MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 6,642 this week

Without You I'm Nothing (1990)

 -  Comedy | Musical  -  11 May 1990 (USA)
6.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 393 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 12 critic

Sandra Bernhard stars in a studio version of her off-Broadway show, blending re-enactments of the original show's pieces with concept vignettes and 'testimonials' to underscore the relationship between a performer and an audience.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1621 titles
created 02 Jun 2012
 
list image
a list of 137 titles
created 02 Jul 2012
 
a list of 9983 titles
created 25 Jul 2013
 
a list of 7473 titles
created 7 months ago
 
list image
a list of 32 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Without You I'm Nothing (1990)

Without You I'm Nothing (1990) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Without You I'm Nothing.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Pondo Sinatra is a college boy with a problem: women will have nothing to do with him. It's not that he was raised on a chicken farm and, literally, came to school on the back of a turnip ... See full summary »

Directors: David Beaird, Harvey Hart
Stars: Matthew Causey, Timothy Carhart, Jerry Jones
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A weekend in the Bavarian Alps. 25-year-old Hannes meets his father after 8 years of separation in a little mountain hut. By the influence of their very different girlfriends Ann and ... See full summary »

Director: Florian Eichinger
Stars: Anna Brüggemann, Peter Kurth, Martin Schleiß
Dead Weight (2002)
Adventure | Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

It is the story of two types: Moltes a criminal in prison and Reggio one of the guards. Crazy adventures happen when following a winner ticket to Africa, they competes in a rally and are chased by the Turk, a sworn enemy of Moltes.

Directors: Alain Berbérian, Frédéric Forestier
Stars: Gérard Lanvin, Benoît Poelvoorde, José Garcia
Killing Zoe (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Zed has only just arrived in the beautiful Paris and already he's up to no good. Having just slept with a call girl, he spends a night on the town with his dangerous friends. They all ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Avary
Stars: Eric Stoltz, Julie Delpy, Martin Raymond
Mata Hari (1985)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.9/10 X  

Based loosely on the real-life story of the World War I spy. The exotic dancer uses her contacts in European high society, along with her seductive charm, to collect military secrets during... See full summary »

Director: Curtis Harrington
Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Christopher Cazenove, Oliver Tobias
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After a break-in at their house, a couple gets help from one of the cops that answered their call. He helps them install the security system, and begins dropping by on short notice and ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Stars: Kurt Russell, Ray Liotta, Madeleine Stowe
Hudson Hawk (1991)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A cat burglar is forced to steal Da Vinci works of art for a world domination plot.

Director: Michael Lehmann
Stars: Bruce Willis, Danny Aiello, Andie MacDowell
Heroes I (2002)
Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Johnathon Schaech
Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Johnathon Schaech, Cameron Thor
Action | Crime | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An assassin is hired by a businessman to avenge the murder of his daughter by white slave traders in Thailand.

Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Kevin Bacon, Jirantanin Pitakporntrakul
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

WEST AFRICA 1869 - Slave trade is illegal. There is a revolt on a slave ship - twenty four men fight for their lives. Out-gunned, the revolt fails but a second uprising is planned.

Director: Joel B. Marsden
Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Akosua Busia, De'aundre Bonds
Drama

A drug dealing hustler and a down-and-out stripper enter into a tumultuous love affair filled with pills, lies and sex.

Stars: Robin Bain
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Derek Dunsay
Stars: Derek Dunsay, Shawn Andrews, Christopher Meloni
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Herself
...
Himself
...
Himself
Lu Leonard ...
Sandra's Manager
...
Emcee
...
Roxanne
Grace Broughton ...
'Female' Backup Singer
Kimberli Williams ...
'Female' Backup Singer
Axel Vera ...
'Female' Backup Singer
Estuardo Volty ...
'Female' Backup Singer (as Estuardo M. Volty)
Kevin Dorsey ...
Male Backup Singer
Arnold McCuller ...
Male Backup Singer
Oren Waters ...
Male Backup Singer
...
Child Caroler (as Vonte' Sweet)
Tonya Natalie Townsend ...
Child Caroler
Edit

Storyline

Sandra Bernhard stars in a studio version of her off-Broadway show, blending re-enactments of the original show's pieces with concept vignettes and 'testimonials' to underscore the relationship between a performer and an audience.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 May 1990 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$1,218,730 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Djimon Hounsou. See more »

Quotes

Sandra: We went to the 1965 New York World's Fair in 1964. I never understood that.
See more »

Connections

References Barbarella (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

So Lonesome I Could Die
Performed by Sandra Bernhard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"...how truly beautiful I am..."
7 November 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Sandra Bernhard's Without You I'm Nothing, the movie released in 1990, followed on the heels of her 1988 off-Broadway stage production ... what she and others refer to in the movie as her "smash-hit one-woman show."

There were several changes in monologues and one-liners, and the movie version visually re-vamps the story, taking Sandra from a fabulous existence as a successful stage performer in New York, during what she calls her "superstar summer," to an illusory, almost desperate existence back in her home in Los Angeles - her fictional manager in the film refers to it as getting Sandra back "to her roots, to ... upscale supper clubs like the Parisian Room."

There's a point to be made here. Sandra tries to appeal her liberal worldview and her sometimes harsh critique of American pop culture to an audience that doesn't completely see it. In L.A. she's playing to a predominantly black audience, trying to relate her ideas when all these people seem to want is "Shashonna," a Madonna-look-alike stripper. And even then, with Shashonna dancing to drum beats that resemble those from "Like a Virgin," there's not much to be said for the audience's enjoyment of the show. The scene in the club throughout the movie is dryer than a bone. A funny scene to catch is of a rotund man from the audience helping Shashonna out of her pants.

But, if she's going down, Sandra's doing so with style and force, conveying everything from foul confidence to punctured vulnerability ... right to the point at which she's naked (literally), pleading for acceptance and yet somehow still swimming in the pool of her own transparent stardom. Her depictions of interactions with the likes of Calvin Klein, Jerry Lewis, Bianca Jagger, Ralph Lauren and (what we're lead to believe is) Warren Beatty are fictional and hilarious.

Sandra begins her show in her most awkward moment, performing a quiet but mystifying rendition of Nina Simone's song "Four Women" while dressed in a mufti and other African garb, singing lines such as "my skin is black," "my hair is wooly," and "they call me Sweet Thing."

She resurrects and celebrates the ghosts of underworld art in a tremendously funny description of the frenzied estate auction for Andy Warhol: "Leave it to Andy to have the wisdom and sensitivity into the hours and hours of toil and labor that went into the Indian product ... that they've been so lucky to cash in on this whole Santa Fe thing happening."

She expounds on the excessiveness of Hollywood, consoling a distraught friend then admonishing him, saying "Mister, if this is about Ishtar, I'm getting up right now and walking out of your life forever because that's too self-indulgent even for me!"

Sandra illustrates the expectations of women in the age of feminism. Dressed as a Cosmo girl, Sandra retells her young-girl fantasy to become an executive secretary and marry her boss. She eventually concludes in relief, "I'll never be a statistic, not me. I'm under 35, and I'm going to be married!"

Sandra extols the opening of sexuality in society: "When he touches you in the night, does it feel all right, or does it feel real? I say it feels real... MIGHTY real."

Finally, she cries for change in progressive American society by channeling disco greats Patrick Cowley and Sylvester and proclaiming, "Eventually everyone will funk!"

All this comes in the form of glitzy, schmaltzy but wonderful cabaret performances of songs written and originated by Billy Paul, Burt Bacharach, Hank Williams and Laura Nyro, to name a few. At the same time, the idealized, fictional incarnation of Sandra -- her self-generated mirror image -- floats around town, a beautiful black model with flowing gowns and tight bustiers reading the Kabala, studying chemistry and listening to NWA rap music.

In Without You I'm Nothing, Sandra Bernhard explores emotions and existences that, up until then, she'd only toyed with as a regular guest on Late Night With David Letterman. Her almost child-like enthusiasm for shock, exhibited throughout the '80s, is thrown aside in the face of a subtler allure, and her confidence in the face of materialism and American celebrity proves refreshing. This approach to comedy would change Sandra's direction forever and mark the more mature, more personable entertainer to come.

If you like subtle humor to the point of engaging in inside jokes about glamour, celebrity, sex, loneliness, despair and shallow expressions of love and kinship, this movie will keep you in stitches. It may not be meant to be funny across the board. Perhaps it's a bit unsettling or even maudlin for some. But consider the emptiness of the world Sandra paints for you, and you'll understand just how funny and brilliant she really is.

But see Without You I'm Nothing with a friend "in the know" because it's definitely funnier that way. Before you know it, the two of you will be trading Sandra barbs and confusing the hell out of everyone else.


14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
one of the coolest 'performance art' films i've ever seen teejay6682
Discuss Without You I'm Nothing (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?