Had my first disappointment of the London Film Festival with the screening of For Your Consideration at the Odeon West End in Leicester Square.
In many ways this is my own fault. I love American TV comedy, which is usually far superior to our own British sit-coms, but so-called 'funny' movies leave me cold. The "brat pack" of the endlessly-gurning Saturday Night Live crowd (Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Owen whateverhisnameis) have me running a mile, and given the choice between watching Jack Black and his so-called 'wit' or watching paint dry for two hours I'd choose the latter every time. But director/writer Christopher Guest wrote Best in Show which I loved, and the idea of mixing his dry humour and satire with Hollywood oscar campaigns seemed too good an opportunity to miss
Alas, the jokes are pretty thin on the ground, and Guest's approach of 'let's improv around a very thin skeleton of a script' (ie any real jokes!) is risky. It's blatently obvious that nobody could be bothered to write any really funny or clever jokes, and the movie is mostly reduced to variations of what we've already seen in his previous movies
Even our own Ricky Gervaise resorts to reprising his David Brent character from The Office. There are some laughs here, mainly based around doing send-ups of existing American entertainment review programmes, but not enough to sustain a movie, and this all felt like a rather weak hour of American sit-com rather than a proper film.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the appearance of the end credits just as the film seemed to be starting up. This is a VERY short film, which only added to the feeling of being generally ripped-off. At £12 admission and £6 for the tube fare each way (Ken Livingstone seems to be getting away with murder on underground rail pricing) this was an expensive trip for not much over 60 minutes entertainment.
I wasn't impressed with The Odeon West End either - although that may have more to do with the braying upper-class twit sat next to me, who seemed to think that every second sentence spoken needed him to rock backwards and forwards in hysterics, rather like an epileptic having a bad fit, so that the whole row of seats shook like a roller-coaster ride seat for most of the film's duration.
I'm not sure when For Your Consideration goes on general release, but when it does (IF it does!) I'd say give it a miss!