A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
Reviewed on 2007 March 11
This is going to be an odd review for me. While it wasn’t my thing, I have to admit I thought it very well done, and I have to give it a good review. They do a great job with the singing, vignettes and fake commercials, and it’s not their fault I’d rather be listening to Zeppelin or watching Python. I had to laugh at Robert Altman being described as getting second-hand exposure to APHC through his spouse, because my husband listens to it when we’re driving somewhere on a Saturday night and I’m sort of along for the ride. I can tell you this movie is pretty much how I pictured the characters (but I didn’t give sound effects man Tom Keith enough credit for being that skilled or funny).
Guy Noir (Kevin Kline), the world’s dimmest private eye, starts reminiscing about his years working security at a vaudeville-type radio show at the Fitzgerald Theater, located in downtown St. Paul. Tonight is going to be their last performance — the radio station was sold and the land is slated for a parking lot. Garrison Keillor plays himself, herding his cast together for their final performance. Yolanda and Rhonda Johnson (Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin) are sisters who’ve been performing for a while, and Yolanda would like nothing better than to see her daughter Lola (Lindsay Lohan) perform. Lola is a blonde semi-Goth who’d probably rather listen to Nirvana, but she keeps her mom and aunt company on this night. The singing cowboys Dusty and Lefty (Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly) just wonder how much ribald material they can sneak into their final performance, and Chuck Akers (L.Q. Jones) takes the whole thing in stride. He’s seen a lot of things end in his life. Tonight seems to unfold like any other night, except a Dangerous Woman (Virginia Madsen) shows up with her own mission.
This is more of a slice-of-life kind of movie than one with a traditional plot. The singing impressed me, especially Tomlin and Streep. And Tom Keith was very good following their ad-libbed story with his sound effects. I bet he was the kid in study hall that drove his teachers crazy.
Three Chocolate Morsels.