Reiner plays documentarian Marty DiBergi, following the band on its latest (and probably last) American tour. He interviews the band members, travels on the road with them and captures their "magic" on stage, mixing in clips from their various past incarnations. David St Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel and Derek Smalls (McKean, Guest and Shearer) are struggling to keep it together, but continue trying to please their dwindling fan base while their agent (Hendra) and David's interfering girlfriend (Chadwick) wage all-out war. And their current drummer (Parnell) awaits his doom, like so many who have gone before him.
Quite simply, this rough little film verges on sheer perfection--both as dead-on parody and affectionate homage. There are more classic moments than I can begin to list here; this is definitely one for the home video library, although seeing it on the big screen again is bliss. Reiner shot days worth of footage, like a real documentary, and then edited the film expertly. There's a sublime sense of comic timing in the way it's assembled, and the dialog is so painfully hilarious that we expect the actors to break character in every scene. But they never do. The result is that, while we laugh at the comic invention, we also end up caring for these guys. And when the film wins our affection, we simply never want it to end. Come on, just one little reunion for the fans. Mick Jagger and Diana Ross are still out there ... but we want Tap!
[15--themes, language] 6.Sep.00
US reissue 8.Sep.00; UK reissue 13.Oct.00
HOME | AWARDS | READER REVIEWS | Q&A | ABOUT | TALKBACK