The Wrap

All 5 Christopher Guest Mockumentary Movies Ranked, From Worst to Best (Photos)

How does the new Christopher Guest Netflix comedy “Mascots” compare to classics like “Waiting for Guffman”?

5. For Your Consideration (2006): Maybe it’s my own proximity to show business and the inner workings of Oscars campaigns, but this spoof of awards season rarely feels like it was made by someone who would, presumably, be able to satirize this annual insanity from an insider’s perspective. Catherine O’Hara, as always, is brilliant as an older actress who’s willing to do just about anything in pursuit of acclaim.

4. Waiting for Guffman (1996): Cue the hate mail – this comedy about small-town theater people with a dream of making it to the big time is a lot of fans’ favorite Guest movie. (It certainly set the template for his subsequent films in this sub-genre.) But Guest and company can hit below the belt, and “Guffman” too often feels far too mean for the relatively minor sins of its characters.

3. A Mighty Wind (2003): There’s a lot of affection for American folk music in all its forms – the genuinely heartfelt and the smiley, theme-park variety – in this one. There are a lot of great gags (Jane Lynch as a wholesome singer with a notorious past stands among the most indelible characters in these movies), but Guest has a hard time balancing affection and mockery; if the mock-docs ever flirt with actual heartfelt poignancy, it’s in Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara‘s performances as 1960s legends Mitch and Mickey.

2. Mascots (2016): After a decade-long break, Guest returns with a look at the competitive world of professional sports-team mascots, and while it mixes elements of earlier films — like “Best in Show” and “For Your Consideration,” the film is built around competition, and the hopes of impressing execs from the Gluten-Free Channel recalls the showbiz striving of “Guffman” – the film feels fresh and hilarious, with a cast that includes Guest regulars alongside some brilliant newcomers.

1. Best in Show (2000): Guest at his best presents characters who take themselves and their oddball pursuits far too seriously, and the world of competitive dog shows provides the perfect backdrop, giving him and his actors rich material. Some will say “Guffman,” but for me, this is Guest’s funniest, wildest and most quotable work to date.

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