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  Film Reviews: Wha’ Happened? A Mighty Wind!  

Thursday, May 29
Wha’ Happened? A Mighty Wind!
If you’re like most people, there are those random Tuesday afternoons where you wonder, “self, don’t you think that ‘Spinal Tap’ would have been way cooler if they had just been a Folk band?” Yeah, me too. The great news is that you no longer have to wonder! Christopher Guest returns again to the “mockumentary” genre and explores the world of Folk Musicians as they gather to remember the man that made them all stars in the sixties.

Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy fought to list every cast member as a writer for “A Mighty Wind,” but Writer’s Guild rules prohibit listing that many individuals as writers on a film. The reality of the film is that Guest and Levy merely outline major story points in the film, but that all of the actors come up with their own dialogue.

So, to sketch it out, the legendary promoter of Folk Music – Irving Steinbloom – has died. Despite the fact that they haven’t spoken in years, and that one of the brother’s detests Folk Music, the Steinbloom children agree to put together a reunion concert in their father’s honor.

We have three major Folk groups – The Folksmen, Mitch & Mickey and The Main Street Singers were all the biggest of their generation. Of course, times have changed for all of the bands. One band has simply drifted apart, another have become color-worshipping cultists and well, one member of a band has been institutionalized. Did I mention that we’d add in a prior-almost-could-have been child star with an odd catch-phrase heading up the production team?

This film gives more meaning to “the show must go on” than any number of “Little Rascal” episodes lumped together. If you have seen any of Guest’s prior films, you will immediately recognize half of the actors. In a few clever inside-jokes, many of the characters have taken on opposite personalities to those that they constructed in prior films.

The films brilliance lies in the small things. God, it is said, is in the details. And it is the details – not the broad strokes – that make this film so clever. Whether it’s realizing that, yes, some former top-singers go on to marry catheter salesmen or the desperation that others cling to former selves with, you’ll find that there is more humanity packed into this film than one will find in many dramas.

The Usual:

What It’s Worth: If you like films like this, go to the matinee. Otherwise, waste away in your pseudo-cool world, rent the thing one day and realize what a hollow shell of a human being you are.

Annoying Theater Goer: Okay, this goes to a set of seats in the theater. Seriously, they were in the perfect viewing position – middle of the row, isle just before the break betweek “normal viewing” and “too damn close.” These toys taunted at least two dozen patrons – for the bolts on the backs had come loose and the only way to sit involved yoga maneuvers beyond my introductory classes.

Main Reason To See This Film: You wanted to know what Spinal Tap would sound like if they were a Folk Band whose biggest hit was “Ea At Oe’s.”

Main Reason Not To See This Film: You have yet to understand the beauty of the mockumentuary.

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Nudity: No.

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