From director Rob Reiner, a man whose filmography is filled with such dramatic, serious pieces, such as Misery, and lighter-hearted films, such as When Harry Met Sally, comes a masterpiece of rock/mock/doc-umentary that chronicles the trials and tribulations of a struggling rock band’s US tour, This is Spinal Tap. Well, look at that! I done a proper, original, sophisticated intro! That’s a first! Crack open the booze! Except I’m 14. So put that booze away and let’s do some reviewing, yeah?
In all seriousness, or silliness depending on how you see it, Spinal Tap does actually chronicle the trials and tribulations of a struggling rock band’s US tour. However, the aforementioned “trials and tribulations” are more in the realm of “your album cover is sexist” than “my father doesn’t love me”. Reiner, as well as directing, stars as Marty DiBergi, the director of the “documentary”, so he just plays himself, basically. He follows Derek Smalls, Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins as they release their new album “Smell the Glove”, which I can solemnly say is one of the best things to name something in the history of humankind, and go on their first US tour in six years to promote it, a tour that seems to prove fateful to the future of the band, that’s all I’m going to say.
Immediately, you can see why this is one of the most highly regarded comedy films of all time, along with Life of Brian or Caddyshack, due to the incredibly smart writing. The dialogue between the characters is surreal, almost as if they have left our philosophical realm, or off their tits. All of this is delivered in a deadpan way from every single one of actors, especially the three leads, making the film’s realism that much more apparant. Saying that, every single piece of it is utterly ridiculous. However, it is said in such a serious way that you feel uncomfortable when you laugh, like not listening to a conversation and accidently laughing when someone mentions that their grandfather died.
Before we continue, I won’t go on about how this is a “cult classic” because I feel it to be irrelevant, and I hate irrelevance, and staying on topic, that was a joke, m’kay?
The film is done in segments, each seperated by a musical performance. These songs are all ridiculously lewd and are legendary in their own right, even more impressive considering that each of the actors played their instruments, something that is becoming more common in modern cinema with films like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and, more recently, Miles Teller in Whiplash. Returning to topic, begrudingly (get it? Because the joke earlier said that I didn’t like staying on topic, contrasting the fact that I hate irrelevance, therefore making me a hypocrite), there aren’t many songs on the soundtrack by Spinal Tap, I, approxmately, counted five, maybe? However, each one is mind-numbingly awesome. From Sex Farm to Big Bottom, the lyrics are pretty samey, containing many a euphemism for male gentalia, the music in itself is pretty samey. Although this may seem like a critique, that is not the case, as this “samey” is a fusion of the tastiest guitar riffs and masterful singing. This could turn into a music review, it won’t.
To conclude, This is Spinal Tap is a quote-slinging, sexually… inventive comedy with a lasting impression that will grip you until you watch it again, which you probably will.
87/110 (Get it? ‘Cause of the quotes)
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations