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"Road Hard": Adam Corolla's Directing Debut 

Wednesday, Mar 4 2015
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Adam Carolla's directing debut presents the comedian as a version of himself, wearied by everydude indignities and touring obscure clubs while his former "bro show" partner (Jay Mohr) prospers on late-night TV. "I just didn't do the work," Carolla's character says in a moment of career-slump diagnosis, and for better and worse Road Hard bears that out. Freshly funny only once in a while, it does give a whiff of the acrid atmosphere within a lonely comic's hotel room, and within his soul, and does generally succeed in making road life seem like a drag. Eventually he meets a tolerant woman (Dianne Farr) and feels tempted by her garage woodshop in rural New Hampshire. You can't accuse Carolla of putting on airs, but the thin coat of fiction feels like mere diffusion here; a straight-up documentary might actually have been nervier, and surely still could accommodate the requisite jerk-off jokes and occasional peeks at pneumatic boobs. Real-life mutual loyalty between Carolla and his fans is more affecting than anything in Road Hard, whose end credits scroll on and on with crowdfunders' names. That it's so stilted might be less to do with actual comeback desperation than with feeling beholden to a constituency. Next time, road harder?

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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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