By Rob Scherf
While some would call the mockumentary outmoded or downright obsolete, several films over the last few festival cycles (Fubar being chief among them) have proven the old gal still got some life left. The immediacy of a single camera and smart script can affect audiences by blurring the line between reality and fiction.
Or they can take the Memron route. The unfortunate offspring of alternated viewings of Best in Show and last summer’s CNN headlines, Nancy Hower’s first feature is a muddled take on corporate excess seen from the bottom. It’s what Michael Moore’s Roger & Me would have been if conceptualized by the writing staff of Mad TV.
When the multibillion dollar conglomerate Memron (get it?) finds itself in serious financial trouble, its employees are deployed to “Where’s my Parachute?” seminars to coax them into questioning their next career choices.
What could have been a lighthanded take on the absence of capital freedom in the modern world quickly disintegrates into anything but subtle. Howard is much more happy to let her cast of annoying one-note characters interact than actually moving the plot. The film’s scenarios are staged so loosely they feel like the setups for high-school improv night
Puerile late-nite sketch show fodder is best confined to television, international film festivals.