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The Big Picture (1989)

maverickEpisode 202 begins our pairing of "Movies About Movies," whether that be making them, appreciating them, or loving them the way we do! First up, it's director Christopher Guest's first feature film, 1989's "The Big Picture." Written by Guest, Michael Varhol, and Michael McKean, the story follows award-winning (in school) director Nick Chapman, newly graduated, entering the hard-to-navigate waters of the Hollywood film system. This is made all the more difficult by a couple of sharks in those waters, producer Allen Habel (J.T. Walsh) and selfishly avaricious actress Gretchen (Teri Hatcher in her first big-screen role). Their influence has Nick losing his girlfriend Susan (Emily Longstreth) and his best friend Emmet (Michael McKean), until a chance re-meeting with film school buddy Lydia (Jennifer Jason Leigh) sets him on a path that, strangely enough, guides him back to his roots. A film that roasts Hollywood even as it's saluting it and playing with its traditions and behaviors, plus a plethora of cameos!

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