Me & Michael Willard Morgan

Me & Michael Willard Morgan
I had hoped that this film might have been an incisive critique of the left’s most overrated spokesman, or at least some kind of right-wing diatribe I could take a stand against. Imagine my surprise to discover the self-absorbed ramblings of a fifth-rate comedian "seeking a mentor and finding myself.” The comic in question is Willard Morgan, who’s spun the Hollywood wheel of fortune and come up empty-handed; he shoots a documentary after starring in a short that made it to Sundance and decides that this might be the niche he’s been looking for. But he needs to get a foot in the door and arbitrarily decides that Michael Moore is going to be it. The thing is, Moore doesn’t know it and actually becomes rather unnerved when Morgan follows him everywhere with camera in tow. The auteur/star doesn’t get that he’s an obnoxious pest — like scores of other failed entertainers, Willard’s oblivious to the idea that he’s not automatically entitled to fame and riches and thus feels that someone ought to grant him the goodies free of charge. It doesn’t work that way and while there are meagre amounts of irony involved in his Roger and Me-esque chasing of Moore, they’re overshadowed by the grindingly unfunny, totally unperceptive and astoundingly narcissistic personality of the film’s central figure. He’s one step away from being Rupert Pupkin in The King of Comedy and his film is by turns exasperating and creepy to watch. Extras include two of Morgan’s equally execrable short films, Festival Fever and Touch of Velvet, as well as a trailer for a third called Confessions of a Filmaholic. (Koch)