Mockumentarian extraordinaire Christopher Guest has a new work in the can: Mascots. It’s the first feature film he has written in a decade, and a return to form. The lackluster For Your Consideration in 2006 dropped the mockumentary format that he was known for through the successes of This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind and (my favorite) Best in Show.
The mockumentary style is back in Mascots, along with many of Guest’s favorite actors, including Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Ed Begley Jr., Parker Posey and Fred Willard. As usual, Willard is playing a bumbling ass, and based on one clip, we can assume there will be no shortage of skin-crawlingly awkward moments with him.
From the trailer, however, it looks like Posey will be the more central figure. She’s on a path to redemption at the “Fluffies,” the most prestigious award a mascot can obtain. Five years before the film, her character Alvin the Armadillo got honorable mention there, which “is like first place, really…but it’s a weird first place.” Her biggest competition appears to the “bad boy of sports mascottery,” The Fist, played by Chris O’Dowd.
Some newer faces for Guest’s roster include Zach Woods (The Office, Silicon Valley) and comedian Brad Williams.
The plot is perfect for Guest, who gets us to laugh and cringe with his oddball characters, not so much at them. We’ll just have to wait and see if he delivers again. The funniest parts of Guest’s films are often the subtlest and don’t work as fodder for the trailer. Hence, most of must reserve judgment until Mascots premieres on Netflix on October 13. (However, if you are attending the BFI London Film Festival, you can catch it a few days earlier, on October 9 and 10. Toronto International Film Festival attendees can see it even earlier, September 10 – 17.)