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"Misery Loves Comedy": A Love Song for Robin Williams 

Wednesday, Apr 29 2015
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Misery Loves Comedy Dedicated with love and gratitude to Robin Williams, Kevin Pollak's documentary convenes five dozen talking heads to discuss the commonsense correlation between emotional anguish and funniness, and that's it. Although a lot of the talkers are comedians, the discussion itself isn't necessarily funny. Nor for that matter is Misery Loves Comedy very focused — there is no consensus on how much if any misery comedy actually requires, for instance — but that's sort of okay because if the surest way to ruin a joke is to explain it, imagine the epic ruin of explaining jokes in general. Pollak isn't taking a solve-for-x approach here so much as simply geeking out with his fellow tribesmen (and a few -women), who may or may not be your favorite funny people, anyway. You might even argue with the presumption that some of them are funny at all. As an offscreen questioner, Pollak probes only gently, but there is a perceptive intelligence at play in dovetailing origin stories, anecdotal minutiae, and offhand self-analysis from the likes of Judd Apatow, Larry David, Jimmy Fallon, Tom Hanks, Marc Maron, and Amy Schumer. They do seem to agree that it feels really good to have control of a room.

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Jonathan Kiefer

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SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.

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