While the only two certainities in life may be death and taxes, getting fired has to be a close third. Annabelle Gurwitch took her getting fired from a Woody Allen play and used that as the starting point of Fired! This documentary explores what it's like to get fired in America.

While Gurwitch has no problem talking about her own experiences with the Woody Allen play, the bulk of Fired! consists of interviews with celebrities discussing their own experiences getting fired. She interviews such notables as Tim Allen, David Cross, Andy Dick (who takes a job serving food and demonstrates that he really should stick to comedy), Richard Kind, Sarah Silverman, and numerous other actors and comics. These interviews show that no matter how successful someone is, they had their own bad experience getting laid off.

Fired! also covers "regular" people, from a woman who was fired for smoking when off the clock to professionals whose job it is to fire people for companies, to the workers at a GM plant facing significant layoffs. Two economists also provide a broader perspective on the reasons for firing, and a human resources executive explains why you should never trust human resources. And a slew of dvd extras have the stars sharing other stories on other job horror stories.

Gurwitch chats with her subjects as much as she interviews them, adding her own comments and jokes. There's also a more positive perspective on getting fired presented at the end that may come as small comfort to the auto workers who got the boot. Fired! succeeds in showing that people from all walks of life have very similar experiences when it comes to getting the boot: the surprise, the surprising humor that comes in hindsight, and the fact that the memory remains vivid even years later. If you've been fired, or will be in the future, Fired! is a surprisingly entertaining look at losing one's job.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: