Tuesday, July 27, 2004


..."Waiting For Guffman," directed by Christopher Guest. I know, I know. I've already seen this, yes, but only once when it first came out, plus the DVD has some nice extras. It was fun to go back and see this AFTER seeing "Best in Show" and "A Mighty Wind," because I looked a little more carefully at the actors. Michael Hitchcock, who played Parker Posey's braces-wearing neurotic husband ("You didn't get the Busy Bee?!?") in "Best in Show," is very, very funny here as a wannabe-actor who LOVES Corky St. Clair (Christopher Guest) a bit too much. One of the funniest scenes in the whole movie has Hitchcock shrieking "Corky! CORKY! COOOORRRRKKKKYYY!" like a little girl overcome with Beatlemania. Or Corkymania, as it were. Totally hysterical. Also noticed David Cross as the crop-circle enthusiast ("The weather is always the same. Always. It's always 72 degreees with a 40% chance of rain."). I don't think I knew who he was when I saw this the first time...

Like all of Guest's movies, the funny parts are undercut with a twinge of melancholy; in the deleted scenes on the DVD, there's an alternate ending for the Fred Willard/Cathering O'Hara married characters...O'Hara is much more hardened and bitter-looking in the deleted scene, and it's quite sad to see their dreams of Hollywood squashed ("We don't have a car," she says. He replies, "You don't really need a car in L.A."). There's another one where they are in the backyard of their home in Blaine and she is forced by Fred Willard to pitch him baseballs while he calls out famous plays by DiMaggio and other legends...she rolls her eyes, shoots him mean looks, and is obviously very unhappy while he blathers on his upbeat, insane Fred Willard-y way.

My favorite deleted scenes were some musical numbers from "Red, White, and Blaine" that never made it into the movie...the best of these is the beginning section to the "Nothing Ever Happens on Mars" routine. The song is included in the credits of the movie, but not the scene; in it the cast does a kind of interpretive scarecrow dance and sings "Nothing Ever Happens in Blaine." THEN Eugene Levy leaves and comes back as the Martian. I thought the Blaine section helped the Mars song make more sense and it's a shame they couldn't fit it into the actual movie...There's also a sad/funny song about a flood called "The Bulging River," in which Corky thanks his dad (Fred Willard) for teaching him "how to be a man." I'm a sucker for musical numbers, I really am, and this movie has some great ones.

Some of the other deleted parts: Corky showing off his "Remains of the Day" lunch boxes; Eugene Levy going into more depth about his move to Miami (again, kind of sad; he broke up with his wife and doesn't get to see their son); and a funny turkey hunting scene with Willie Nelson in full camo disguise (Corky is wearing bright orange neon camo).

Even if you've seen the movie a million times, I think the DVD is worthwhile. Who can say no to more Corky St. Clair? Not me!


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