Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Aristocrats (***)

Insightful and often funny documentary about one sick joke and the art of telling it. There are over 100 talented comedians involved in the film, and each riffs on the same joke, explains the history behind it, and taps into the same juvenile, scatalogical subject matter. I liked the film, but was a bit disappointed. Perhaps I've lost the ability to be shocked, which I think this film (and the Aristocrats joke) depend on to be truly gut-bustingly funny. Clocking in at just under 90 minutes, it all gets a bit too repetitive as well. Another fault I had with the film was that the editing suffered from overkill. I would have liked to see the comedians tell their version of the joke all the way through. Too often, co-directors Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette cut away to others explaining things and commenting on the joke, which kind of interrupts the flow of the joke. This film may not be for everyone, especially those easily offended, but you'll probably find some part of it funny.

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