JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK
Insightful, But Too Crude
Release Date: June 11, 2010
Starring: Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers,
and Don Rickles
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 84 minutes
Distributor: IFC Films
Director: Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg
Executive Producer: Ricki Stern
Producer: Ricki Stern, Seth Keal and
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
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.
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.