(directed by Christian Charles, 2002)
***+ (out of 5)
> More incisive and revealing than funny, this is a well observed document of the life and challenges of a stand up comedian.
. It has a dual focus. We watch as A-list comedian Jerry Seinfeld sets out to reinvent himself and develop all new material at small comedy clubs across the nation, in the wake of his phenomenally successful TV sitcom. On a parallel track, we follow another aspiring comic struggling to make it to that illusive top tier. But this guy (whose name I will mercifully omit) is no Seinfeld. In fact, he’s just an awful shit. Clueless about other people, he complains nonstop that he isn’t the big star he’s convinced he should be. To his credit, Jerry is very kind to him despite his being a shameless, craven putz. (Seinfeld is revealed her to be a genuinely nice guy- very warm and personable to everyone- not the least starstruck by his own fame.) But by the end of the film I decided I would not have been so generous.
. At one point this awful, wheedling, duplicitous, ego-driven loser has a friend come backstage to offer some encouragement. But the friend comes bearing a truth he just doesn’t want to hear: that he may not be a bad comic, but he is not a good person and really needs to start growing a soul. Fat chance! Does this poor schmuck have any idea what a poor light this film casts on him?
. No. I doubt it. That would require some slight modicum of self-awareness- something Jerry Seinfeld has in spades.
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