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This is Spinal Tap (1984)

There’s a thing that happens to comedies in retrospect – a kind of bell curve of subtlety. As a particular joke gets reiterated, later versions go further and further into extremity and absurdity. This Is Spinal Tap, when held up next to the variety of movies it inspired, feels calm, almost restrained. But there’s value to that subtlety; Spinal Tap works as a satire of bands and a satire of movies about bands, both of which deserve all the satire they get. So many of its jokes have entered the common vocabulary. Its techniques of improvisational dialogue and documentary-style shooting and editing where copied but never surpassed. And the fictional band actually went out on tour, which is both maybe the biggest compliment you can pay the film and also ineffably weird.

1h 25m / R / Comedy-Musical
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