Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Stephen Adly Guirgis, Tim Allen, Andy Borowitz, W. Bruce Cameron, David Cross
Directors: Kyle LaBrache, Chris Bradley
Genres: Comedy, Television, Documentary
When actress Annabelle Gurwitch was fired from a play by Woody Allen, she wondered how she would cope with being downsized by a cultural icon. Turning to friends in show business she was assured she was not alone. Fired! f... more »
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K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 04/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Actress/comedienne Annabelle Gurwitch has made a nice little career for herself from being fired. Unceremoniously dumped from a Woody Allen play for appearing to be "retarded," Gurwitch has channeled this negative experience into new creative processes. "Fired!" is a semi-documentary that is the culmination of this event--a chance for her to expand upon this one incident and to reveal universal truths behind the repercussions of being abandoned by your job. In this wildly uneven film, Gurwitch does manage to amuse with stories from the entertainment community. However, when trying to relate to the real world, the results are decidedly mixed.
First, the good. Gurwitch is an appealing personality and an engaging host. Even in forced situations, she's a likable presence. Gurwitch has many friends in the entertainment community (mostly comedic actors) and their stories provide genuine amusement. She even put together a stage show where her friends shared their experiences with a live audience. It looks like great fun, and if Gurwitch had stayed focused on these elements--"Fired!" might have been a rousing success.
Now, the not-so-good. "Fired!" doesn't really know what it wants to be. There are quite a few comedy bits inserted into the film that undermine the documentary feel. From the staged recreation of Woody Allen letting her go, to David Cross' phony advice which leads to a self indulgent skit, to a bizarrely unnecessary romp with Andy Dick serving food--Gurwitch wants to appeal to everyone. That's fine, I suppose--but the tone of the piece shifts all over the place. From Dick's outrageousness in a contrived setup to the plight of the autoworkers facing mass layoffs--that is a huge leap. In the serious bits, Gurwitch does well interviewing professionals about the psychological implications of being let go. One on one, she's fine. But other times, she inserts herself into real situations that seem inappropriate. Attending class to help individuals transition into new professions, her Woody Allen story seems trite compared to people who might be having actual problems.
Overall, "Fired!" is pleasant enough. If Gurwitch had limited her scope to the entertainment industry, she might have crafted an uproarious and fun film. But by venturing into the real world, the film falters. It's still watchable--it just isn't as enlightening as it seems to think it is. KGHarris, 04/07."
Fired is a winning doc you should hire.
Aronous Q. Monous | Land Of M | 09/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fired is funny, sincere, unpretencious and entertaining as is its star and producer, Annabelle Gurwtich."
Funny take on a serious theme
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 08/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
They say that when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade. Well, that's pretty much what actress/comedienne Annabelle Gurwitch did when she was summarily fired from a Woody Allen play. She turned her experience first into a successful stage show, and then into a feature-length documentary, appropriately entitled "Fired!"
Gurwitch uses this film not merely as therapy for herself but as a means of comforting other people who have experienced the same situation. In wildly funny terms, the filmmaker reenacts the euphoric moment when she first heard that she had been hired by the great director, then the personally devastating scene when she was dismissed from the production, and finally the initial dark days of depression immediately following the canning. She then chronicles the proactive steps she took to convert her sour experience into a sweet-tasting personal triumph. After seeking solace and advice from an assortment of friends, therapists and clergy (also reenacted here), she decided to delve into other people's stories about being fired and to use them as material for a stand-up comedy stage show of which she herself was the host. When that turned out to be a hit, Gurwitch decided to make a documentary film about the experience.
In the movie, she interviews well-known comic celebrities such as Fred Willard, Anne Meara, Tim Allen, Andy Dick, Illeana Douglas and others on their experiences of losing a job and provides snippets of her stage show as well. She also sets up a booth at a local job fair to hear the firing stories of some of the people there. Towards the end of the movie, Gurwitch launches her own Michael Moore-style investigation into some of the dismissal practices of massive corporations like GM, and interviews people whose job it is to "soften the blow" of firing.
With this small but entertaining film, Gurwitch and her comic buddies gently apply the healing balm of laughter to one of the most painful aspects of human life."
Fun with human resources
Flipper Campbell | Miami Florida | 06/11/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"By now, all corners of the universe have been notified that actress Annabelle Gurwitch got the sack from Woody Allen, who said of her performance: "You look retarded." Gurwitch used her humiliation as inspiration for an off-off-Broadway event, a book and this movie.
"Fired!" is a pretty good film about bad life experiences. Mostly, Gurwitch wanders around interviewing the famous (Sarah Silverman, Tim Allen) and the unknown about what it's like being terminated and surviving. The best bit for me was when she shoots hoops with a former human resources exec, who reveals a few dirty secrets and explains why you're cooked when the words "As you know ... " come out.
The extras are more of the same, nothing special. Audio and video are OK for a low-budget effort."