For Your Consideration (2006, Christopher Guest)

A Jewish family drama called Home For Purim gets oscar buzz for three of its four lead performances. The distributor wants a hit so they tone down the Jewishness and rename it Home For Thanksgiving. Finally the nominations come out and only the fourth, buzzless actor gets nominated, the others returning to their low-profile pre-fame existence.

Seems like this would be a good framework story for some jokes. But Guest didn’t think so… he thought those were the jokes. He reads the above paragraph and he’s already laughing, so why add more jokes? So there’s a jokeless parade of good actors in minor roles. To be fair, I laughed twice – at a sidetrack joke about bad breath and a bit of wordplay about Latin restaurants. Guest knows he’s good at gently skewering eccentric, mostly entertainment oriented subcultures, so after twenty-some years in the movie business (and with ringer cast member Ricky Gervais) I’d have hoped he could make a Hollywood satire with some bite, at least enough to rival Mamet’s State and Main.

Besides Ricky, I was glad to see Catherine O’Hara and Parker Posey as the rival stars, Harry Shearer as their good-natured co-lead, clueless rich producer Jennifer Coolidge, a lezzed-up Rachael Harris, regulars Michael McKean and Bob Balaban as the writers, 30 Rock‘s Scott Adsit in a small role on set, and especially Fred Willard and Jane Lynch (above) as co-hosts of an obnoxious TV morning show.