Waiting for Guffman
- Rated: Simmering
If you love the theatre, see this film. If you know anything about
community theatre, you'll have already heard about the film and seen it
several times. It is required viewing for anyone into amateur theatrics.
The director and star is Christopher Guest ("Nigel Tuffnel" of Spinal
Tap fame). This film is also made in mock-documentary style, but
without a film crew becoming part of the film. In this film, there is
no narrator apart from the participants themselves. So the satire is
more arms-length than it was in Spinal Tap. And, of course there is the
immortal character "Corky St Clair," with an extraordinary wardrobe and
an even more extraordinary interior decor. I loved seeing his
production of the history of the town of Blaine, Iowa, and I'm just too
too sorry that I missed his legendary production of Backdraft.
This film skates quite close to the edge of cruelty and stereotype, but
I think it stays on the right side for the most part, and I believe its
heart is in the right place. It is a send-up made by someone who loves
theatre and theatre people. The ending has been criticised as a cop
out, for not keeping up the cruelty satire requires. But I disagree.
There's still satire there, but an acceptance too, and I think it works
well. What do these critics want - total humiliation? No - the show
must go on, and nothing, not even lack of talent, will ever stop it,
while ever Corky had access to the greasepaint. He really is a great