Thursday, September 3, 2015
I AM CHRIS FARLEY (2015)
Directed By: Derik Murray & Brent Hodge
Written By: Steve Burgess
Cinematography By: Shaun Lawless & Geoff Wallace
Editor: J.R. Mackie
Featuring: Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Lorne Michaels, Bob Saget, David Spade, Christina Applegate, Tom Arnold, Jon Lovitz, Jay Mohr, Bo Derek, Bob Odenkirk, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, Molly Shannon, Will Sasso, Will Ferrell, Kevin P. Farley, Fred Wolf, Pat Finn
A documentary on the life of comedian, Chris Farley.
There is nothing wrong with the documentary and it is nice to see such respected comedians. Giving testimonials of how much talent Chris had and how good of a guy he is. Much of what is on display I personally know only for researching; reading books and articles not only on Chris Farley, but also the history of Saturday night live. For those who don't or didn't this is a nice glossy look at his life and times.
Watching vintage clips of his second city days, movies, appearances and skits are funny and for some of the running time it seems it is spent dissecting this skits and movie scenes.
Though while it gets personal. The documentary had a hard time getting really deep and hard hitting and It’s not the films fault as most of Chris's brief life was in front of the camera really most of his adulthood. Plus you have to keep in king while he left behind a good amount of work it still wasn't that much. There is no doubt of his talent and that he would have become a star.
It makes you miss him and reminds you of why he is a comedy great. Though it feels more glossy and like a dad extra or a television produced biography from the biography channel rather than a theatrical release.
One thing that makes me wonder about his future is the fact that in most of the characters he played he was never inhibited they were always usually over the top. We never really saw him play straight. The closest is in the movie THE CONEHEADS and maybe AIRHEADS. That was also his greatest strength. He was a mad man who just came into scenes and characters with so much strength, physical grace, manic energy and crazy eyes gusto. He had no fear and would always go for the laugh, but it wasn't necessarily intentional as he always had a childlike innocence and demeanor in his eyes. That showed his sweetness and awkwardness.
The one thing the documentary definitely shows is that he loved life and people the way he did his comedy hard and over the top. He had an addictive personality that picked up bad habits to keep going. Because for some odd reason he never thought he was good enough. Always working to entertain to have people love him for something. Though they did. They saw his skills and strength of character. Even if he for some odd reason didn't. He knew all of his problems, but never noted his strengths. He was hat shy and awkward kid who wanted to be liked and be cool. Though he never realized he already was and was that way naturally. He never had to put on an act he was who he was and that is what he gave people and hey loved him for it.
The film gets into more personal matters, but they seem to come along so briefly. That the more showbiz stuff takes center stage.
While a fan of Chris Farley from SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and other works. I am in the minority of hang never seen a Chris Farley starring movie form beginning to end. To witness him as a true lead character.
Maybe that is why though he had monstrous talent. Would he have used them and pushed himself or would we have just gotten used to him and found him blasé. In other word would he keep surprising us in his roles or with his comedy. Or would he have gotten bored and just done enough to keep making the same type of films that Adam sander and some old SNL cast members seem to put out with little or no effort. I like to believe he would have stayed the childlike comedian who gave it all for the audience and his co-stars. Who never quite knew how funny he was and Just did what came naturally without giving it much thought or preparation.
It would say this film is worth watching as a fan. And to truly examine the talent that we lost by his too soon passing. Though as a documentary it doesn't reveal anything. You might not already know.