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Daisy von Scherler Mayer
A town of Blaine, Missouri is preparing for celebrations of its 150th anniversary. Corky St.Clair, an off-off-off-off-off-Broadway director is putting together an amateur theater show about the town's history, starring a local dentist, a couple of travel agents, a Dairy Queen waitress, and a car repairman. He invites a Broadway theater critic Mr. Guffman to see the opening night of the show. Written by
Piotr Zembrowski <email@example.com>
Christopher Guest has the knack for creating films where genuine laughter never stops. We saw this film when it was originally released, but caught it recently in the retrospect of Mr. Guest's films shown recently here.
"Waiting for Guffman" is, to this humble viewer, probably his best creation to date. Not only is this a funny movie, it shows the genius of Mr. Guest at his best.
Corky St. Clair, the director from the New York stage seems completely out of place in Blaine, Mo. He is too witty for that small little town, where he is clearly adored, not only by the local thespians, but by the whole municipal council. Some of the lines one hears coming from Corky's mouth are so amazing that one wonders if the citizens of Blaine fully realize they have a gem living in town.
The players auditioning for Corky's new production about Blaine's beginnings, live in a world of themselves. Ron and Sheila Albertson, are the star of other productions, so they return again for the new show. Libby Mae Brown works in the Dairy Queen, but her ambition is to be a star. Even the local dentist, Dr. Allan Pearl, is attracted to become a performer.
There are two other underlying plots going on in the film. There is the history part, or how Blaine came to be, and the other notorious incident of the flying saucer that came into town and took several of the citizens for a tour of the space craft and we are being told about it by the people that experienced that adventure.
Christopher Guest makes a wonderful Corky St. Clair. Mr. Guest knows what makes Corky great. Corky, no doubt, is a composite of people Mr. Guest must have known at one time or another. Corky is an enormous achievement for Mr. Guest as a writer and as a performer.
Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara are incredible in their take of the Albertsons, the travel agents without a clue of what's going on outside Blaine. Ron's delicate operation is explained in some detail to the horrified Mrs. Pearl. Eugene Levy, Mr. Guest's frequent collaborator is right on the money as the dentist with singing aspirations. Parker Posey, is the girl who thinks Broadway is only a few steps away. Paul Dooley, Don Lake, Larry Miller,Linda Kash, are among the citizens of Blaine one gets to know in the film.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without Christopher Guest. It's a shame we don't get to see more of him, but that makes even better whatever he decides to offer us from time to time.
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