I’ve spoken with several name-brand comedians in my time, and I’ve never felt the slightest trace of silly, goofy, slap-happy vibes from any of them. From each and every one I detected caution, guardedness and a general sense of gloom. (Especially from Billy Crystal.) One would presume, therefore, that Kevin Pollak’s Misery Loves Comedy, a doc about what comedians are really like deep down and whether they’re all in fact depressives, might be…well, at least somewhat interesting in this regard. Unusual. Revelatory. Not the usual joking around but perhaps some musings and reflections that, say, the ghost of Fyodor Dostoyevsky might relate to.
But in the view of Variety‘s Geoff Berkshire, the film “cuts loose without ever cutting deep” and seems to “only skim the surface of the comedic mind. The more faces that appear, the more difficult it is to ignore that we’re hearing overwhelmingly from white men, adding to the feeling that the film is basically an excuse to hang out with the old boys’ club instead of learning anything revealing about the members. Whatever it might take to get these admittedly very funny people to truly bare their souls, Pollak doesn’t appear to have found it.”
Pollak’s talking heads include Bob Saget, Tom Hanks, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, Jim Gaffigan, Larry David, Kevin Smith, Jon Favreau, etc. Directed and co-written by Pollak along with John Vorhaus, pic will preem on iTunes on 4.14 and in theaters on 4.24.