Waiting for Guffman

waiting-for-guffman-posterAmerican comedy from 1996.
Starring: Christopher Guest, Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara
Director: Christopher Guest
Writers: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

Corky is the director of Blaine’s amateur theater celebration of the small town’s 150th anniversary. The director and cast gets excited when a Broadway critic agrees to come and see the premiere.

Reactions

“Waiting for Guffman” is another mockumentary from Christopher Guest. I have long loved his “This is Spinal Tap”. (Here is a link to “This is Spinal Tap” on Amazon and on Wikipedia.) And still I had not even heard of “Waiting for Guffman”. Maybe I should pay a little more attention to the filmmakers behind movies I love.

In “Waiting for Guffman” we mostly meet the cast and the director of the celebratory play. We see the auditions, the rehearsals and finally the premiere. Throughout we get small interview comments from the characters. The characters are a big part of what makes this story funny. There is the experienced amateur theater couple, the young woman from the Dairy Queen, the handsome mechanic, the dentist, the actually talented conductor and their the off-off-off Broadway director.

Contemplations

The audio and visuals are a good fit for the mockumentary genre, and makes the movie look like a documentary.

The story is quite simple; rehearse the play and plot twist – a Broadway critic will come and watch the premiere. The acting and the brilliant characters makes the story a little more than that. All the characters are flawed and most of them are slightly delusional, which makes the movie very funny. However, the humor doesn’t strike me as much as in “This is Spinal Tap”. The characters were quite over the top in both movies, but their conflicts weren’t very strong in “Waiting for Guffman”, so less opportunities to set up the crazy people against one another.

Judgement

The movie was funny and I enjoyed watching it, but I much preferred “This is Spinal Tap”.

Epilogue

I wouldn’t recommend “Waiting for Guffman” to a friend, I would rather recommend “This is Spinal Tap”.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Waiting for Guffman” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

46 movies down. 319 to go.

If you want to get “Waiting for Guffman” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Nine lives” (“Ni liv”). Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

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Breaking the waves

breaking-the-waves-posterInternational English language romantic drama from 1996.
Starring: Emily Watson, Stellan SkarsgÄrd, Katrin Cartlidge
Director: Lars Von Trier
Writers: Lars Von Trier, Peter Asmussen
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Bess lives in a religious cult somewhere in Scotland in the early 70’s. She marries the outsider Jan and when he has an accident on the oil rig where he works Bess comes to believe that God tells her how to save him.

Reactions

I have set a new record; I fell asleep four times during this movie. I did not find anything of what I saw on screen interesting or entertaining. Quite early in the movie it became clear to me that I did not care what happened to these people. I have tried to figure out the reason, but have fallen a bit short.

It could be that I did not get to know the characters well enough to empathize. The movie did after all go directly into the action, but several other times this has not lead me to care less for the characters.

Or maybe it was that they lead such different lives from me that I could not relate to their situation or actions, but after all, I can watch Star Trek and care what happens to the crew of the Enterprise, so that is probably not the reason.

In short, I have not been able to come up with an explanation for my lack of interest in the movie, nut maybe with some more time to digest the experience, it will become clearer to me.

Contemplations

The acting was good, and the main character Bess, played by Emily Watson, stood out as a stellar performance.

The story was unusual, but had both twists and turns, and plenty of action and drama. So why was I not entertained?

My temporary theory is that the answer lies in the storytelling. It was slow, kind of mundane and took it’s time to make each point in the plot. But this might be an opinion I will revise later.

I’m afraid this captain’s log leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

“Breaking the waves” did not have the Bechdel test performed on the Bechdel site, so I looked for the conditions to pass the test while watching the movie. I could not find a scene where to named female characters that had a conversation about something other than a man. Maybe not so surprising as part of the story is that Bess is to occupied by her husband and she centers her life around him. For more about the Bechdel test and some more about women in movies, read my post about Hollywood and women.

Judgement

I did not enjoy “Breaking the waves”. It was simply incredibly boring for some reason.

Epilogue

I would not recommend this movie to anyone. It is unusually sleep inducing.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Breaking the waves” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

29 movies down. 336 to go.

If you want to get “Breaking the waves” from Amazon, here is a link for that. Although I don’t see why you would.

Tomorrow’s movie is “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.