By Leah Rozen
April 28, 2003 12:00 PM

Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard

Canadian birth shouldn’t get in the way of Levy’s and O’Hara’s being declared national treasures South of the Border. Whatever movie they are in, these two comic bon vivants shine—and never so brightly as in A Mighty Wind, an often-hilarious mockumentary that pokes affectionate fun at folk music.

Zonked-out Mitch (Levy) and the more emotionally resilient Mickey (O’Hara) are a syrupy ’60s folk duo who split up both professionally and personally years ago. Now they’re reuniting for a concert, along with two other famous acts, the traditionalist Folksmen and the homogenized New Main Street Singers.

With the exception of scenes involving Levy and O’Hara, Wind fails to scale the emotional heights of director-cowriter Guest’s 1997 masterpiece, Waiting for Guffman. Missed story potential here (why did the Folksmen break up?) leaves one eager for the release of the Wind DVD to see its deleted scenes. But any Guest is a welcome Guest, and Wind has more than its share of swell moments. Jennifer Coolidge’s spectacularly brainless publicist still has me laughing. (PG-13)

BOTTOM LINE: A hootenanny and a holler