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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 30.77%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 7.69%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 7 user ratings

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Big Picture, The (1989)
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Don't overlook this Christopher Guest non-mockumentary."
5 stars

Before turning his hand to critically acclaimed mockumentaries like 'Best in Show' and 'A Mighty Wind,' Christopher Guest made his directorial debut with this sometimes hilarious, sometimes chilling anti-Hollywood comedy wherein rookie director Kevin Bacon gets reamed by the studio system.

It’s hard to know what general audiences will get out of all the insider humor (indeed, it wasn’t widely released in theaters), but if you’re the least bit knowledgeable about what routinely happens to fresh young talent in La-La Land, the film rings true at least as often as The Player (and it has more belly laughs).

Example: the opening scene, when Bacon’s competitors for a short-film award (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dan Schneider, and Jason Gould) respond with perfect fatuous pride when clips from their stupid, pretentious films are shown. Or the hellish “meetings” in which the studio head (J.T. Walsh at his most brilliantly smarmy) suggests “improvements” on Bacon’s script. Or the Pez People video, which recalls Guest’s Spinal Tap days.

The only problem is that Bacon’s idea for a movie, while substantially less foolish than the studio’s ideas, doesn’t seem like such hot stuff. This is, however, one of Bacon’s better star vehicles, and Jennifer Jason Leigh is gloriously dippy (in a rare comedic turn) as Lydia — she finds the cracked humanity in Lydia’s artsy pose.

Guest’s Spinal Tap buddy Michael McKean cowrote the script and has a role.

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originally posted: 04/06/07 05:22:15
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User Comments

4/20/20 Sidney Kaler Very funny and whimsical look at the Hollywood process of film making. 5 stars
4/05/17 Anne Selby Warning to be watchful and not be taken in by Hollywood hype 4 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby Errs when getting moralistic, but succeeds much when satiring. Short is a scream! 4 stars
10/24/02 Anastasia Beaverhausen The best movie about movies ever 5 stars
12/24/98 Lou Pine, Jr. Chris Guest delivers a quirky, knowing gem. Martin Short's most hysterical performance. 4 stars
10/23/98 Negative Creep Good Movie about making Movies. Should be required Survival viewing for all film students. 4 stars
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  02-Feb-1989 (PG-13)



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