What’s hilarious about Jiminy Glick, the jolly fat fellow with the erratically pitched voice Martin Short personifies in Comedy Central’s Primetime Glick, is how he makes the usually hyper polished and antiseptic celebrity interview format implode. Unlike other press junket reporters who are all about kissing movie star ass, Glick is bored, disrespectful and generally incoherent – he goes against the whole prepackaged marketing game that is show business.
The problem with making a feature film around this character is that you have to give him a life off-camera and you need to make up fake celebrities to move through the story. Well, if this was a huge Hollywood flick like, say, Ocean’s Twelve, it could convince real stars to play themselves in absurd scenarios, but this is a low-budget TV spin-off so it has to rely on C-listers (Elizabeth Perkins, Corey Pearson) pretending to be big stars.
Thankfully, the filmmakers had the good idea to have Jiminy Glick go to the Toronto International Film Festival and by actually shooting much of the movie during the fest, they were able to get plenty of spontaneous red carpet cameos from Whoopi Goldberg, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon, Sharon Stone, the Kiefer and others. Martin Short also called in favors from Steve Martin (his “¡Three Amigos!” co-star) and Kurt Russell (his “Captain Ron” co-star), who appear in longer sit-down interviews.
So “Jiminy Glick in Lalawood” is a mixed bag. The poking fun at movie stars stuff is mostly funny, but the filler scenes with his burping, farting, chain-smoking, pill-popping wife Dixie (Jan Hooks) fall flat. As mentioned, the fake celebrities are lame, but the fake movies they appear in (“Growing Up Gandhi”, in which a young Gandhi goes into the ring à la “Raging Bull”; “Queens of Africa”, a lesbian twist on “The African Queen”) are kinda amusing, if not as hysterical as the ones in UHF. One thing I did love unconditionally is Martin Short’s impersonation of David Lynch, who pops in through the film to ramble about “the darkness of the unknown” and people going onto “a dark road” that “drives the innocent to corruption”.
“Jiminy Glick in Lalawood” is probably not worth seeing in theaters, but it’ll be good for a few laughs on DVD or when it inevitably shows up in heavy rotation on Comedy Central.