As a lover of all things improv, I rewatched 1996’s ‘Waiting for Guffman’ today. The film is the second of five classic improv movies that were directed by Christopher Guest and stars Guest, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, Parker Posey and Bob Balaban. ‘Waiting for Guffman’ holds up as one of the better Christopher Guest directed comedies, which include ‘This is Spinal Tap’, ‘Best in Show’, ‘A Mighty Wind’ and ‘For Your Consideration’.

Taking place in the small town of Blaine, Missouri, a local, misguided, bumbling but well-intentioned theater company sets out to put on a musical in celebration of the 150th anniversary of their town. What ensues while they await the arrival of an esteemed theater critic, named Guffman, is absolute hilarity.

Like all Christopher Guest’s films, the dialogue in ‘Waiting for Guffman’ is entirely improvised. That means the actors were not given lines ahead of time but rather made up everything that they said as they shot. To me, this is what makes all Christopher Guest’s films, both unique and very funny. While the situations in the film were known to the actors head of time and Guest tells them where he wants the scene to go, this different style of filmmaking can make for some really entertaining and irreverent interactions between characters.

If you’re into community theater, whether as a fan or a participant, you’ll love this film. There are so many nods to the hard work and often tremendous failures that plague community theater productions as well.

I love this film and can only give it a rating that reflects all the praise I’ve already given it in this post. ‘Waiting for Guffman’ gets the highest rating I give, a 10/10.