Directors: Chris Bradley & Kyle LaBrache

Sacked. Canned. Laid off. Axed. In the English language, there seem to be an endless number of slang terms for finding oneself out of work— in fact several times more than the phrase for actually getting a job in the first place. While we all have horror stories of life in the concrete jungle, very few of us would want to share stories of losing a job… but then again, we’re not all actors and we don’t all have the flair for relishing in our dismissal, as witnessed in this conversational documentary about being given the boot starring actress Annabelle Gurwitch. It’s universally known that most New York actors dream of working with Woody Allen and while only a chosen few get the chance to have an Allen anecdote to share, an even smaller number can say that not only did they work with the legend, but they were also fired by him as well. Likable, bright and bubbly actress Annabelle Gurwitch unfortunately fits into that latter category. After being let go by the neurotic auteur after being told that she looked “retarded” in his play, Gurwitch understandably suffers a depression of self-pity and booze for a few weeks until she decides to sublimate her disappointment with art. She turns to numerous friends—fellow actors and comedians including Tim Allen, Andy Borowitz, David Cross, Andy Dick, Tate Donovan, Illeana Douglas, Jeff Garlin, Anne Meara, Bob Odenkirk, Fisher Stevens, Ben Stein, Sarah Silverman and Fred Willard—who share their stories both on camera and in her creative efforts including a popular monologue driven show and a book also called Fired. The stories included in the overly long documentary range from painful to hilarious and are destined to become classic including Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Jeff Garlin lamenting the numerous jobs he was kicked out of, Andy Borowitz’s Facts of Life screenwriting job from hell that ended because he just “didn’t get Tootie” and Fred Willard who had been hired for a pilot and mistaken by everyone on the set for a popular actor with a similar name from WKRP in Cincinnati. Celebrity anecdotes aside, there’s a few uneven skits that fall flat including a puppet show and a segment in a food truck with Andy Dick but Gurwitch’s film gets even more interesting as she stakes out Michael Moore territory (save for the controversy) and begins to visit workers at a GM plant who are scheduled to be terminated from their long-time jobs along with other hard working Americans being let go in the name of “economic progress” and global competition. While the film doesn’t amount to enough as either a political piece or a dishy celebrity gossip piece, Gurwitch’s charm and enough fascinating moments keep us invested and we feel like we’re sitting with a good friend, sharing a story we can hardly believe about another wild day at the office.