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Fired!

14 customer reviews

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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.

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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

None.

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
  • ASIN: B000MRNWQK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,125 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fired!" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on August 2, 2007
Format: DVD
***1/2

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 Ronald Scheer on September 29, 2007
Format: DVD
A comic tribute to a not-so-funny subject. Annabelle Gurwitch gets people to tell their getting fired stories, and when they are stories about crappy jobs and insufferable employers, it's pretty funny. When it gets serious (people with long-term jobs getting cast off in corporate reorgs while the execs get big bonuses), it's out of its depth. It isn't always the case that losing a job means you're in the wrong one, as Gurwitch seems to believe, yet she includes no stories of those whose lives crashed and burned and never recovered after getting a pink slip.

That caveat aside, there are many laughs to be had in this documentary, and they are often exhilarating. Celebrity interviews include Anne Meara, Jeff Garlin, Tim Allen, and Harry Shearer. Meanwhile, the DVD includes more than an hour's worth of out takes, to show that you can't really exhaust the subject. Should be required viewing for anyone going through job loss; it cuts the trauma down to size.
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FIRED : as a documentary it is poorly structured, as an entertainment work is worthless ( you see a few great answers and fewer comedians ) You will get some "chicken soup for the soul" if you are a member of older generation and go through a painful misunderstanding of loss of employment, but like Christ said in the film,in a younger generation, they expect to have that experience 2-3 times in their life time. 3 stars because of the beneficial effect that it has on healing the feeling of anger in certain groups of people.
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Ruined, the movie was just ruined by that incessant ragtime piano washing out the voices. This might have made more manageable with the help of sub-titles. But... oops, no sub-titles?

Didn't someone involved with this project speak up and say, "You shouldn't have music playing when people are speaking. Especially when the voices were recorded live, on location. Passing trucks, in particular. At least use sub-titles."

Anyway, this movie is ruined for me and goodbye to my $2.99.
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