Fired! Movie Review

My wife put it pretty aptly when we were watching Fired!: Annabelle Gurwitch must think getting fired is a whole lot more interesting than it really is.

Fired! sounds like a decent enough idea: After being fired from a Woody Allen play (poor baby!), Gurwitch found herself despairing to the point where she had to write a book about it. I guess if Woody Allen said my acting was on par with being "retarded," I'd be bummed too.

But to go along with her book (and a spoken word stage production), Gurwitch and directors Chris Bradley and Kyle LaBrache tape the confessions of her friends and various random people, all of whom have also been fired, in order to work out some of her angst and pain. The stories are often insidery: Many Hollywood types fired from whatever show for whatever reason, the kind of stuff that won't resonate with many in the viewing audience. However, these are the more amusing parts of the 71-minute film.

The movie really starts to bog down when Gurwitch tries to pull a Michael Moore, "investigating" (a term I use very loosely) layoffs in Lansing, Michigan by GM, talking to a woman who was fired because she was a smoker, and doing a kind of silly expose on outplacement services and job counseling. Most of these are used as platforms for Gurwitch to insert a punch line somewhere. Some of it's funny. And there are lots of awkward reaction shots of Gurwitch, usually grimacing or making some bizarrely perplexed face. Her narration is enough so you don't forget she's there; I'm not sure why there was a constant need for having her mug in the camera.

Fired! has its moments, thanks to some natural comedians like Andy Dick and David Cross, but it also contains one of the most accurate, incisive explanations of what human resources is that I've ever heard. (It goes something like "Employees thought we were their friend to talk to if they had a problem with management. But we work for management, and our job was really to tell them about the problem employees." Ouch!)

Fired! is short enough not to be a miserable time, but it's repetitive and fluffy, despite its attempts to be original and insightful. But luckily for Gurwitch you can't get fired from a direct-to-DVD release.

The DVD includes mumerous outtakes not used in the film.


Fired! Rating

" Weak "

Rating: NR, 2007


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