Welcome back to The Watchlist. Where I finally watch the messy sock drawer that is my Netflix Watchlist, because if I don’t watch it then Who Watches The Netflix Watchlist?
I was so excited for this movie. Netflix gave it the Netflix advertising treatment, aka making it my recommended movie and putting it’s promo banner at the top of everything. Well it worked my benevolent movie overlords. I watched it and I want more. More depth. More heart. Less schtick. But this is a movie about Mascotting, so I’m probably asking for too much.
The focal point of the movie is the Fluffy Awards. Where the name of the award is also the name of a sexual fetish, and yes there is a running joke about it. Which isn’t as funny as it could have been. So as we learn about the awards we get a series of vignettes from each mascot. What this turns into is a scattershot of great character work. Park Posey is a stand out with Alvin the Armadillo.
Her story eventually becomes the story of the big-hearted artist that is just misunderstood by the scene. Her performance is a modern dance piece that won Honorable Mention last awards. Another stand out is Christopher Moynihan as the Plumber who tries to woo his high school crush by performing at the school she works for.
It goes over as well as a Mascot routine at a school for the blind. Which leads to the genius behind this movie. Visually, this is the ambrosia for physical comedy. In the wrong hands it would turn into bad slapstick, but in the hands of these accomplished comedians and Christopher Guest, the physical comedy speaks to the character of each mascot. Just look at The Fist. The bad boy of Mascotting who the crowd loves, but the Judges hate. His show ends with the baddest of bad boy moments.
Fuck the system, man. Yet, with all this juicy character mascotting gold, the movie felt more like a pilot than a self contained movie. I would have liked to see these characters more in-depth, or something. Christopher Guest is a brilliant director who directed the great Best In Show. This movie takes most of it’s structure from it. What it’s lacking is a realism. Which maybe fuck it, let’s just be silly. But these actors can do so much, and if there’s one thing we need it’s a movie that can show not only the humor in ridiculous people, but the humanity.
At the end Parker Posey’s character is working at a retirement home for Mascots, and one of the mascots died. She goes on to say that he died, not the mascot, “mascots never die, it’s just an outfit.” This is the truth, the beauty, the silly pathology that these characters must face, and how true it is in our own lives. We are preforming in our meat-suits every day, it’s just an outfit, but we die, so let’s dance around as a giant fist for a little bit. That’s what this movie could have been, but instead it’s a fun romp around in a silly world.
Submitted by Kevin Cucolo