All AMC Shows
Movies on AMC
Waiting for Guffman (1996)
Waiting for Guffman is a mockumentary starring, co-written and directed by Christopher Guest that was released in 1997. Its cast included Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Parker Posey. The title of the film is a reference to the Samuel Beckett play, Waiting for Godot — similarly, the titular character never appears. As in the other mockumentaries created by Guest, the majority of the dialogue is improvised. Because the film is about the production of a stage musical, it contains several original musical numbers. The film is a parody of community theater set in the small, fictional town of Blaine, Missouri. It chronicles the trials and tribulations of a handful of utterly delusional residents as they prepare to put on a community theater production led by eccentric director Corky St. Clair, played by Christopher Guest. The show, a musical chronicling the town's history, titled Red, White and Blaine, is to be performed as part of the town's 150th anniversary celebration.
A minor masterpiece of improv comedy, I found a new appreciation for Waiting for Guffman after watching its DVD release. Very obviously the product of a lot of nutcase actors completely off their rockers and masterminded by Christopher Guest, one of the masterminds of Spinal Tap.
Christopher Guest has been around the mockumentary arena a time or two before, but this is really one of the better entries into the genre. Waiting For Guffman is a tale about a flamboyant theater director trapped in a small town and trying to put on a show for the yokels. Guest's starring turn is unforgettable (if cliched), and the film is on the whole a riot. Eugene Levy (who co-wrote the script, if anyone wrote the script at all) is the highlight of the cast, as a Jewish dentist who just wants to be a star.
While the cast members themselves are great, ultimately, it's the off-the-wall dialogue and simply bizarre situations (Guest's character opens a memorabilia shop selling Remains of the Day lunchboxes) that make Guffman so memorable.
Don't bother with the DVD's commentary track (by Guest and Levy), which kills the comedy outright. The deleted scenes are good, but the film really showcases the best of what was produced during the shoot. In the end, the movie stands perfectly well on its own.