The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 40.0°F | Mostly Cloudy

Movie Review ***..: ...For Your Consideration...

New Guest and Levy Comedy Delivers Laughs And a Message

By Tanya Goldhaber

“For Your Consideration”

Directed By Christopher Guest

Written By Christopher Guest

and Eugene Levy

Starring: Catharine O’Hara, Parker Posey, Harry Shearer, Rachel Harris,

and Christopher Moynihan

Rated PG-13

In the upcoming film, “For Your Consideration” Christopher Guest and co-writer Eugene Levy have strayed from their signature fake documentary “mockumentary” style in favor of the more traditional “narrative.” Nonetheless, the movie has the same feel that Guest and Levy infused in such movies as “Best in Show” and “Waiting for Guffman”; that is, undeniably a Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy movie.

The film itself is about the making of a film called “Home for Purim.” The film-within-a-film centers on a Jewish family, whose matriarch is dying and longs to see her family. Normally scattered throughout the country, they coming home for Purim, her favorite holiday. Possibly the funniest scenes in the movie revolve around the filming of “Home for Purim,” and indeed that movie by itself is a hilarious parody of other films in its genre. The fun starts when a rumor begins that one, or perhaps many, of the actors on the film have a good chance of being nominated for an Academy Award. The rest of the film investigates how that affects the characters and their relationships.

The film stars Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, Harry Shearer, Rachel Harris, and Christopher Moynihan as the stars of “Home for Purim.” Eugene Levy and Christopher Guest actually play minor characters: Harry Shearer’s agent and the director of “Home for Purim” respectively. It is clear that in this movie, Guest and Levy focused more on writing and directing and less on acting in the movie itself. Nonetheless, the scenes they do appear in are quite funny, as always, particularly in the one scene that shows Guest directing.

What makes Guest and Levy’s movies incredible is that most of the dialogue in each of the scenes is improvised. The results in “For Your Consideration” are some hilariously awkward moments and some lines that no one could have possibly written. The dialogue in “Home for Purim” itself, however, was scripted, and as melodramatically as possible, making it just as funny.

While the movie is not really laugh-out-loud funny most of the time, it is nonetheless highly amusing. I left the theater feeling like I had seen not just a funny movie, but also a well-done and thought-provoking film. It could just as easily have been a drama with no laughs whatsoever, and still would have been a good movie. Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy, however, like to convey their points using humor, and the way they do it is very effective. I find that nothing makes an impression on me quite like the things that make me laugh, and Levy and Guest certainly do.

This movie probably is not for everyone. If you are a fan of actions flicks or outrageous humor, you probably will not like “For Your Consideration.” The movie focuses primarily on the interaction between the characters, which provides the basis for the humor in the film.

I personally found “For Your Consideration” to be funnier than both “Best in Show” and “Waiting for Guffman.” Of course, you will have to actually see it to decide.