The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion
Picture & Television Producers are still at an impasse in their mediated
talks. A strike – as early as tomorrow – is a real possibility.
If that happens, movies shouldn’t be noticeably affected
until next year, since the scripts for films already in production are
obviously completed. Still, now is a good time to start appreciating unscripted cinema.
The films of Mike Leigh (High
Hopes, Life is Sweet, Secrets and Lies) are a good place to
start. The award-winning British
director often works from a general plot idea and has his actors rehearse for
extended periods, improvising dialog as they prepare their roles.
After the jump, a few more mostly unscripted suggestions.
For something lighter, any of the films directed by
Christopher Guest and starring his core repertory of actors would be a fine
choice: Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind or For Your
One of the funniest films ever to rely heavily on ad libbed
dialog – also featuring Guest – is the hilarious 1984 mock-rock-documentary This Is Spinal Tap, which traced some of
the darker days of the fictitious heavy metal band.
Blackballed: The Bobby
Dukes Story is a pseudo-documentary about a disgraced paintball champion,
in the tradition of sports comeback comedies like Talladega Nights and Major
League. It’s also largely improvised
and stars Rob Corddry, late of "The Daily Show."
And of course there’s always Jackass: The Movie and Jackass
Number Two, but fingers crossed for a speedy resolution to the WGA/AMPTP standoff so it doesn’t come to that.