Movie Review - Comedian

- wadE

Comedian - A film by Jerry Seinfeld

First things first...if you haven't already go to http://www.apple.com/trailers/miramax/comedian.html and check out the trailer for this movie!!!

"A robot renegade cop!!!"

Ok, now forget you just watched that trailer, because it has nothing to do with the movie at all. You'll laugh at that trailer more than you are going to laugh during Comedian. Now that's not to say it is a bad movie, but I know several people who went to the movie thinking it was going to be an hour and a half of Jerry cracking jokes, and it's not.

Comedian is a documentary...and a poorly filmed one at that. But to truly capture what it's like to be in dark, dank, cramped comedy clubs, you certainly can't bring in a full size motion picture camara and a lighting crew. So it's shot using a camcorder...which isn't all bad...but again, realize this isn't a fully produced concert film.

I wish I could sum up some sort of "plot" for Comedian, but there really isn't one. If I were to try I would say: "This movie is about the comedy business". It centers on Jerry coming up with a new act after Seinfeld. Jerry threw out all of his old pre-Seinfeld stuff, and set out to come up with a brand new act and go back on the road. The main point is summed up very nicely by Colin Quinn (yes, he's in the movie... more on him in a minute). You walk out, you're Jerry Seinfeld, everyone claps and cheers...you get about a 5 minute grace period from the crowd, but after that... you better be funny! So Jerry spends his days refining his act at a small club in New York...at the same time that Colin Quinn seems to be doing the same thing...or I hope that's why he and Jerry chatted so much. I would really hate to think that Jerry and Colin are friends...and hang out all the time. You think Jerry could do better.

Anyway, the other main "story" focuses on a new, up and coming, comedian named Orny Adams... yes, Orny... and believe me, he is even more annoying than his name. Orny gets bumped one night when Jerry makes a surprise appearance at a club to try out part of his new act...I'm guessing that is a perk that struggling comics don't get when creating their act. Anyway, Orny is a cocky, whining, neurotic, freak-show of a comedian. By the end of the movie you really start to hate him until you think...jeez, if he is on his way up and up...why haven't I hear of this guy yet?

There are several very funny jokes, clips of acts, and general witty banter between comedians as they flush out matieral. However, this movie is far more interesting than it is funny.

The process stand-up comedians go through to create and refine an act is amazing. The "storyline" with Orny, while annoying as hell, is very interesting. The most interesting of which is just before Orny makes his national debut on Letterman, and they make him change two of his jokes at the last minute. I never really thought Letterman would make anyone do that. If there was a place where people could go and just do their thing, I thought Letterman would be it. Sadly no...

I won't go into all the details...but if a) you are a big Seinfeld fan (the man, not the show) or b) you are considering a career in the movie business, go see this movie! If you don't fall into a or b... this movie isn't for you.

Quick refresher on wadE's movie ratings:
10 - Go out and see this movie right away! In fact, see it twice!
9 - Go see it, it's really good!
8 - It's pretty good, worth your 8 bucks.
7 - It's alright...not worth 8 bucks, but maybe a matinee.
6 - It's ok, wait for it to come to the dollar theater.
5 - It's decent, wait to rent it.
4 - It's mildly entertaining, catch it on HBO.
3 - It's not so good... but if you are up at 2AM and it comes on USA, TNT, or TBS, go ahead and watch it.
2 - It's terrible...if you are up at 2AM and it comes on USA, TNT, or TBS, turn the channel immediately.
1 - It's a crime against humanity...absolutely awful.
0 - How does a movie like this even get made...I mean really...how much crack is being smoked in Hollywood???

With that being said, I would give Comedian a 6. It's a fascenating look at the nuts and bolts behind the comedy business, but for being a movie about the comedy business, it sure as hell ain't all that funny.

Now go back and watch the trailer again!

- 11/18/2002


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