Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010) - ★★★★

Director: Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg
Writer: Ricki Stern
Stars: Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, Don Rickles, other comedians.

I love Joan Rivers. I’ve always found her to be hilarious. That’s why I really enjoyed her documentary, because she truly has led an interesting life. From starting on the Johnny Carson show in the 60s to winning The Celebrity Apprentice a few years back, A Piece of Work covers many of her most intimate moments. There are times where she really opens up and shows us how vulnerable she can be, which is what separates this bio-documentary from most. Even though I loved it, I feel like they could have covered a lot more in her career that has spanned over 50 years.

Every now and then we get to see some of her comedy routine. These are the hilarious moments, because I honestly think she’s one of the funniest stand-up comediennes. Even the banter she has with her staff is really funny. What I liked most about A Piece of Work is how personal she gets with us, the people watching her story. When her husband killed himself, she didn’t shy away from telling us how much it affected her. Things got really sad when she had to fire her best-friend. He was the only person she had left that really knew her for decades. She explains to us how difficult it is to lose everyone that you’ve shared memories with, because now she can’t say “Remember when?” It’s very touching stuff, I didn’t expect Joan to let us in that much.
I think this documentary had the potential to be fantastic. Personally, I loved every second of it (because I’m the biggest Joan River’s fan you’ll find). But, I acknowledge that it could have been a lot better. It would have been great to see the feuds she has had over the years, or even how she coped with having a talk-show. Even though it was lacking a lot of juicy info, the stuff that was in the documentary was pretty much all gold. It’s hilarious, it’s moving, it’s the legendary Joan River’s.

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