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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When actress Annabelle Gurwitch was fired from a play by Woody Allen, she wondered how she would cope with being downsized by a cultural icon. Turning to friends in show business she was assured she was not alone. Fired! features funny moments and tragic tales with a who’s-who of top-rated comedians and actors.

A first-person documentary about a real-life bummer, Fired! finds actress Annabelle Gurwitch sorting through the phenomenon of losing a job. The impetus for this search? Gurwitch was cast in a Woody Allen play, only to be fired by Allen after rehearsals began. This showbiz stubbed toe inspires Gurwitch to go Michael Moore on the subject, only cuter and pleasanter. She solicits anecdotes from a large pool of comedy buddies, including David Cross, Tim Allen, Sarah Silverman, and Jeff Garlin, and she includes clips from a comedy concert where stand-ups recount their worst job experiences. These are generally pretty funny; less successful are Gurwitch's conceptual ideas, like putting Andy Dick in a traveling food van so that he can bewilder unsuspecting customers. Gurwitch also travels to Lansing, Michigan, interviewing auto workers about their tenuous relationship with a big car company. Surprisingly, she also gets an interview out of former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich--which turns out to be not so surprising when Reich wonders if Gurwitch could maybe help out his son, who's also in show business. Some of this is mildly funny, but as appealing as Gurwitch is (you were wrong, Woody Allen), the movie feels unfocused. Included in the DVD: copious outtakes with more anecdotes from celebs about getting canned. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Stephen Adly Guirgis, Tim Allen, Andy Borowitz, W. Bruce Cameron, David Cross
  • Directors: Kyle LaBrache, Chris Bradley
  • Writers: Annabelle Gurwitch
  • Producers: Annabelle Gurwitch, Richard Foos
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2007
  • Run Time: 71 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,044 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fired!" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on August 2, 2007
Format: DVD

They say that when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade. Well, that's pretty much what actress/comedienne Annabelle Gurwitch did when she was summarily fired from a Woody Allen play. She turned her experience first into a successful stage show, and then into a feature-length documentary, appropriately entitled "Fired!"

Gurwitch uses this film not merely as therapy for herself but as a means of comforting other people who have experienced the same situation. In wildly funny terms, the filmmaker reenacts the euphoric moment when she first heard that she had been hired by the great director, then the personally devastating scene when she was dismissed from the production, and finally the initial dark days of depression immediately following the canning. She then chronicles the proactive steps she took to convert her sour experience into a sweet-tasting personal triumph. After seeking solace and advice from an assortment of friends, therapists and clergy (also reenacted here), she decided to delve into other people's stories about being fired and to use them as material for a stand-up comedy stage show of which she herself was the host. When that turned out to be a hit, Gurwitch decided to make a documentary film about the experience.

In the movie, she interviews well-known comic celebrities such as Fred Willard, Anne Meara, Tim Allen, Andy Dick, Illeana Douglas and others on their experiences of losing a job and provides snippets of her stage show as well. She also sets up a booth at a local job fair to hear the firing stories of some of the people there.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 2, 2007
Format: DVD
Actress/comedienne Annabelle Gurwitch has made a nice little career for herself from being fired. Unceremoniously dumped from a Woody Allen play for appearing to be "retarded," Gurwitch has channeled this negative experience into new creative processes. "Fired!" is a semi-documentary that is the culmination of this event--a chance for her to expand upon this one incident and to reveal universal truths behind the repercussions of being abandoned by your job. In this wildly uneven film, Gurwitch does manage to amuse with stories from the entertainment community. However, when trying to relate to the real world, the results are decidedly mixed.

First, the good. Gurwitch is an appealing personality and an engaging host. Even in forced situations, she's a likable presence. Gurwitch has many friends in the entertainment community (mostly comedic actors) and their stories provide genuine amusement. She even put together a stage show where her friends shared their experiences with a live audience. It looks like great fun, and if Gurwitch had stayed focused on these elements--"Fired!" might have been a rousing success.

Now, the not-so-good. "Fired!" doesn't really know what it wants to be. There are quite a few comedy bits inserted into the film that undermine the documentary feel. From the staged recreation of Woody Allen letting her go, to David Cross' phony advice which leads to a self indulgent skit, to a bizarrely unnecessary romp with Andy Dick serving food--Gurwitch wants to appeal to everyone. That's fine, I suppose--but the tone of the piece shifts all over the place. From Dick's outrageousness in a contrived setup to the plight of the autoworkers facing mass layoffs--that is a huge leap.
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By J. L LaRegina on April 20, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Is the 2007 documentary FIRED! supposed to be about losing one's job for just or unjust reasons, as in stealing from the cash register or discrimination, respectively? Or is this film about being not so much fired, which implies punitive action, and more in the sense of a layoff, where there just isn't enough work for the staff so some are dismissed? Or, is it about losing a job that was going to end anyway, which is the situation that inspires actor Annabelle Gurwitch to make FIRED! after being fired from a play by a famous director, by definition temporary employment?

FIRED! seems to be about all three scenarios though the way it zigs and zags, you may not be sure if that's its purpose. I'm not sure Ms. Gurwitch and her fellow filmmakers have much in mind other than to send her out to talk to anyone who will listen about what happened to her at her acting job. Try talking to everyone about the same topic and you'll get what we see in FIRED!: Some responses are interesting, others aren't. FIRED!'s attempts are humor are less successful.

I wrongly thought FIRED! was going to address the American government's appalling lack of a long overdue (by about 30 years as I write this in 2014) jobs program. However, the closest to anything other than one personal account of unemployment after the next it comes to solutions is interviews with a career counselor and a seminar on jobs (or something) Gurwitch attends where, once again, she tells everyone about being fired from a play by that famous director.
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