Movie Review Rewind: Saturday Night (2010)
Every Saturday night, Saturday Night Live puts on a show that hopes to make America laugh all the way through. But what we do not see is all of the hard work that goes in to SNL every single week. But now we get that opportunity thanks to James Franco. He is able to get unprecedented access to the actors, writers, producers, and everyone else that plays a part in creating SNL.
Saturday Night is a documentary that wants to make the audience aware of how hard a show like SNL is to create and do. The show appears to be all laughs, but there is some serious work involved. There is still laughter behind-the-scenes but the comedy is taken very seriously. It has to be or SNL would not have lasted as long as it has. Franco and his crew follow your favorite actors/writers such as Will Forte, Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers, Jason Sudeikis, and Bill Hader while they work with SNL writers to create a skit that came from their ideas.
This documentary focuses on one week and what it takes to create one full episode of SNL. John Malkovich is the guest and every guest plays a huge part in the creation of the show. They get pitched ideas and go through scripts, and pick the best ones that work for the show and for the actor. There were over 50 scripts pitched and only 9 make it on to the show.
Franco follows the work process with the actors and writers, and their lack of sleep. They work hard and long to create what they hope is funny. Some times it works and sometimes it does not. But Franco does not spend all of his time on the famous faces from the show. He talks to producers and the creator, Lorne Michaels. He goes to where all of the set pieces are created and shipped for every SNL show. Every single person is on a time crunch. But that is what makes the show special and such a rush for every one involved.
Saturday Night is a great idea for a documentary and I cannot believe no one has thought of it before. But perhaps no one was ever granted permission until another famous face asked. Either way, the access Franco gets is interesting and definitely entertaining. The audience gets an inside look at how much talent and creativity is in one room. SNL is unpredictable and always changing, but it is still a comedy machine that can handle the pressure every single week. And because of James Franco, we now know what really goes on behind a show that has become a Saturday night legend.
Brandon Vick is a member of The Music City Film Critics’ Association, the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and the star of The Vick’s Flicks Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.