By Merle Bertrand | September 6, 2000

A quick peek at the title tells a viewer all they need to know about this embarrassingly un-funny short film from Christopher J. Valin. Before the tape is even in the deck, it’s pretty much a given that “One Flew Over Spago” will either be a slam at LA’s trendiest snobs, will poke fun at the film industry, or both. Oh, and it’s structured as a parody of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Duh.
Sure enough, Randolph McMurray (Steve Barr), who’d opened up a flavored oxygen bar in an attempt to anticipate the next trendy thing, finds himself in a mental hospital for the terminally hip. It should come as no surprise that virtually every other patient Randolph comes across is a refugee from the film world. Lame, stereotyped refugees at that. There’s Willy (Danny Grossman), the eager PA who’s told his parents he’s really a producer. We meet a ditzy, sexy starlet wannabe (Cathy Sincere) who’s willing to sleep with anyone who she thinks can help her out. Even someone as low on the totem pole as the up and coming Willy. And what would a Hollywood send-up be without someone pushing their own screenplay? Stern-mannered Nurse Kravitz (Caroline Field) fills that slot here, pushing her script on anyone who will read it. If none of this seems particularly funny or original, it’s because, well, it isn’t.
“One Flew Over Spago” is rife with bad Hollywood in-jokes…as if there’s any such thing as a “good” Hollywood in-joke. The problem in general with films such as this one is that no one outside the film industry either gets or cares about these jokes. Come to think of it, no one INSIDE the industry really gives a rip either. The specific problems Valin’s film run into are even more debilitating: It’s not funny. It’s flat and there’s no comic timing to speak of.Sometimes, you can see trouble comin’ from miles away. This is one of those times.

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