THE BIG PICTURE is a failed attempt to spoof the wheelers and dealers behind the scenes in Hollywood. Christopher Guest, who directed and cowrote this diatribe against the inanities of the studio system, has created what amounts to no more than a series of sketches that would probably work better on television than in this prolonged, belabored movie. THE BIG PICTURE follows the rise and fall of Nick Chapman (Kevin Bacon), a tyro director on his way to the top after winning first prize for his student film. Nick acquires an eccentric, insincere agent (Martin Short), who feeds him to Allen Habel (J.T. Walsh), a smarmy studio production chief who signs him up to make his movie. As the hot new guy in town, Nick breaks up with his live-in girl friend (Emily Longstreth), becomes estranged from his cinematographer best friend (Michael McKean), leases a Porsche, and rents a plush home. But all good things must come to an end. This fails on almost all counts, hampered by poor pacing, sophomoric parodying, and for the most part lackluster performances by leads Kevin Bacon and Emily Longstreth. Though it begins well enough, the wit doesn't last.