Written by / 3/25/2011 / No comments / , , , , ,

THE BIG PICTURE

title: THE BIG PICTURE
year: 1989
cast: Kevin Bacon, Emily Longstreth, Martin Short
rating: ***

Christopher Guest's first directorial effort isn't a mockumentary, but the ambitions are similar: going "backstage" in Hollywood with an award-winning student filmmaker, played with astute naivete by Kevin Bacon, given an opportunity to write and direct a real movie. The late J.T. Walsh is a vapid studio head constantly altering Bacon's dream-film storyline, and since his idiotic alterations often seem more logical than our hero's pretentious concept, it's never clear if Guest's satirizing the young artist or the big bad executive - or who we should agree with. Bacon's arc from promising hopeful to a selfish young protegee is great, but once he falls by the wayside, losing his job and girlfriend, lackluster melodrama ensues. But Guest's creativity shines throughout, mixing surreal perspective with an insider's view of Hollywood THE PLAYER would get credit for later on. And Martin Short's flamboyant agent character provides a memorable scene, as does a music video by fictional band "Pez People," written and performed by Guest and fellow Spinal Tapper Michael McKean.


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