Another mockumentary by Christopher Guest, the man behind This Is Spinal Tap, this one stars most of the same people but is more emotional than Spinal Tap: it is undeniably hilarious, but it also displays a touching affection for its subject and characters and a number of heartwarming moments.
The movie is a tribute to the Sixties folk revival scene, purporting to be about a big reunion concert of folk artists to commemorate the death of the great record executive who got all of them their start. These acts include the Folksmen (a trio played by the same performers who played Spinal Tap), a neophyte band of commercialized folk artists called the New Main Street Singers (corresponding loosely to notorious manufactured pseudo-folk singers the New Christie Minstrels), and a former star duo now coping with life’s disappointments, Mitch and Micki.
The movie contains a great deal of quirky hilarity and has a great deal of heart (particularly in the bittersweet interactions of former sweethearts Mitch and Micki), but it is notable above all else for its wonderful score, which achieves an uncannily accurate pastiche of the sound of Sixties folk. Highlights include the delightfully downhome “Old Joe’s Place”, the haunting “Never Did No Wanderin’”, and the truly beautiful “A Kiss At the End of the Rainbow”.
This is one of the most interesting and unique musical films I’ve covered on this site, and I highly recommend it, especially to any lovers of classic Sixties folk music.