On Thursday, October 13, Netflix released their latest original movie, Mascots. Netflix original movies are hit and miss, and for the most part, Mascots hit the mark. Christopher Guest has been involved in many mockumentary movies, including This is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration.
Rotten Tomatoes provides the synopsis for Guest's latest film, Netflix's Mascots.
"Mascots is a new comedy from Christopher Guest, director of Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show. Starring many of his regular troupe of actors, this latest film takes place in the ultra-competitive world of sports mascots where they compete for the most prestigious award in their field, the Gold Fluffy."Thus far, critics are split when it comes to this comedy. The New York Times said that Mascots is a "recycled variation" of Best in Show, and that Christopher Guest is showing indications of "artistic fatigue." However, that may be a bit unfair. Aside from them both being a mockumentary, the only real similarity between Best in Show and Mascots is that it deals with a competition. But all of Guest's movies have a similar feel to them, and that's a good thing.
Best in Show poked fun at dog shows, A Mighty Wind took aim at folk music, Waiting for Guffman had thespians cringing from its accuracy of local theater, and Mascots pokes fun at mascot competitions, which apparently are a real thing. In fact, audiences will do themselves a huge favor by watching the video below before watching Mascots.In an interview with the Daily Beast, Guest speaks of how he didn't want to actually interview any real mascots for this Netflix movie.
"In A Mighty Wind I grew up in that world, and Spinal Tap to some extent since I've been a musician my whole life, I had a leg up but I knew it from living it... I didn't want to interview mascots because if you're interviewing real people you're doing a documentary, in a way. It's about the people ultimately, not so much about the big hippopotamus."
Although Netflix viewers aren't graced with an appearance from Eugene Levy or Catherine O'Hara, they will be thrilled to see many familiar faces alongside Christopher Guest: Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Jim Piddock, and John Michael Higgins. Like their past performances together, this ensemble cast certainly entertains.
The characters of Mindy and Mike are absolutely hilarious. Mike is portrayed by Zach Woods (The Office) and Sarah Baker (Tammy), and their chemistry together is outstanding. As per his usual, Fred Willard is perfect with his comic delivery. And the subtle reactions that Ed Begley's character has to Jane Lynch's character are very droll.
Perhaps one of the most pleasant surprises in the movie is the reappearance of the character Corky St. Clair (Guest) from Waiting for Guffman. In Waiting for Guffman, Corky was the mastermind behind the local play, Red, White, and Blaine. In Mascots, Corky has a brief cameo and plays mentor to Parker Posey's character. At first, it was an instinct to want more than a cameo from Corky, but his brief appearance makes the moments more special.Netflix's Mascots is not as laugh-out-loud funny as other movies from Christopher Guest, like Waiting for Guffman, and many critics seem to be judging the film harshly because of that. Well, Steven Spielberg's The BFG wasn't as good as Jurassic Park or Jaws, but like Mascots, it's still a good movie.
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Perhaps one of the more refreshing movies of the year, Mascots is a welcomed addition to the Netflix library.
[Featured Image by Netflix]