Thursday, January 20, 2011

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work - DVD Review


Directed by Ricki Stern & Anne Sundberg.

This follows a year in the life of Joan Rivers. It's the year she was the subject of a Comedy Central roast and won Celebrity Apprentice. She's a living legend. She also has this desperate need to stay in the spotlight. It can be scary.

We first see her without make-up, and she looks nothing like what we know is Joan Rivers. She bravely exposes herself to the filmmakers her insecurities, her hang-ups, everything is laid bare. I watch the scenes from the Comedy Central roast and think how far they've fallen from the Dean Martin-Don Rickles days, but still felt that pang when Greg Giraldo took the mike. We find out one day she's fired her manager of forty years. Why?

This movie illustrates how addictive fame is to some people, and they must always - ALWAYS - find a way to stay in that spotlight, at whatever the cost. I don't think that was the intention of the film, but that's the lesson I learned. It's nice to be anonymous. I'd rather be rich and anonymous, but what can I do?

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