49th Film of 2009
Landis follows a "mercenary car salesman" and his partners on a trip to Memphis, Tennessee to shift as many cars at a local dealership. Their business is traveling the country as "top salesmen" - selling large quantities of cars at dealerships that, for various reasons, desperately need to get cars off their lot and a temporary sales boost.
The main subject, Michael, is one of the most interesting documentary subjects I've seen and his personality not only carries the movie, but also creates plot where there is simply life being lived. His two friends, try to keep him out of trouble, being a hyperactive alcoholic with a loud mouth that he runs as fast as top sports car, as well as having several other unique traits that I can't peg as I'm not a psychologist.
Besides his "lead", Landis is able to capture a portrait of lower class and middle class America in poorer cities. There are some tear-tugging moments, both out of laughter and sympathy.
Landis said he had trouble working with a doc crew because he is used to setting up shots as opposed to just shooting (and disregarding things like other camera operators or crew members in a shot). However, Landis does get some of his desired set-up shots, and they look just as great as his studio work, but is more powerful in my opinion because of the catching content and the serendipitous execution of documentary.
John Landis' best since Coming To America (Though that's not saying much come to think of it)