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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Prairie Home’ cracks up listeners

    Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan sing their hearts out while Garrison Keilllor watches on in A Prarie Home Companion, a film about the decay of the decay of the radio show era.  You know its gonna be a good time when Lohan is involved. Like when it snows all year round.
    Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan sing their hearts out while Garrison Keilllor watches on in “”A Prarie Home Companion,”” a film about the decay of the decay of the radio show era. You know it’s gonna be a good time when Lohan is involved. Like when it snows all year ’round.

    In a world where iPods, satellite radio and XM radio rule our ears, can people even remember a time when families would sit around the old radio and listen to AM and FM? Director Robert Altman realizes this and addresses the death of the radio era in “”A Prairie Home Companion.””

    “”A Prairie Home Companion”” begins with an end. Garrison Keillor’s live radio show, not only the music, but also the commercials, is coming to a finish after 30 years. The radio’s home has been bought out by a big Texas business that’s threatening to turn the theater into a parking lot.

    Like the old adage though, the show must go on. Cast members reminisce tearfully backstage about how they got involved with the show, while onstage none of the performers seem to want to admit that this is the last show. The Johnson sisters (Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin) continue to sing their old songs about their mother and the gospel, and the old trailhands (Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly) still have more than one dirty song up their sleeve. Like Garrison Keillor says, “”every show’s your last show,”” so the ensemble tries to go out on a high note.

    Although the subject seems to be a little gloomy, the script is anything but. With such a great ensemble of actors, the humor is right on the mark. Kevin Kline, playing the radio show’s security guard, narrates the movie with a dry wit that makes punch lines far more hilarious.

    Lowdown

    A Prairie Home Companion

    PG-13
    105 min. Picturehouse
    8/10

    Harrelson and Reilly provide the other side of the spectrum with dirty jokes. This film offers both high brow and a more low class of humor, but both will crack you up. They’re all amazing at keeping a straight face even during hilariously wacky Norwegian fish commercials.

    Although most might consider having such a star cast a bonus, “”A Prairie Home Companion”” almost gets bogged down by having too many characters. Altman constantly switches back and forth between all the different actors and their storylines, so viewers come in halfway through a conversation and story. As a result, the backgrounds of the characters are never elaborated nor are their plots ever fully fleshed out. It’s quite frustrating, and some of the actors do no live up to their fullest potentials. Maya Rudolph, one of the most hilarious comedians on “”Saturday Night Live,”” is just stuck in the background as an assistant and most of her lines only consist of telling people to hurry up and get on stage. With too many actors, Altman has trouble using them all to their potentials.

    Watching how hilarious a live radio show of “”A Prairie Home Companion”” can be really makes me wish there was more shows like this jammed between urban hip-hop and the Top 40 mix. At least there is justice in the world – the real “”Prairie Home Companion”” is alive and kicking on public radio and well worth a listen if it’s anything at all like the film.

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