Sunday, February 11, 2007

For Your Consideration

As a rabid Christopher Guest follower - along the Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind axis - I went to see 'For Your Consideration' last night, the day after it opened.

(That it opened theatrically at all in the UK shows how much things have changed in the last decade. It took me years to track down 'Waiting for Guffman' which I'm pretty sure didn't get a UK cinema release at all, and came out in the DVD-less mid Nineties.)

'For Your Consideration' is funny and clever but more vituperative and mordant than Guest's earlier films, lacking their secret sauce of real affection for the delusional protagonists.

I saw the movie in the Clapham Picturehouse, the nearest venue that was showing it. I've never been there before and discovered that it had a bar, and that you can take drinks into the show. I will return.

When I was waiting to be served, a woman I recognised as Jenny Eclair gestured towards me and said, "I think this gentleman was here first" when the barman asked her what she wanted to drink. A couple of minutes later she turned up in the seat in front of me to watch the film and said "I'll try not to obstruct your view".

So for all that "her strong, aggressive, foul-mouthed, hard-drinking, chain-smoking persona can be too abrasive for some", she is a sweetheart in real life. That is a lot better than the alternative.

Anyway, back to Christopher Guest's genius, what is the alchemy that turns my favourite bit of 'Best in Show' to comedy gold? I have no idea myself:
I used to be able to name every nut that there was.

And it used to drive my mother crazy, because she used to say, "Harlan Pepper, if you don't stop naming nuts," and the joke was that we lived in Pine Nut, and I think that's what put it in my mind at that point.

So she would hear me in the other room, and she'd just start yelling.

I'd say, "Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut."
That was the one that would send her into going crazy.

She'd say, "Would you stop naming nuts!"

And Hubert used to be able to make the sound, he couldn't talk, but he'd go "rrrawr rrawr" and that sounded like Macadamia nut.

Pine nut, which is a nut, but it's also the name of a town.

Pistachio nut.

Red pistachio nut.

Natural, all natural white pistachio nut ................

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