Working from a 60-page outline and no script, Martin Short, Jan Hooks, John Michael Higgins, and a host of cameos team up with their improvisational expertise to bring us, well, an okay comedy. I do not watch TV with any regularity and know nothing about Martin Short’s alter ego, Jiminy Glick, so I can’t comment on how the film captures the nuances of the imaginary rotund reviewer, but I can say that there are some laughs, which are difficult to get in an improvisational setting, even for seasoned veterans like Short.
The story follows Jiminy and his disgusting family as they head to the Toronto Film Festival to cover the affair for Jiminy’s hometown of Butte, Montana. Jiminy falls asleep during a screening and subsequently gives a rave review to a gigantic turd of a film that everyone else pans. The star of the film decides to grant Jiminy an exclusive interview and suddenly everyone knows Jiminy Glick. Jiminy is then besieged with interviewees such as Steve Martin and Kurt Russell, and there are a few funny moments there, but no real breakout nuggets I’m afraid.
The improvisational aspect of the film is no doubt inspired by the recent success of the Chris Guest films Best In Show, Mighty Wind, “Waiting for Guffman,” which are all better than this one I’m afraid. One of the more inexplicable and not-so-funny storylines in the film revolve around Martin Short’s portrayal of David Lynch as the manager of the hotel that Jiminy is staying in. Lynch narrates parts of the film and introduces a fairly lame Mildred Pierce-Lana Turneresque murder mystery in which Jiminy becomes involved. Short does a good job playing Lynch but this whole Lynch thing might have played funnier ten years ago, and really does not serve as much of an anchor for the characters to draw from–improv is hard enough without handicapping yourself from the get-go.
Don’t mean to trash the whole thing, as I said, I did find myself laughing at times, and if you are a Jiminy Glick fan, you will too.
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