Re-confirming Christopher Guest as the most imitated American filmmaker by other American filmmakers, "Memron" is a mockumentary of the Enron scandal. Pic takes cues from Guest's playbook. Thesps overdo the mock-comedy, and narrative thread is nearly lost by helmer Nancy Hower and co-writer Robert Hickey. Aud prize at Slamdance won't tweak pic's thin commercial options, but fest interest should be strong.

Re-confirming Christopher Guest as the most imitated American filmmaker by other American filmmakers, “Memron” is a flaccid mockumentary spoof of the Enron scandal and downsized workers desperate for work. Pic takes many cues from Guest’s playbook — from ensemble-style improv and quirky characters to the one-beat-too-long editing approach. Thesps have a knack for overdoing the mock-comedy, and narrative thread is nearly lost altogether by helmer Nancy Hower and co-writer Robert Hickey. Aud prize at Slamdance won’t tweak pic’s thin commercial options, but fest interest should be strong.

As Memron CEO Ken Clay (Michael McShane) cools his heels in prison, a group from 60,000 laid-off employees attend a job seminar entitled “Where Is My Parachute?” which resembles a therapy session for hysterical, infantilized adults. Spurred by group member Carl (John Lehr), they hatch an idea to form a company selling packages containing clean air. But hot air is what constitutes much of this comedy, which constantly meanders off-track into unfunny detours.

Memron

Production

A Crewless Prods. presentation. Produced by Robert Hickey, Nancy Hower, Evie Peck. Executive producer, Craig Spitzer. Directed by Nancy Hower. Screenplay, Robert Hickey, Hower; story, Hower.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Hower; editor, Hickey, Hower; music, Steven Argila. Reviewed on videodisc, Los Angeles, Feb. 11, 2004. (In Slamdance Film Festival -- competing.) Running time: 79 MIN.

With

Christopher Liam Moore, Chris Wells, John Lehr, Jeff Hayenga, Mary Pat Gleason, Tim Bagley, Shirley Prestia, Susan Saunders, David Wiater, Evie Peck, Michael McShane, Claire Forlani, Kirk Ward, Joey Slotnick, Pat Crawford Brown. (English, Italian dialogue)
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