Road to Nashville Reviews
Comedy represents the film's downfall, however; if only the Osbornes acted as the only foils for the more "serious" scenes. Instead we're stuck with Colonel Feetlebaum (Doodles Weaver), the most incompetent A&R man ever to work in the music industry. The Colonel has been tasked by his beleaguered boss (Richard Arlen) with recruiting country musicians to appear in a concert film. Ignorant of the business, Feetlebaum bumbles his way around a music studio meeting a who's-who of the industry's best.
Weaver plays Feetlebaum as sort of a cross between a poor man's Red Skelton and all of the Ritz Brothers thrown together. Suffice to say he's incredibly annoying, his shtick forming not only the entirety of the scenes linking one performance to another but also random, completely unnecessary cutaways during the musical sequences. These latter portions usually consist of Weaver looking like a moron and dancing about to the music and/or disrupting goings-on in the recording booths by treating the equipment like accoutrements in his own personal sitting room.
It's a shame "Nashville" used this framing device as it's completely unnecessary. Feetlebaum is an absolute waste, his primary purpose consisting of an overlong dig at "Colonel" Tom Parker along with his Wendell Corey-esque mugging. Furthermore, Weaver's comedic style doesn't even gel with the tone of the rest of the movie; the film's use of country humor among its Nashville stars feels genuine, a traditional mix of folksiness and tongue-in-cheek wit. Because the rest of the film's stars are genuine Nashville icons, and Weaver is an oaf wandering in from out of town, the contrast is even more jarring and unpleasant.