Waiting for Guffman - Rated: Simmering

If you love the theatre, see this film. If you know anything about community theatre, you'll have already heard about the film and seen it several times. It is required viewing for anyone into amateur theatrics.

The director and star is Christopher Guest ("Nigel Tuffnel" of Spinal Tap fame). This film is also made in mock-documentary style, but without a film crew becoming part of the film. In this film, there is no narrator apart from the participants themselves. So the satire is more arms-length than it was in Spinal Tap. And, of course there is the immortal character "Corky St Clair," with an extraordinary wardrobe and an even more extraordinary interior decor. I loved seeing his production of the history of the town of Blaine, Iowa, and I'm just too too sorry that I missed his legendary production of Backdraft.

This film skates quite close to the edge of cruelty and stereotype, but I think it stays on the right side for the most part, and I believe its heart is in the right place. It is a send-up made by someone who loves theatre and theatre people. The ending has been criticised as a cop out, for not keeping up the cruelty satire requires. But I disagree. There's still satire there, but an acceptance too, and I think it works well. What do these critics want - total humiliation? No - the show must go on, and nothing, not even lack of talent, will ever stop it, while ever Corky had access to the greasepaint. He really is a great comic invention.