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Overall Rating
3.95

Awesome: 32.54%
Worth A Look40.48%
Just Average: 20.63%
Pretty Crappy: 2.38%
Sucks: 3.97%

11 reviews, 60 user ratings


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Mighty Wind, A
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by EricDSnider

"A little gentler, but no less funny. Please, ea a oe's."
4 stars

In “A Mighty Wind,” Christopher Guest experiments with the genre he practically invented, the improvised faux-documentary comedy.

Where “Waiting for Guffman” (1996) and “Best in Show” (2000) held its characters as subjects of ruthless derision, “Mighty Wind” actually has affection for its cast of zanies. It allows for a little tenderness blended in amidst the outrageous non-sequiturs and gut-busting one-liners. It is a film with heart as well as wit.

This will please those who found “Guffman” too abrasive and dark, but should not disappoint those who saw it for what it was, i.e., the best comedy of the 1990s. For while there is a gentler touch underscoring it all, “Mighty Wind” does not neglect the comedy.

Guest, who directed the film and co-wrote the outline (actors improvise their own dialogue) with Eugene Levy, re-teams with “This Is Spinal Tap” co-stars Harry Shearer and Michael McKean as The Folksmen, a ‘60s folk group called upon to perform at a concert memorializing music producer Irving Steinbloom.

The Folksmen were a jolly bass/guitar/mandolin trio with album titles like “Singin,’” “Wishin’” and “Pickin’,” and their career has been largely devoid of trouble -- a contrast to the other two acts booked for the memorial concert.

The Main Street Singers disbanded in 1971 after 10 years and 30 albums, then later re-emerged as The New Main Street Singers. “There was abuse in my family, but it was mostly of a musical nature,” notes Terry Bohner (John Michael Higgins), one of the “new” members. His wife, Laurie (Jane Lynch), reports in a winking, effervescent manner that she had some experience in making adult films with the group’s originators before being brought on as a singer.

Husband-and-wife team Mitch and Mickey — now divorced — are the third group, and the film’s emotional center. Mitch (Eugene Levy) is befuddled and barely sane since the separation, having embarked on a mid-’70s solo career with songs like “If I Had a Gun” and “Anyone But You.” Mickey (Catherine O’Hara) is somewhat happily remarried to a dippy British train enthusiast and catheter salesman (Jim Piddock), but there is a wounded look in her expression. She and Mitch are a reminder that the characters played closest to reality are liable to be the funniest, most interesting ones.

Just as he did in “Best in Show,” Fred Willard barges into the second half of the film with a storm of hilarious energy behind him. This time he is Mike LaFontaine, the clueless manager of The New Main Street Singers who was a sitcom star for one year in the ‘70s and who still clings to his awful catchphrases. His suggestions to the band are uproariously inappropriate, and his contribution to the film is immeasurable.

There are more goofy characters too numerous to mention; if anything, in an effort to use all the Guest favorites, the film has crammed itself with too many people. Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge and Larry Miller are all sadly underused. Guest is said to have shot 80 hours of footage; one suspects the deleted scenes on the DVD will be just as entertaining as the film.

“A Mighty Wind” is sort of about letting go of the past and sort of about finding closure, but it is mostly about making an audience laugh. When Catherine O’Hara sings a song about her husband’s medical supplies at a trade show, you will recognize the spirit of “Guffman,” reborn in a new, kinder frame.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=7217&reviewer=247
originally posted: 06/20/03 20:18:56
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2003 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/11/13 Kymberly Pray Know they've done a few, this group should do *every* movie together. Great chemistry. 5 stars
12/26/11 Jim McLennan "Hilarious"? "Hysterical"? Er... No. 2 stars
5/20/08 PAUL SHORTT SO LOW KEY IT ALMOST PUTS YOU TO SLEEP 1 stars
2/27/07 Clyde One of the best locations I've come across lately!!! Definately a permanent bookmark! Pleas 1 stars
2/07/07 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
1/23/06 Indrid Cold Like Spinal Tap, except for folk music, and with about 1/3 as many jokes. 3 stars
12/09/05 MAttIFUL Is that really supposed to be funny? I dont get it. I feel embarassed for all in this movie 1 stars
11/08/05 blue dolphin a sad commentary of folk music 4 stars
8/12/05 Ben Quinn Not as funny as Best in Show, but still better than Waiting for Guffman 4 stars
12/16/04 Ken Cenerelli Funny but not as good as Best In Show. 4 stars
7/24/04 DM Some funny parts, but it's so whatevery 3 stars
4/25/04 Lord Jiggy A surprise. Funny, even touching, with whackball humor out of nowhere. 4 stars
4/18/04 Ionicera "these were my friends....and they were made out of gin cartons" 4 stars
3/21/04 Goofy Maxwell More heart than previous Guest gigs, just not mighty funny. 4 stars
3/12/04 James Kustes second only to Spinal Tap 5 stars
3/08/04 gerry great really loved it esprcially The Kiss song 4 stars
3/05/04 Snickerdoodle I LOVED THIS MOVIE!! THE MUSIC WAS SO GREAT! 5 stars
2/06/04 john not worse, not better, just different than guest's other stuff. still great! 5 stars
1/22/04 Chloe Brody Ey, what happened?!?!?! A total pisser!!! 4 stars
1/14/04 Betty White Brilliant, superb, hysterically funny mockumentary; O'Hara is outstanding. 5 stars
1/05/04 astra astra omg it was the worst movie i have ever seen in my life 1 stars
11/21/03 ROY L. CAIN,JR. A satirical spin on the folk music craze. EAT AT OES ! 4 stars
11/08/03 b awesome 5 stars
10/25/03 Al Baston Great fot first two thirds lost it at the end but always fun to watch these crazies. 4 stars
10/21/03 Jorchel Smithenstein This is the best movie ever made. 5 stars
10/05/03 BDB Two words: Wha' Happened??? ... BAHAHAHA! 5 stars
9/13/03 Ant A brilliantly acted film, full of laugh-out-loud moments. A pure joy to watch. 5 stars
9/01/03 Marcia Lartz Peculiarly watchable, though I'd never have guessed so from the premise. 4 stars
8/23/03 francis moves on from the 'best of show' concept - very funny if you are the right mood 4 stars
7/28/03 Elendil It's like `Waiting for Guffman', only this time, you've seen it before. 3 stars
7/14/03 skye just plain not funny. and i'm a big fan. could've been great 3 stars
7/01/03 Jacob Simmering Great movie, esp if it was improved 5 stars
6/04/03 LaFontis The best film this summer. Don't waste your time and money with mainsteam movies. 5 stars
5/31/03 Jack Bourbon Not very funny, oddly. Still, Levy was great, and the blonde from "BiS" was smokin' here. 4 stars
5/28/03 Ellwood Erb This movie is definity worth watching.... Very Funny stuff 4 stars
5/27/03 ADAM SHERMAN OWEN ALWAYS LOVED CHILDREN.... FREQUENTLY 5 stars
5/22/03 Karl Mattson Guest's best to date. Hillarity tempered with tenderness. 5 stars
5/19/03 malcolm not as good as 'best...' or 'waiting...' maybe i'm just too used to the formula. 3 stars
5/19/03 the snakes yes, a mighty wind. a mighty broken wind if you catch my drift 1 stars
5/14/03 A film observer This film is about the hilarity and beauty of the moment - not about political messages. 5 stars
5/13/03 Allen Overall, pretty good but some hillarious moments 4 stars
5/12/03 scottyrobotty tries to be funny and fails a lot, a lot of other times it doesn't even try. very let down 2 stars
5/11/03 Warren Norwood A Mighty Miss, this movie misses most of the folk scene as it really was. Falls way short. 2 stars
5/11/03 skye NOT the best of the 3, or even close. 3 stars
5/11/03 Vicious Awsome is too strong, but Eugene Levy was too good to call anything less than great 5 stars
5/06/03 ajay very funny, I laughed out loud *several* times 5 stars
5/06/03 H.E. Brilliant. For those who did not rate it "awesome", I can only say: "Wha' happened?" :) 5 stars
5/01/03 T. Oliver Worst of the three 3 stars
4/30/03 Andrew Carden Hilariously Funny Indie Comedy With Fantastic Performances By Posey, O'Hara, and Levy. 5 stars
4/29/03 Vangela THANK HEAVEN FOR CHRISTOPHER GUEST!!! 5 stars
4/24/03 Desmond Barely tries to be funny, but it's surprisingly touching and dramatic 5 stars
4/22/03 Daddy Phil Pine nut...pastacio nut...macadamia nut 5 stars
4/22/03 jamie one of the more ecletic, yet entertaining films I have see this year. great! 5 stars
4/21/03 Johnny little something Fan Tas Tic. 5 stars
4/19/03 Weezer Christopher Guest is a comic genius. 5 stars
4/19/03 George Jung The funniest movie I've seen since...Best In Show. Keep it up, Guest. 5 stars
4/19/03 Dana Carvey must DIE!!! It is very funny, but more than that it is sometimes moving. And the music rocks (kinda). 5 stars
4/13/03 bluegirl funny!! 5 stars
4/11/03 steve christiansen an outstanding and hilarious film! the best of the three by far. 5 stars
4/09/03 reggie wagstaff BRILLIANT!!! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  16-Apr-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 23-Sep-2003

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Jul-2003




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