesbian in “Purim.” “I did meet a nice fella,” she tells her dying mother. “Her name is Mary Pat.”
Posey is a strong actress but she’s capable of being much funnier than she is in “Consideration.” The same goes for O’Hara. Guest’s decision to largely abandon the mockumentary style that relies heavily on the improv of his brilliant cast as he did in “Guffman” and “Best In Show,” restricts the laughs.
That’s not to say “Consideration” is without merit. Lesbian actress Jane Lynch shines as Cyndi Martin, a spot-on lampoon of an “Access Hollywood”-like TV show host. Fred Willard, who plays her TV co-host, seems downright bumbling and as he tries to overact his way out of her deadpan shadow.
Stealing the show, however, is Jennifer Coolidge who plays Whitney Taylor Brown, the clueless Brown Diaper Company fortune heir who apparently has nothing better to do with her money than back films like “Purim.”
Perhaps “Consideration’s” biggest flaw is tackling Hollywood in the first place. Where Guest and his ensemble cast created hilarious larger-than-life characters in the microcosm of dog shows and small towns, Hollywood – or at least the stereotypical version Guest portrays here – is already a parody of itself, which makes “Consideration” feel like overkill.

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