Misery Loves Comedy (★★★ Empire Review)

MiseryLovesComedySquareDedicated to Robin Williams, fellow actor-comedian Kevin Pollak’s warm-hearted documentary sits 50 stand-up comics down to ask them about the proverbial “sad clown” link between depression and comedy. Do you have to be miserable to be funny? Do funny people have more angst than the rest of us? Or do they just talk about it more? Although the film barely scratches the surface of the issue (a conclusion of sorts is reached in the last 10 minutes), Pollak’s interviewees are certainly entertaining, and often very funny. If only he had probed a bit deeper, and widened his scope beyond the predominantly white, male subjects (including our own Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan and Stephen Merchant), this could have been a fascinating film as well as a funny one.

An overload of talking heads, an absence of clips and a softball attitude to the subject matter mar an otherwise entertaining and often very funny documentary about the relationship between humour and heartache.

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