Starring: Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest
Director: Rob Reiner
Running Time: 82 mins
This Is Spinal Tap is an American film that follows the first last tour of the rock ‘n’ roll band: Spinal Tap, as a mockumentary shot by director, and fan, Marty DeBergi (who’s not a real director. It’s just Rob Reiner).
This film is hilarious! It’s fantastic on a pure laugh-out-loud basis, with some of the most bizarre scenes I’ve ever seen in a comedy film, but it’s also a very cleverly stylised and directed film, shot as a mockumentary that makes it both funnier as well as more interesting and realistic.
Before I get on to how funny this film really is, I’m just going to talk about some of the drier stuff. The documentary-style element is genius on so many levels. Firstly, it somehow makes the lives of these seemingly idiotic rockstars actually quite interesting, as seeing it as a documentary makes you think there’s some intellectual element to it, even though it’s just complete stupidity.
Then, it also makes it seem more realistic. Instead of making you a part of the band, you feel just like an average person looking into the extravagant lifestyles of the band members, and that works very well in adding to the persona of the rockstars, as you don’t sympathise at all with the men, instead see them as deluded and stupid people (which makes it even funnier too).
And then there’s just the complete slapstick element to the whole thing, to make it even more hilarious. It seems preposterous how stupid these people seem, and although it perfectly, and literally, satirises the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, the ridiculously idiotic nature of some of the situations the guys get themselves into is just hilarious.
For example, taking the mick out of the long-held belief that a great deal of rockstars are just pretentious prima donnas is the main core of the comedy in this film, like the fact that the band make amps with dials that literally ‘go up to eleven’, or guys who don’t like it if their toast is smaller than their ham (I don’t know), but all of that complete idiocy is just so side-splittingly funny.
Overall, this gets an 8.4, because it’s not only one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a long while, but is a fantastically well-made and cleverly directed film.