?A Prairie Home Companion?, while flawed, is sure to get your toes tapping. In this case, it?s a good thing, considering the fact that there?s an actual movie at work while you?re aching to dance to the music. Strong acting and throughout, genuine entertainment guarantees that ?A Prairie Home Companion? will capture the hearts of many. Sure, it isn?t even close to being a perfect movie, but with music so catchy and an atmosphere so cheery, what?s not to like? Actually, if I said there wasn?t anything to particularly ?dislike? about ?A Prairie Home Companion?, then I would most certainly be lying. This film isn?t always as interesting as it wants to be. But for what it is, it?s a simplistic, cheery, and fun experience none the less. Helmed by the ?legendary? Robert Altman, this is a near-masterful cinematic experience. It is the last film by Altman, and I?m glad to say that it?s a pretty worthy one overall. Sure, it could have hit harder than it does, but it packs a hell of a punch. Well, at least it?s a pretty good punch considering that it?s a film about a radio station. It?s better than it needs to be, thanks to smart direction, strong acting, good humor, and a nice atmosphere. It?s a fun time at the movies, and you?d be a party pooper to complain elsewhere. You?d also be crazy to deny the good time that this film offers. Sure, it?s not for everyone. I imagine that soon will find it to be shallow and nearly tasteless. Some may even find it to lack the humor that it apparently has. See, in some situations you simply need to look at both sides of a situation, and in this case it is a benefit. If you like it, then you like it. If you don?t, then you don?t. But to say it doesn?t have charm is almost a crime. To say that it has charm but it just didn?t work for you would be a smarter (and just overall better) way to put it. Packed with endearing characters all portrayed by a wonderful assemble cast, ?A Prairie Home Companion? is smart, fresh, and funny enough to suffice as solid entertainment.
?A Prairie Home Companion? is a radio show which has long-since been on-going. It has been successful, although a fellow known as ?The Ax-Man? wants to shut it down for good. So we know that much. That?s great. That?s awesome. But what the hell is the actual story about? Well, I?ll tell you what it?s about. For pretty much the whole darned film, we are treated to the last show from these good-natured souls. It is one full of interest, death, humor, and the like. Everyone wants to send their show off with a bang, as well as please ?The Ax-Man?, in hopes of changing his on-sided mind. What matters here is not so much the plot, but rather the characters. Oh, how this film feeds on its characters. You?ve got a likable cast of performers; all who lack depth but instead have unending amounts of charm. You have you cowboy comedians, your sisters, and the daughter of one of the sisters, the host, and some other kind folks who can provide an entertaining listen. Each character tries their hardest to cope with the stress of the grand finale, which is always hard to do. But what?s so darned interesting about a movie where the characters simply sing and converse? Well, I?ll tell you what. The fact that a film about merely a final radio show broadcast can be entertaining throughout is beyond me. Why it was pulled off as well as it is here, I don?t know. Robert Altman must have known his stuff. The film is actually based on an actual radio show of the same name. And what do you know, there?s an actual original member of the REAL show in this film. That would be Garrison Keillor, who also wrote the film. He did well, I guess. While not a film of considerable depth, this is a simplistic and fun watch. It is elevated by catchy music and overall solid filmmaking, even if it is an imperfect film. In the end, I guess it?s not all that memorable, but it?s a good watch anyways. Well worth your time, whether you?re a genuine party pooper or not.
Garrison Keillor returns to the world of ?A Prairie Home Companion?, this time starring in a film about the infamous radio show. He?s as wonderful as you could imagine in his role. I mean, he knows himself like no other person does. Therefore, I think that?s precisely why he was able to portray himself so well. And that?s not all for good performances. Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly literally play ?the singing cowboys? of the show. I can?t say I?m particular surprised on Harrelson?s part. I mean, he looks pretty damn good in one of those old cowboy hats. It just?it suits him right. Reilly isn?t too shabby either when he?s donning a ten gallon hat. Meryl Streep plays the same potentially funny character that she always does, and as always, she does it well. Lindsay Lohan is also in this movie, and (surprise, surprise) she?s not all that special. Needless to say, this IS a pretty big improvement on her other films within her career, most of which have been rather bad. Lily Tomlin provides her comedic charm to a role in this film, with glorious results. Tommy Lee Jones is still a fairly intimidating badass, and Kevin Kline plays a guy whose name is an obvious reference to the film noir. Then there?s a pretty huge supporting cast, all of whom I will not name. So there, at least you have a little more to work off of when you rent this film (if you rent it at all).
This film has a limited, but substantial amount of raw charm. It benefits from that charm consistently throughout without completely relying on it for help when things get border-line ugly. I like how the film kept a simplistic tone while telling a suitably simplistic tale of a radio show?s last broadcast. The film has a sort of atmosphere to it, which I seriously adored. My toes were tapping, and I was smiling, at least when the film called for it. We have a truly winning original soundtrack to thank for that, which has a handful of playful, upbeat tunes to it. There?s also a solid amount of somewhat well-being humor to this film. The film is not meant to be consistently funny, but it has plenty of PRETTY darn funny moments. Emphasis on the ?pretty? because none of it is truly hilarious, but it made me laugh when it wanted me to. The film doesn?t sport a particularly unique or interesting visual style, but it?s not too shabby. It looks as good as most 2006 films should, and for that I can be glad. Sadly, it?s not as good as some films in 2006. It?s not one of the best films of the year, in my opinion, but rather one of the most purely enjoyable (upbeat) ones. It?s fun to watch and simple enough to follow. It should entrance most viewers with its seductive, innocent charm. It?s like Pirate Radio except not as awesome, meaning (of course) that it?s got ?a good beat and you can dance to it?. Indeed you can.
Enjoyable and suitably average as far as films go; ?A Prairie Home Companion? could have easily gone both ways. It could have been either much better of must worse, although for the shape that it?s in, it?s doing pretty darn well. The jokes are never offensive and the music never fails to impress. Why, I wouldn?t be surprised if this film inspired a play based on the film?s central plot. I?d like to see it whether it happens or not. Unlike most partial musicals on film, this is a movie meant to inspire a musical rather than based on a musical meant to inspire a film. With that being said, that doesn?t make the film unique. However, I still felt that it was very pleasant to watch and just plain entertaining for the most part. Grouches will despise it, and the severely depressed will resent themselves for watching it. However, optimists will surely love it and anyone else will most likely enjoy themselves at least mildly. None the less, this is a pretty good film. It?s entertaining, well acted, humorous, and uplifting. For what it is, I?d say it?s pretty damn good. And that?s good enough for me.