"Huffing and puffing, and they'll blow your house down."
Christopher Guest continues his light, but on-the-sleeve condescension of small-town folk with big-city dreams, in the popular form of his mockumentaries.The target here are folk music performers, some gathered in their original capacities, while others have seen a facelift to their legacy (it’s now the “(New) Main Street Singers”), in the prospect of paying tribute to a local concept promoter now deceased. In between the time put aside for sitting down for the “interviews” with the music-makers (seemingly reduced more and more since Waiting for Guffman down to Best in Show) is the actual action of the reunions of the three groups (also including Mitch and Mickey, a now estranged couple who formerly swooned together, and The Folksman) and their harried and unprepared rehearsals after years apart. A lot of the delight comes from what can obviously be blamed as Guest’s mean streak — the shaped and wooden caricatures of his characters, making fun in good fun, but not merely using it as a conduit to his humor as he is putting just as much of the rib-tickling on your own hands. It is by no means a surprise now how well his typical troupe of improvisers and comedians perform in this three-ring circus type of atmosphere, but it’s nice to see that Catherine O’Hara can still be a revelation, and that there’s still plenty of good fun to be passed around by Harry Shearer, Bob Balaban, Parker Posey, Ed Begley, Jr., Eugene Levy, Larry Miller, Michael McKean, Guest, and so on, without their wildness becoming repetitious. For all the fun-poking of the type of musicians herein (“New Age-y weirdos”), the music is treated much more seriously, at least as far as being breezily catchy and well-made. I would go as far as to consider buying the soundtrack. With Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, and Paul Dooley.[Worth-seeing.]