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Fired! (Unrated)





Release Date: February 2nd, 2007 (Village East Cinemas) by International Film Circuit / Shout Factory.
Directed by Chris Bradley and Kyle La Brache.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about the consequences of getting fired and downsized in America. Based on the book and off-Broadway show by Annabelle Gurwitch.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Annabelle Gurwitch had once been in a play by Woody Allen when he called her a ďretarded actressĒ right before firing her. She reenacts this scene with Andy Dick, who does a funny impression of Woody Allen. Instead of sinking into depression and whining a time, she decided to ask her Hollywood friends for interesting stories of how they got fired. These friends include Illeana Douglas, Sarah Silverman, David Cross, Harry Shearer, Fred Willard, Richard Kind, Jeff Garlin, Tim Allen and Andy Dick. Douglas describes how she got fired from being a coat-checker while Garlin explains how he nonchalantly fired his workers. Andy Dick has a few moments to shine such as a wildly imaginative puppet show while Sarah Silverman and Fred Willard donít show up enough on screen to show off their comic talents. She includes some footage from a monologue show she put on with some of her friends who share their stories, which they awkwardly read from a sheet of paper as if they canít memorize them. This off-Broadway show opened to bad reviews which should have signaled to Gurwitch that she needs to find better material. Unfortunately, Gurwitch doesnít include enough provocative or funny interviews and includes too much of her herself in them. She tries unsuccessfully to be funny when she should be serious and should ask more probing, focused questions, especially during interviews with her rabbi, economist Ben Stein, and a woman who was fired for being a smoker. Despite a few moments of hilarity, the humor in Fired! too often falls flat while the interviews simply donít have enough surprises.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none, other than the obvious fact that everyone gets fired at some point in their life for any reason. They must simply learn from their mistakes, perhaps even laugh at them and just find a new job.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Unfocused and not enough insight.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4

IN A NUTSHELL: Sporadically funny, unfocused and not provocative or insightful enough.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV


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