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Movie Review: Christopher Guest returns to mockumentaries with the formulaic Mascots

Mascots, Christopher Guest’s first mockumentary since A Mighty Wind (and first feature as a director since For Your Consideration), offers up an unwieldy cast of familiar Guest-ian buffoons: ditzes, prisses, ignoramuses, bickering couples, over-sharers oblivious to their own eccentricity. The formula is identical to Waiting For Guffman, Best In Show, and A Mighty Wind: same unseen but often addressed documentary crew; plenty of prop gags and improvised awkwardness; a big climactic to-do; mock-profile character introductions and a “Where are they now?” epilogue. But to anyone who’s seen the actor-director’s earlier forays into the genre—which is to say, to the target audience of Mascots, the latest Netflix production to bank on over-familiarity and nostalgia—the lack of quality control should be apparent. The only thing Mascots has to be is laugh-out-loud funny, and yet, most of the time, the only things it elicits are reflexive chuckles and …

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