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The Bitter Buddha (2012)

FEATURING ZACH GALIFIANAKIS, SARAH SILVERMAN, PATTON OSWALT & MANY MORE! Cult-Comic Eddie Pepitone's life is on display in this unhinged portrait of creativity, enlightenment and rage.

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FEATURING ZACH GALIFIANAKIS, SARAH SILVERMAN, PATTON OSWALT & MANY MORE! Cult-Comic Eddie Pepitone's life is on display in this unhinged portrait of creativity, enlightenment and rage.

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A Bitter Buddha? Eddie Pepitone is bitter, VERY funny, but only shares the Buddha's belly
16 November 2012 | by See all my reviews

THE BITTER BUDDHA is a documentary that tells the story of comedian Eddie Pepitone's failure to have become a successful comedian by age 52. Understandably, he's bitter; it's the nectar of his humor. The "Buddha" part is less obvious. If it was intended to mock his improved outlook after achieving sobriety, I'm not laughing. Maybe this is a clue why comedic success has eluded him.< That's not entirely fair for me to say. He is actually very funny, albeit inconsistently. He's addicted to tweeting, here's my favorite featured in the movie: "Whenever someone yells 'can I get a woot woot?' I like to yell 'only if you promise to read a book in your lifetime."< There are many talented artists who fail to achieve material success, and it is a very sad and all too common circumstance. One tries to control luck, contain their bewilderment and confusion as less talented people speed right past them. If these factors seem discouraging,imagine the impact of having the story of your failure as the subject of a film that features comments from your more successful peers praising your talent as they contemplate why you haven't been able to achieve what they have. Gee, if only they could put in a good word for you…… Dana Gould, a (rather) successful comedian comments: "I wouldn't say he walks the talk so much as he trudges the trudge." With friends like these….. I couldn't discern the intention of this movie. If it's meant to be a launching pad for his comedy career, it's disingenuous. It feels like a showcase (a performance intended for an industry audience, usually not as good as a show for a general audience). If it's meant to depict the unfortunate realization of unrecognized talent, it feels mean spirited. Despite this criticism, I am comfortable recommending the film, as Mr. Pepitone is genuinely funny, but I add the caveat that it will be most enjoyed by comedy fans and those who know the entertainment business rather than civilians who have had no exposure to what happens behind the scenes while they're laughing.


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