This is Spinal Tap - 1984
Rob Reiner’s This is Spinal Tap, is the mockumentary of England’s loudest rock-band and that’s pretty much all you need to know. While this movie was written, and directed by Reiner, much of the scenes dialogues were improvised by the actors (Michael McKean, Christopher Guest ad Harry Shearer) and they are also credited as writers of the movie. This makes the mockumentary feel like it’s a real documentary, to the point that it fooled many viewers into believing they were a real-life rock-band (including Ozzy Osbourne).
Rob Reiner also stars as Marty DiBergi a documentarian following the band on their (unsuccessful) tour of the states. His job is to maintain his stars in somewhat of a story structure, while allowing them to take the scene wherever they think it’s the funniest outcome. The best example of this is during the part of the interview they are recalling their previous drummers and the circumstances of their untimely deaths.
Spinal Tap is also one of the most quotable movie of all time, there are so many scenes that cinephiles across the globe quote in their day to day lives. My favorites being “You can’t really dust for vomit”, after describing how one of the drummers died and “This piece is called ‘Lick my Love Pump’”, after playing a beautiful melody on the piano. Obviously, I can’t go on and on about how quotable this movie and not mentioned the famous line of “But this one goes to eleven”, when showcasing how loud the volume settings are on their amps.
This movie is not only funny through the dialogue and the crazy scenarios that occur to the band, it’s also funny through the music. They produced so many hilarious songs to be feature both in their live concerts and in the flashbacks to their on-TV appearances. My personal favorite being “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight”. You can showcase any of their songs (Stonehenge being the go-to performance), but I want to highlight “Big Bottom”, because this is the one that by far makes me laugh the most.
Now regarding to how real this movie feels thanks to the natural performances from the stars, there are many rock-stars (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Dee Snider among many others) that didn’t find it funny since it hit too close to home. I read an interview from Tom Waits in where he describes how the realism of the movie made him cry. This interviews and points of views, shocked me since I had always watched this movie as a complete exaggeration (in a satirical way) of what a rock-star’s life can be.
This movie is so freaking funny, that while I was writing-up this review I couldn’t stop laughing recalling all the things I wanted to highlight. This movie review is one of my shortest since, I can’t honestly find fresh ways to keep saying how funny this movie is, it’s just funny through and through. This is the type of humor that I like the most and it has inspired countless more in the same vein (Best in Show and What we do in the Shadows to name at least two), and this is why I love movies.
This is Spinal Tap is currently streaming on Netflix, and you should watch it!
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