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Bams' review of
A Mighty Wind


A Mighty Wind (2003)
Rated PG-13; running time 91 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros
Genre: Comedy
Seen at: Eastwood Neighborhood Cinema Group (Lansing, Michigan)
Official site:
IMDB site:
Written by: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy
Directed by: Christopher Guest
Cast: Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, John Michael Higgins, Jane Lynch, Bob Balaban, Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Larry Miller, Jennifer Coolidge

Review Copyright Rose Cooper, 2003

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I haven't seen the full Christopher Guest trilogy yet - I reckon I'm still Waiting For Guffman to reach out and grab me - but A Mighty Wind almost takes Best In Show.

Och, Bammer; bad, bad puns.

THE STORY (WARNING: **spoilers contained below**)
To honor the memory of his late father, a legendary folk music promoter, Jonathan Steinbloom (Bob Balaban) brings together three separate groups of Up!With!People!-type 60's folk singing groups reunite ("...for the first time") at a concert in yon local towne hall. Each of the singers have had varying degrees of success after the end of the Folk Heyday [hey, you remember the Folk Heyday, eh?] - and some still struggle to make sense of this crazy world we live in.

Case in point: the biggest problem that The Folksmen (Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer) face is deciding whether they're Retro or Nostalgia; and the members of The New Main Street Singers (including John Michael Higgins, Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, Fred Willard) worry mostly about color, choreography, and taglines. But duo Mitch (Eugene Levy) and Mickey (Catherine O'Hara) are a different story. After the breakup of their group, Mitch developed Major Issues and has a...different approach to life these days. Mickey feels that she's the cause of Mitch's disconnect with reality. With all that pressure, can they pull off the big concert at Town Hall?

Many of my colleagues have said that of the three Christopher Guest "mockumentaries" thus far - Waiting For Guffman, Best In Show, and A Mighty Wind - that they thought the most highly of the latter. I beg to differ. I loved Show; I didn't quite feel as strongly about Wind.

The biggest reason for my lack of total enthusiasm about the latter comes from its lack of a satisfying storyline. In Best In Show, you really got to "know" all those wacky people; whereas in A Mighty Wind, even though it's populated by most of the same cast as Show, I could never get a hold on what any of these characters were all about. Save for the Mitch and Mickey subplot, there was not much Story past the Situation each of the characters found themselves in; making this, by definition, a "sitcom".

Not that those situations weren't funny; the bit with Space Cadets Terry (the mad funny John Michael Higgins) and Laurie (Jane Lynch, even more silly here than in Show, as the butch handler of Butch), was worth the price of admission by itself. But the series of crazy vignettes Wind offered up, pales beside the fuller, richer stories Show presented. Likewise, there was no real sense of conflict here. Again, as a comparison, Show provided comedic Drama in its farcical depiction of a real-life competition. There was no such dramatic pause in Wind; the closest it came was the Big! Kiss! between Mitch and Mickey. whee.

But this is a review of A Mighty Wind, not Best In Show; my bad. Having said all of the above, I still enjoyed Wind muchly. Though I didn't get into the personalities as much as I did the situations, the situations were still much funnier than most of what the boob toob has to offer these days. That each of the cast members did their own singing (and in some cases, playing and music-writing), added a nice touch of authenticity and a bit less "mock" to this mockumentary. Wind is also more quotable than its predecessor; who could forget a line like "Hey, wha' happened"? And if nothing else, Eugene Levy needs to be arrested for his hilarious impersonation of a wacked-out folkie.

I just hope Guest and the rest take a Douglas Adams-like approach to the concept of "trilogy". It'd be a shame if they stopped mocking documentaries with just the three.

Though I liked Best In Show a lot more, A Mighty Wind comes in a very strong second. There's no doubt: nobody does Mockumentary better than Christopher Guest and company.

A MIGHTY WIND:   green

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And that's the way I see it.

Rose "Bams" Cooper
3BlackChicks Review™
Copyright Rose Cooper, 2003
EMAIL:    ICQ: 7760005

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More 3BlackChicks™ review(s) for this week:
(movies reviewed through 5/9/03):

Bams' reviews:
Daddy Day Care | A Mighty Wind

Cass' reviews:

The Diva's reviews:
Daddy Day Care

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