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Ricky Gervais Meets... Christopher Guest (2006)

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25 December 2006 (UK)  »

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Gervais is a bit overwhelming but mostly it is a funny collection of clips and chat with Guest
8 January 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ricky Gervais has had one of the most successful and highest selling BBC comedies ever with The Office and with Extras was able to engage Hollywood stars not normally found on television. However he has turned down Hollywood roles and million dollar endorsements so how does he benefit from his success? He meets his idols – on this occasion Spinal Tap star Christopher Guest.

Following on from his discussion with Larry David last year, Ricky Gervais meets up with Christopher Guest – but this time Guest comes to him, which I suppose you can read into if you want. As with Larry David's chat we have the same strengths and same weaknesses. The most obvious strength is the fact that Guest is very funny and has a great dry sense of humour. He seems a bit uncomfortable looking back over some of his work and he doesn't totally seem to like the fact that Gervais is bigging him up so much. The chat provides plenty of clips and plenty of solid laughs in between but there is a bit of a problem with Gervais.

The problem is that he isn't a great chat show host. He gets better as the film goes on but for the start of the film, as Guest settles in and starts chatting, the force of Gervais tends to overwhelm and interrupt him. I appreciate that it is a chat rather than an interview but I would have liked less of Gervais and more of Guest. Gervais does say during the chat that he had never done improvisation before his recent film with Guest – this shows in the chat though as he blurts out lots of things on the spur that just aren't funny and only succeed in breaking up the flow. At times we do get past the love-in and interruptions and the film does deliver a nice even chat with plenty of good humour and clips.


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