I read Fired!, by actress Annabelle Gurwitch, when it first came out in print. Loved it. What’s not to love about a woman who goes on record admitting she got fired from a Woody Allen play for appearing to be "retarded" (according to Allen)?
Unfortunately, what I loved about the book was lost in translation in the film.
Yes, there are lots of famous actors in the film—Tim Allen, Dana Gould and Ben Stein, to name a few—all reminiscing about when they got fired from this or that job, but the rest of the film is a patched together work that includes the weirdly-staged recreation of Woody Allen firing Gurwitch, a bizarre skit based on fake advice, and a far-out Andy Dick in the food service industry.
If the film were supposed to be just a farce, that would be one thing. But to mix anything Andy Dick does with anything trying to be even remotely serious? The result is odd and uncomfortable.
The fact that Gurwitch includes professionals who address the psychological implications of being fired is a nice touch, but it would have fit better had the film taken a more serious tone.
I’ve liked actress/comedienne Gurwitch ever since I caught her on Dinner And A Movie some years back, which she co-hosted. She has a rather impressive resume of bit parts on hit shows such as Boston Legal, Charmed, Suddenly Susan, Seinfeld, Murphy Brown, China Beach and Miami Vice, proving that her acting chops span decades.
Fired! is presented in non-anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen, and as some scenes are crisp and others not so much, it has a very documentary vibe. Sound is offered in Dolby 2.0 stereo with no subtitles, which isn’t great for the hard of hearing such as myself. The extras are 22 outtakes and a bonus Jeff Garlin clip.
Gurwitch is very funny and she’s got lots of funny friends, most of whose stories may or may not be relatable. But if you have to choose between the film and the book, this Fired! supports the age-old theory that the book is always better than the movie.Powered by Sidelines