JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK

Insightful, But Too Crude

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: June 11, 2010

Starring: Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers,
and Don Rickles

Genre: Documentary

Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 84 minutes

Distributor: IFC Films

Director: Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg

Executive Producer: Ricki Stern

Producer: Ricki Stern, Seth Keal and
Annie Sundberg

Writer: Ricki Stern

Address Comments To:

Jonathan Sehring, President, IFC Films/IFC Entertainment
Joshua Sapan, President/CEO, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
(Independent Film Channel/IFC Films/IFC First Take/AMC/WE)
11 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 324-8500
Website: www.rainbow-media.com

Content:

(PaPaPa, B, LLL, SSS, A, D, M) Very strong, mixed pagan worldview in general with a Thanksgiving sequence that acknowledges and gives thanks to God for one’s blessings; at least 44 mostly strong obscenities (mostly “f” words), two strong profanities using Jesus Christ and nine light profanities, plus crude references to passing gas; no violence but discussion of a suicide in a family; extreme sexual remarks plus an acting out of a sex act on a stage for comical purposes; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, insult comedy.

Summary:

JOAN RIVERS – A PIECE OF WORK is an insightful documentary about the groundbreaking comedienne, but there’s a lot of strong foul language and some really crude sexual references that make it unacceptable for a general audience.

Review:

JOAN RIVERS – A PIECE OF WORK is an insightful documentary about the groundbreaking comedienne, but there’s a lot of strong foul language and some really crude sexual references. The movie includes, however, one moving short sequence based around her family’s celebration of Thanksgiving and Joan’s work with a charity for shut-ins wherein Joan, who’s Jewish and says she loves Thanksgiving, acknowledges and thanks God.

The documentary begins a couple years ago, before Joan’s recent appearance on Donald Trump’s CELEBRITY APPRENTICE SHOW, which she eventually won. Joan’s calendar is not as full as it once was. She’s worried about keeping up the family income, which doesn’t just support her alone.

The movie goes through the history of her career as it follows Joan on the road. Snippets of her various appearances on the road are shown, as are some classic clips of her on the TONIGHT SHOW with Johnny Carson. The tragic suicide of her husband Edgar is explored in one of the movie’s more emotionally moving sections. Then, there is Joan’s acknowledgement of God as her family celebrates Thanksgiving, Joan’s favorite holiday, and as Joan takes her grandson along to deliver food to disabled and sick people in New York City who can’t go out. Finally, Joan’s appearance on CELEBRITY APPRENTICE helps rejuvenate her career. Now, her calendar is completely full. The ending reiterates the movie’s point that a career as long as Joan’s is bound to experience ups and downs. The movie reveals that Joan is always looking to re-invent herself to keep her career going.

This documentary is an insightful one for those who are fans of Joan Rivers. Regrettably, there’s plenty of strong foul language. And, Joan’s act contains some bits with very crude sexual references. Part of Joan’s appeal is that she feels free to say whatever she wants about herself and about the celebrities and popular trends of her day, in an outrageous manner that sometimes includes very crude sex jokes and much obscenity, especially in her stage act. Thus, this documentary is not for those who find such material over the top and offensive.

In Brief:

JOAN RIVERS – A PIECE OF WORK is a documentary about the groundbreaking comedienne. It begins a couple years ago, before Joan’s recent appearance on Donald Trump’s CELEBRITY APPRENTICE SHOW, which she eventually won. Joan’s calendar is not as full as it once was. She’s worried about keeping up the family income, which doesn’t just support her alone. The movie goes through the history of her career as it follows Joan on the road. Then come her appearances on CELEBRITY APPRENTICE. Now, her calendar is completely full.

JOAN RIVERS – A PIECE OF WORK is an insightful documentary, especially for her fans. The documentary shows that fame is fleeting. It also shows that a career as long is Joan’s is bound to have its ups and downs. Joan Rivers is constantly re-inventing herself to keep her career going. Regrettably, her stage act contains much strong, caustic foul language and excessively crude sexual references. The documentary contains, however, a nice Thanksgiving sequence with her family where Joan acknowledges and thanks God while delivering food to some shut-ins in New York. Most moviegoers will find the movie’s crude content unacceptable. See movieguide.org for more details.