12 March 2009 | subego
not on par with the rest of Christophers Guest's other brilliant works
I enjoyed this film very much...so let me get that out of the way at the outset of this comment. I thought the subject matter was great, the cast as usual was phenomenal and the direction was first rate. The problem I have with this is that it seemed very disjointed and uneven. The ending struck me as too abrupt and with little of the joy felt at the ends of the other films by this ensemble.
I think that, for me, it was the trying to give everyone in the cast a meaningful part that kills the film. Many of the actors are veterans of Saturday Night Live, and it is with that history in mind that I make this observation. In the first 5 years of that show, with its original cast, whenever a sketch was written that called for the entire cast of players to be involved, it was referred to as a "garbage pail" sketch...which meant that it was an easy way to include the less used actors along with the most popular of the troupe. In those sketches, however, many of the roles were merely walk on parts or those that had a minimum of lines. Sure, they were still in the scenes, but the parts lacked finesse or subtlety and generally involved the actors playing stereotypical caricatures, such as secretaries or doormen or the like.
"For Your Consideration" reminds me of just such a sketch...an hour and a half "garbage pail" sketch. Like a snowball, over the years this repertory company's ranks have swelled in numbers. Unfortunately, it seems that there are just too many in the cast now to utilize them all effectively. They are trying to pull it off...in this movie, everyone has something to do, but many of the characters lack depth or story. It also doesn't help that while the repeating cast members in these films have expanded in numbers, the movies running times haven't expanded in length. Perhaps given an extra half hour or 45 minutes to the running time would serve to flesh out some of these only partially realized characters. If nothing else it additional time would at least give us more of a story to ponder. As I said before, this film in particular seemed incomplete by the end. I saw the conclusion from a mile away though...much like an old Twilight Zone episode where you just KNEW that it would be some odd, ironic twist in the conclusion. Yes, that was much of the charm of "For Your Consideration," knowing that there was going to be a fall for some if not most of the characters, but the transition to the revelations were clunky and only semi-cohesive.
I love Christopher Guest! I think his all of his ensemble cast's...especially Eugene Levi, are true treasures to not only the world of film, but to comedy as a genre! I found this movie to be no exception to my opinion of his and everyone's collective efforts. I just feel that this movie in particular is lacking in many of the qualities that have made his other films nearly masterworks.