Woody Allen canned actress Annabelle Gurwitch from his 2003 play, Writer’s Block, with a dressing-down so traumatic that it sent her reeling right into the arms of a book contract (Fired!), a stage play (Fired!), and now Fired!, a documentary in which the camera-hungry Gurwitch succeeds in assembling the best kind of pity party: one where all the revelers are sharp, funny, and successful enough not to give a shit about their past job woes. (Gurwitch solicits confessions from Sarah Silverman, Andy Dick, and David Cross, but the highlight is Tate Donovan’s puppet show re-enactment of being replaced by Matthew Broderick in Torch Song Trilogy.) Too bad Gurwitch attempts to extend her neurotic hobbyhorse into a survey of the American job market—including a trip to a GM plant in Lansing, Michigan, that smacks of disingenuous slumming. While “maybe it’s for the best” proved happily prophetic for her actor pals, those words of comfort sound more like a clueless bromide when you consider the 30,000 people laid off in Lansing after the film wrapped.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 23, 2007

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