I saw the new Christopher Guest movie, For Your Consideration, and it wasn't bad. It's still a Christopher Guest movie, which goes a long way, but it wasn't in the same class as Best in Show or Waiting for Guffman. There are simply too many characters. There are five actors in the fake movie, plus the director, crew members, a PR guy, the producer, the producer's boyfriend/assistant, two executive producers, two writers, an agent, two TV entertainment magazine hosts, and Ed Begley, Jr. as a gay makeup artist. It's not surprising that the plot feels unfocused, and nothing really happens. I feel that funny names, crazy wigs, and elaborate makeup are a signal that the underlying comedic material just isn't that strong.
One of the strengths of Guffman and Best in Show is that the filmmakers have real affection for these characters. Their activities may be somewhat laughable, and their ambitions hopelessly deluded, but they have nice relationships with one another. This film is more mean-spirited, and there's no redeeming moments for the failing characters.
I think the main problems with the last two Guest films is the excessive number of characters, coupled with diminished parts for Christopher Guest himself. Christopher Guest is a great improviser, yet he gets fewer and fewer lines every movie. It's like having Michael Jordan on your basketball team, and nonetheless instituting the Hickory High four-passes-before-you-shoot rule. Here, Ed Begley, Jr. has as many lines as Guest, though Guest has a much funnier wig. Stop running the picket fence with Ricky Gervais and Harry Shearer and give Christopher Guest the damn ball!