I think my expectations were too high. Best in Show was so goddamned funny that I was expecting A Mighty Wind to be a howler as well. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty funny, but tears were never running down my face as I was doubled over in laughter. I guess the main difference is my personal body of knowledge. I’ve owned a dog before and have even watched dog shows on Animal Planet (shhh, don’t tell anyone), but I can’t recall ever listening to Folk Music. At least not on purpose.
I think I need to go buy the soundtrack. I’ve had “Never Done No Wanderin'” stuck in my head for several days. Maybe if I listen to the entire song, it will go away. I also kind of like that ‘Potato’ song, even though I can’t figure out what the hell they were talking about. That seems to be a general theme with Folk Music – what the hell are they talking about? Puff the Magic Dragon, for instance. Lamentation of lost childhood? Drug parable? Who can tell? Even though I don’t know shit about Folk Music, the music in the film seemed to be fairly authentic sounding. All of the actors sang and played their own instruments, which is impressive in in its own right. How many people actually know how to play the autoharp? Most people probably don’t even know what an autoharp is.
Eugene Levy’s character was by far the best and most three dimensional. He played Mitch, a burned out Folkie, devastated by the break-up with his partner Mickey. He was almost Brian Wilson-ish in his confusion and general malaise. I wonder if that was intentional?
Parker Posey was woefully underused. I guess there’s just not that much you can do with a character that perky. Jennifer Coolidge was also underused, but then again, she didn’t have a major character anyway.
As in Best in Show, the best gags are left for the end of the film – the infamous “Six Months Later” epilogue. I don’t want to give anything away, but The Folksmen become a little more like Peter, Paul and Mary, if you get my drift…
If you saw this in theater, you have to get ahold of a copy on DVD. The extras are definitely worth it. We watched the psychedelic Folksmen video, “Children of the Sun,” several times. There are some cute extra scenes and also the full broadcast version of the tribute concert. It is indistinguishable from an actual PBS production.