A Mighty Wind
Review By: Gringo

Documentaries at the cinema fall into three simple categories: good, fake and foreign language. I know this because I'm right and you're a Nazi lesbian hooker.

The first set, like A Perfect Candidate (which followed nutjob Ollie North's Senate race in 1994) are decent, straightforward films. The second are parodies or 'mockumentaries' if you're a prick. The latter are any pretentious so-called works of art that require me to start concentrating and stop flagellating myself.

Thankfully, A Mighty Wind is very much in the middle category, coming as it does from Christopher Guest, the guy behind similar fake documentaries This Is Spinal Tap, the excellent Waiting For Guffman and Best In Show.

I was going to try and get even more italicized movie titles in that last paragraph but then I decided to QUITE LITERALLY THROW CAUTION TO THE WIND! In a mighty way.

The basic plot is that three folk bands - the atypical Folksmen (a trio including Harry Shearer - gratuitous self-linkage number one), the mercilessly upbeat New Main Street Singers and the rather sad (and divorced) duo of Mitch and Mickey - who were managed by one man, Irving Steinbloom, all come together to stage a tribute concert when the guy does.

So far, so okay. But as usual with this particular type of movie by Christopher Guest, every single character plays a part, no matter how little screen time they have. And the bonus is that they're all funny. It's impressive when the comedy's that good that a character with hardly any lines or screen time (played by the woefully underused Don Lake) can make you laugh simply because of the way he reacts to what other people are saying and doing.

The following trio deserves special mention for being, quite simply, winners. Firstly, Jim Piddock (gratuitous link number two) as a train-fanatic catheter salesman. Secondly, the always-excellent Larry Miller as hopeless PR guy Wally Fenton. And finally, Jennifer Coolidge as his business partner, Amber Cole. She speaks with an accent that's like a deaf person mixed with, well, the craziest accent in the world.

However, the highlight of this movie is the character played by Fred Willard (that makes three). I'm not lying when I say that the audience watching the screening I went to instantly got louder with their laughter when he first starts speaking.

He plays one-time television star Mike LaFontaine, who had a one-season hit show where he'd over-use his catchphrases "Wha' happened?" and "I don't think so!" Anyway, when first introduced, we're in his office, and he just rambles on about his past - the audience didn't laugh as loud before or after.

They still found the whole movie funny, as did I, but it's pretty strong evidence of his talents (and kind of weird to hear everyone suddenly start laughing much more than they had been) that he has that effect in this movie.

Enough links for you in this review? Anyway, that's all I really have to say about A Mighty Wind. It's a good comedy. I have no idea whatsoever how to end this. Someone help!

Okay here's what I'll say..GO AND SEE THIS MOVIE! If you don't, I may be forced to write another rambling article like this. And no-one in their right mind wants to have that happen.


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