Monday, July 12, 2010

On Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

Ok, I realize this one might get me knocked out of your RSS feed, but let me say I take this risk with good reason. This Saturday, because of the lack of any movies of substance in the theatres this summer, Scott and I ventured to see the Joan Rivers documentary. I actually was anticipating being quite entertained as I had seen a few clips online and thought it would be a rather light-hearted romp... so to speak. Boy was I right and also wrong.

The documentary is meant to be a "year in the life" of Joan Rivers, a 75 year old comic who always wanted to be taken seriously as an actress and will do almost anything to sustain her career in show business. The thing about documentaries is, that whether or not you like the person you are watching, you at least get to see the somewhat human side of them, so in this fashion you learn much about Joan. The ways in which she has struggled, the ways in which she is self-aware, the ways in which she supports those she loves, and the ways in which she is (like we all are) a mess. That's the really human part.

The thing that struck me the most and was maybe most fascinating as a psychological study, is how her life rides such a fine line between comedy and tragedy and she has somehow built a career on this. It really is tragic, everything she has gone through. But she seems to need this. Additionally, she never wanted to be a comic. She wanted to be an actress and to this day longs to be an actress, yet can't seem to be vindicated in this light. It is both hysterical and terrible.

Throughout the film, Joan's standup act in interjected. She does this act weekly in small clubs throughout New York and you can't help but be reminded what an incredibly funny woman she is. Comedy takes guts and she has them, more than most.

So, let this be a recommendation for you given the fact that there are very few other things in the theatres (that aren't animated). Go take a look if you have the chance. I found it worth my while.

No comments:

Post a Comment