The Aristocrats (2005) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
192 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Not a comedy. Not a bad thing.
Kinitawowi14 March 2007
The Aristocrats is not a funny joke.

This is a fact admitted at several points through this film. And it's an important thing to bear in mind when considering the film, because the film is not the joke. The film is *about* the joke. It's a documentary. It deals with far more light-hearted matter than the average documentary, but it's a documentary nonetheless. Yes, the joke is told frequently and in various ways throughout the film. But in and of themselves, only about four incarnations of the joke are worthwhile. Billy The Mime's version is inspired, the guy who does it with playing cards is clever, Gilbert Gottfried's is a masterpiece of saying precisely the wrong thing at the right time, and Sarah Silverman's first-person rendition lies perfectly between deadpan hilarity and abject horror.

The value of the film lies in the story of the joke. And in this regard, it stands as one of the funniest films ever made. The joke isn't something to be told at the dinner table. It's a challenge, told by comedians to comedians. And this is where the hundred or so comedians in this film come in, to tell us their own stories and experiences about the inception and reception of it - and of course, to do this it becomes necessary for one or two of them to provide their own interpretations. And so it goes on.

As a comedy, it's not that funny; it is, in a very literal sense, a one-joke movie. As a documentary, it's genius.
28 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A celebration of laughter
jyancura29 July 2005
The Aristocrats uses a warhorse joke to give the audience a window into humor, obscenity, and the American conscience. I am not aware of another study capable of inducing such laughter. The premise is devilishly simple and almost a modern version of comedia delarte. This allows some of the best American comic minds to muse wildly about humor. A great achievement of the movie is the raw footage of a who's who of comedians. Comic greats such as George Carlin, Eric Idle, Whoopi Goldberg, Gilbert Godfrey, Jason Alexander, Robin Williams, Phyllis Diller, Drew Carey, Sarah Silverman, and many more weigh in on how comedians put their signature on jokes.

The editing and pacing of the movie insure that the audience goes no longer than two minutes without a good laugh. There is no shortage of obscenity and lewdness in the film. The Aristocrats is not a family film. However, the film proves that there is much to be gained from wading into the lake of obscenity. Packed between laughs about bodily functions and social taboos, are searing insights about improvisation, character, show business, and things which most of us would not willingly put in our mouths. The movie hits on many different levels and stands as an insightful sociological achievement garbed in laughter.
76 out of 107 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Almost an incredible film...
Shaph20 August 2005
After seeing "The Aristocrats" I found myself wondering if I truly enjoyed a film about the craziest joke in the world. The answer: Almost.

The film itself centers around a single premise: A joke with the punch line "The Aristocrats!" has existed for a long time, and many different comedians tell their versions and try to explain why the joke is funny, allowing reflection on what makes this particular joke so memorable and humorous.

Don't get me wrong. There are parts of this movie where I was having difficulty breathing due to the humor and the telling of "the joke." Some of the deliveries were flawless, executed with the aggressiveness and impartial judgment that have made some comedians famous.

But some comedians I didn't find funny. And their telling of "the joke" created another feeling inside me: How much longer is he going to try to make me laugh? And the problem here is that these parts of the movie are just very difficult to sit through. Using foul language and references to numerous taboos is one thing, but it hurts to listen to a comedian do it badly.

Ultimately, the comedians do a good job of explaining some of the finer nuances of "the joke", comedy in general, and its place in our lives. But the film spends more time on each comedians' angle with "the joke" than the development of why the joke is great. And I think the movie suffered from it. Listening to the philosophy of "the joke" was great; listening to bad comics preach the scripture was unbearable.

So the dilemma was created: I thought I enjoyed the film afterward, but I didn't know. After careful deliberation, I gave it a 7, losing 3 stars through the lack of developing more comedic philosophy and for the sometimes painfully unfunny moments a movie like this has in it.
50 out of 71 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The funniest joke ever told
filmprog31 January 2005
Screened at Sundance 2005, The Aristoracts tells the story of the worlds funniest (and dirtiest) joke you've never heard before but will never forget.

The joke itself is structured to have the same beginning and the same punchline at the end. Yet each comedian that tells it has their own variation on the middle. And that's where the freedom (and generally the vulgarity) comes in.

My favorite renditions are by Kevin Pollak (doing a spot-on impression of Christopher Walken), Bob Saget, and Paul Reiser. Matt Stone and Trey Parker even animated a South Park version of the joke that had me laughing so hard I couldn't breathe.

Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette filmed the movie over a period of 4 years and between 80 to 100 hours of DV video tape.

The film has been picked up for distribution by ThinkFilm. But don't be surprised if the MPAA slaps a NC-17 on the film for the language. Save your surprise for the theater.
114 out of 172 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"A Man Walks in to an Agent's office..."
KUAlum269 January 2007
And with that line begins a joke that is profiled from its Vaudvillian roots,through ninety minutes and a myriad of comedians. I once made the mistake of describing this show as bing "a hundred comedians tell the same joke',which got a quizzical"Why would anyone watch that?" reaction. There's much more to this that "comedicans telling a joke".

Comedian Paul Provenza(with the help of Penn Gillette)directs this documentary that examines one joke and how it can be stretched,shrunken,reformed,refitted,debated,taken apart,turned upside-down,twisted,cleaned up,dirtied up and any other way a comic can interpret it. Philosophies and stories around the joke are also factored in,and one who watches this film(assuming one can stick with this doc,any of the wildly profane and wincingly nasty treatments of the joke)learns as much about the teller of the jokes as the joke itself.

With notable turns by such comics as Gilbert Gottfried(who tells the joke both in interview and archival footage),SArah Silverman,Bob Saget,the Smothers Brothers,MArtin Mull,Howie Mandel and George Carlin(among others),this film is a test in one's understanding of not only the telling of a joke,but the mechanics OF telling it and the joke itself. Not much of a movie and barely a documentary,this is a great "curiosity" film that will weed out people who should and shouldn't be watching this. I felt like I learned something out of this,and every so often I got laughs out of it,too. How many films can you say THAT about it?
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Intelligent, Warm-Hearted Obscenity
Carl_Tait1 August 2005
For all its over-the-top vulgarity -- with large helpings of pornography, scatology, and incest -- "The Aristocrats" is fundamentally an intelligent and affectionate film. One gifted comedian after another dives into the time-honored muck of this joke, keen on retrieving the filthiest possible diamond from the sludge. The result is some of the most hilarious film-making of recent years.

It's difficult to select just a few favorites from this assemblage. Bob Saget is surely the most startling (and one of the funniest). George Carlin offers both great humor and insight into joke telling. Sarah Silverman's deadpan first-person account is unforgettable, and Gilbert Gottfried's post-9/11 version is a jewel. Billy the Mime has riotous sexual encounters with various invisible family members. Only a few comedians misfire: perhaps most notably, a guy who tries to pull off a "clean" Jerry Lewis sort of physical comedy routine.

And this is the paradox of the both the joke and the movie: clean versions just don't work. The hilarity comes from the clash between the pornography and the punchline, the comedic brilliance and the carefully crafted vulgarities.

90 minutes on one joke may seem like overkill, but the film skillfully avoids monotony. The broader subject matter is the art of comedy: the comedians' insights are fascinating and their enthusiasm is endearing.

Two minor complaints. First, it would have been helpful to identify each comedian *during* the film, not just during the (excellent) closing credits. Second -- and more seriously -- some of the camera-work was intrusive and distracting, with rapid MTV cutting that flipped back and forth between full-face and profile shots. This got so bad at one point that I had to look away from the screen until the segment was over.

9/10. A masterpiece of filthy good cheer.
54 out of 82 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Vile? yes. Offensive? Yes. Disgusting? Yes. Funniest movie of the year? YES!
Temsi31 July 2005
One of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. If you're not familiar with the joke, that's fine. If you are, you'll probably enjoy this movie on an entirely different level (which may or may not be better).

Whatever the case may be, be prepared to laugh to the point of crying and in some cases, sides aching.

Now, be forewarned... this movie is not rated, and is about the most disgusting joke ever told. If you're a prude, you'll probably walk out like the stuck up couple who left the theater about 10 minutes into the screening I was at tonight.

There are some howling moments, there are some painfully unfunny moments, but overall, I can't recall laughing this much in a theater since seeing There's Something About Mary.

This is an exercise in 1st Amendment rights (this movie would have been shut down in the days of Lenny Bruce).

If you think 97 minutes of various comedians doing their versions of the same joke won't work, you're in for a surprise. This movie has so much more than that... It shows a real affection for comedy and comic performers.

I have to see it again, there were so many jokes I missed, either because of other people laughing or because I was laughing to hard to hear.

If you love stand-up comedy (or just enjoy laughing) and aren't easily offended, you must see this movie. You'll laugh your ass off.
98 out of 159 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Comedy is Art and "Aristocrats" is Brilliant Artistry
kranessa30 June 2005
Typically, I'm not one to encourage obscenity so I shunned the idea of the "Aristocrats" at first. However, I must applaud the "Aristocrats" and tell you that it was brilliantly presented and not at all about obscenity. It seemed to be more about being creatively obscene while keeping your audience horrified and simultaneously roaring with laughter. Many of the bits in the film will shock the prudish movie goer, but you'll also find that, like a fatal car crash in heavy traffic, you must keep listening and watching. Later you'll be embarrassed to admit that you laughed so hard, you're not sure if your lungs are still intact. Warning: skip the beverage during this film unless you enjoy nostril burn.
68 out of 111 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
We all LOVED this movie!!!!!!!
laschneider17 June 2005
I don't know what movie RT Firefly saw... I saw this at the Deep Focus film Festival, and think it is one of the smartest and funniest movies I have ever seen. A bunch of friends and I are still talking about it. Every one of us found different things all through the whole movie. It's only repetitious if you are not watching for the nuances and subtle variations in each different version. Little things make a big difference every time someone else tells the joke. Some are funnier than others, but none of the people I saw it with agree on who - some love what others didn't and vice versa (except we all agree SarahSilverman, Taylor Negron, Bob Saget, Gilbert Godfrey and Billly the Mime are hilarious). Yeah, some of it is childish but that's part of the fun, and kinda the whole point of it. Let yourself go and see what happens. The creativity is amazing, no matter how filthy. But it's got so much to say about being free, and about the art and craft of comedy. when you see how many different ways this one joke can go, it is truly amazing. I thought it was just going to be a dirty joke, but it is also about crossing lines and where are those lines anyway? It's hilarious to see all these big stars just being silly and having a blast. It's like we're at their private party and they don't care what anyone thinks. We all LOVED this movie and can't wait to see it again because we missed so much from all the laughing throughout.
79 out of 141 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The punch line!
jotix10020 August 2005
"The Aristocrats", the hilarious documentary directed by Paul Provenza, and produced by, among others, Penn Jilette, is one of the funniest things about American stand up comedy, period! Mr. Provenza was able to amass some of the best exponents of this typical form of entertainment in which the classic joke is reinterpreted by whoever happens to be on the screen at any given moment.

Granted, this film is not for everyone who might object to be a witness a gross joke being told the way it's supposed to be told. It's a credit to Mr. Provenza and everyone involved in this project not to stray from the joke itself in all its exaggerated detail.

"The Aristocrats" is an excellent documentary that will be appreciated by all fans of comedy. The film is laugh riot because it comes out naturally with what appears to be an improvisational style. The joke being told for our benefit by some of the best talent performing today in this country.
30 out of 53 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Decline of Western Civilization, Pt.2
jamesk-1219 February 2006
I consider myself to be an open-minded progressive creative with an appreciation for creatives pushing the limit and telling it like it is. I'm not a prude. I'm a big fan of Margaret Cho. With that said, I find the Aristocrats' obsession with scatological bestiality and incest – all presented in a "humorous" context – to be insulting, demeaning, and not the least bit funny. It espouses the kind of humor indicative of a psychopathic juvenile delinquent. As many of the comedians in the film themselves admit – the Aristocrats just isn't funny. The film is not totally without merit, however. It is living proof of how psychopathically juvenile our culture can be. And that's just not funny.
33 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Painfully Unfunny
machofox11 September 2005
Christ, this film is pitiful. It's basically like when little children shout obscenities thinking it's funny and clever, only made worse by self-congratulatory smugness of it all as though they're "pushing the envelope". It's true that there could have been an opportunity here to explore the boundaries of acceptability but the reality is that rather than address any actual taboo subject matter such as terrorism, Islam, race, etc. almost all the comics stick to the same safe pubescent topics i.e. coprophilia, bestiality and incest. which becomes tiresome and predictable almost immediately and are only really funny to begin with if you're a thirteen year old schoolboy, and if any of it actually shocks you then you've obviously led a pretty sheltered life.
32 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I'v never walked out of a film before...
halloweenjack7426 September 2005
even the awful Last Days I recently had to sit through but this was truly awful and I felt I had no choice. Out of the 5 people in the screen my friend and I were the last to leave so we tried but we had to leave the last 15 minutes running to itself. I have never seen such a self-indulgent piece of tripe in my whole life. Firstly the so-called "shock" factor of the film was absolute rubbish, these comedians were not shocking at all and exercised absolutely no originality. It was just offensiveness by numbers, once you'v seen one sub-standard comic talking about vomit and incest you'v seen them all and it is not a funny sight. If they really wanted to be shocking they would have told an extremely racist or homophobic version of the joke, but of course they won't because in the current alternative comedy climate talk of incest, bodily functions etc is perfectly acceptable where racism and homophobia so in this context the audience are playing to the audience's expectations and remaining within the established safety bounds just as much as Bob Hope ever did. Not only was this offensiveness by numbers but it wasn't even good, grotesque imagery can be used within a comedy routine but it isn't funny in itself and just talking about having sex with your granny or child isn't funny or shocking it's just dull and after 60 minutes of the same it's incredibly boring. The worst parts of the film were when the comedians literally could not speak with laughter at how funny they were being as they spat out their pathetic routines as though they were performing groundbreaking hilariousness worthy of Lenny Bruce or Bill Hicks. They weren't. The only two points that made me smile were the 'british' guy's clean version and the version the women told where she turns the joke on it's head to describe a wholesome act with the name 'the motherf*cking c*cksuckers'. these two succeeded by defining themselves against the tedious onslaught of macho attempts at shock all around them and employing a comic technique other than 'and then I pooped on stage and my wife ate it and I spanked my dead grandma'. Pioneering comedians fought against censorship and this is what we'v done with it. For shame.
32 out of 64 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A scalpel to comedy process
simonmartindale-119 November 2006
This film focuses on the anatomy of the comics' favourite story, but quickly identifies that the joke itself is not all that. It's the varied approaches of it that make it a brilliant litmus test of a comic's approach to comedy.

Hats off particularly to George Carlin just for being himself and to Gilbert Gottfried for putting Rob Reiner on the deck at the Hefner Roast.

If I was being really picky, I guess I would have shaved fifteen minutes of the lesser performances but I'm chuffed to have seen this and would recommend it to anybody who values stand-up comedy.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A family walks into a talent agency...
MichaelMargetis22 February 2006
Nothing brilliant, but a really intriguing documentary centered around a gross, vulgar and very funny secret joke comedians have shared with each other for years. Features great re-tellings of the joke by some of the funniest people working in the industry today. George Carlin gives a disgusting, creative yet hilarious version, Kevin Pollack gives a great Christopher Walken version of the joke, Bob Saget gives the most deviant version of the joke, Lewis Black gives a great analogy of the possibility of the joke's premise being a television reality show, Sarah Silverman adds a retarded child to the joke and Robin Williams, Billy Connolly and Eric Idle just add more craziness to the film. If you have precious ears avoid this movie like the plague. This is definitely only for the most strong-stomached who adore the art of crude joke-telling. Grade: B
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Filth for filth's sake
pbarry3011 February 2006
After viewing around 10 minutes of the DVD, I can only say it is complete crap! I have been known to crack a dirty joke myself but this one is just beyond stupid. The garbage some people think is humor amazes me.

For example, incest can be a funny 'topic' if used in a conceptual sense with some interesting slapstick - personally, it is not funny to actually talk about a son taking his mother and a father taking his daughter in graphic detail!!

Skip this one and go out and rent a real comedy. It disappointed me to see so many well known personalities involved in this garbage.
12 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Just Awful
butternutt26 July 2006
Don't believe the hype. This movie is awful. Imagine being surrounded by 100 comics laughing about one long, bad inside joke. You will feel like an outsider the whole time the comics basically talk about a joke that is not even funny.

It is painful to watch so many comics NOT being so funny. This movie feels like a movie for comics and comics only. After the 50th cutaway in 20 minutes you will find yourself, 1. a little dizzy, and 2. wondering what all the fuss is about.

The hype this movie has received is way out of touch. I can only imagine the reviewers gave it respect for "being different". But in reality is is trash.

The joke is on you. Don't rent this movie.
27 out of 55 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Boring and worthless
wunderbunny060226 April 2006
I am really surprised at how many people found this to be a good movie. Are we really that easily entertained? One critic made a good point that Aristocrats consists mainly of white men making up the most insulting and degrading filth they can imagine, the primary butt (no pun intended) of the various versions of the joke being women, girls and minorities. There is a reason this joke is not told onstage; it is a masturbatory exercise between (mostly male) comedians and has virtually no worth as such, much less as a full length film. The joke gets very old after about the 20th scatological act and incestuous rape reference, and the movie is only 1/3 of the way over. I laughed once, during George Carlin's version of the joke which was a great example of excellent delivery and comedic style. Otherwise, "yawn". The material might have been made more funny with better editing, but half the acts are spliced up with each other, ruining the timing of the telling, and resulting in a constant, non-sensical barrage of every dirty word and deed in the human inventory. It's almost as if the school boy giddiness of saying something dirty was the point, rather than highlighting the variations resulting from the individual comic's personality and style which is the purported point of this movie. If you have any IQ whatsoever, don't soil yourself with this s**t.
26 out of 53 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not To Everyone's Taste But I Laughed Long and Hard
Handlinghandel8 February 2006
When I'd finished watching this, I couldn't quite believe I actually had watched it. And liked it. It's one comic after another, spinning variations on a dirty joke. I'm not easily offended but even I occasionally was taken aback by where the joke took certain performers.

Yet, I laughed so hard I literally washed a cinder out of my eye. I'd been trying to get it out all day, to no avail. Laughter is the best medicine -- though if this joke had its way, all medication would be taken rectally.

Bob Sagat throws himself into it with absolute abandon. His version is the raunchiest. What could this do to his career? He seems to be trying to change it: I saw him last summer in an off-Broadway play. It wasn't a comedy and he was quite good. So he must be trying to reinvent himself.

I love Gilbert Gottfried and his rendition is probably the smoothest and funniest.

I'm not a televise watcher and was therefore lost as to many of the people were until they were identified at in the closing credits. It certainly isn't a documentary but it involves mostly talking heads. So the traditional manner of identifying each person as he or she first appears might have been helpful. Then again, nothing about this is conventional and who am I to make suggestions?
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good idea, badly executed
brockmporter15 April 2006
To be blunt, I could have made this movie. The only thing directors Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza had that I don't is access to famous comedians. Other than that, the movie has little direction. It looks like it was filmed with a camcorder, it is very choppy, it digresses a lot, and it is filled with people I've never heard of and whose opinions mean very little to me.

This isn't to say it's not funny. There are some truly wonderful bits in it. Unfortunately they are scattered throughout a long and often tedious journey of filler material and analysis. Much of this is provided by star comedians, such as George Carlin, Paul Reiser, Robin Williams, etc. But a lot of it is from below-the-line showbiz insiders, such as Hollywood columnists, talent agents, editors, etc, who are not introduced until the closing credits.

There are some truly hysterical tellings of the joke, particularly George Carlin, Glbert Gottfried, Kevin Pollack, Drew Carey, Robin Williams, and Sarah Silverman, delivering with her trademark cute-little-girl voice. Billy the Mime's pantomime performance of the joke is high on the list of funniest things I've ever seen. And there is even some interesting analysis about the nature of comedy. Paul Reiser and Larry Miller offer some valuable ideas.

Largely, though, the movie is filled with comedy clichés, such as "Comedy is all about timing." "This joke is all in the delivery." "Comedy is about how far you can push the envelope." And so-forth. The majority of the movie is people repetitively restating these well-known facts, with annoying interruptions by some of today's more annoying comedians, such as Pat Cooper and David Brenner, who think that comedy is nothing more than having a Brooklyn accent, a loud voice, an angry tone, and using the c-word as much as possible. The most abominable of these is the ventriloquism act calling himself "Otto and George" whose material is exactly what I just described, only performed with such poor ventriloquism that it's embarrassing to watch.

Overall it's choppy, redundant, tedious, and fortunately, hilarious.

It's a movie worth seeing, even worth owning if you have more than a passing interest in comedy, but if you're expecting miracles, prepare for a disappointment.
8 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It has to be in your genes
a-rosenthal26 January 2006
At the risk of sounding egotistical - some people will "get it" and some people will just have a blank stare on their face. I watched the movie and was hooked within the first few minutes. I showed it to a friend of mine (who has an equally dirty mind) and he looked at it like it was a dead dog in the middle of the street. I loved the movie "The Producers" (old and new) and I thought "Spring Time for Hitler" was brilliant satire. But other people think that movie is disgusting and insulting.

So it is with "The Aristocrats". It's not just a dirty joke - it's an art form. The movie is not just a huge, mind-numbing compilation of four letter words. It is dirty to be sure, but there is far more fascinating commentary in it then anything else. Listen to what George Carlin says and remember that he helped defend the rights of free speech. I'd also recommend listening to the director's commentary (after you've watched the movie the regular way) to see what they were attempting to say. It's not about filth.
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
If poo jokes get a rise out of you..
aqua_swing29 August 2005
"A family walk into a talent agency," is all you have to remember. The Aristocrats is a documentary(of sorts) based upon an old inside joke with comedians. It centers around a family of people who have this act, and basically is the amalgamation of disgustingly terrible things that happen during the act. When the agent asks the name of the act, you get "The Aristocrats".

So now that you've got a basis to work on, let's give you a bit of this movie, which is basically a 90 minute telling of this very joke in different forms by some of the world's top comedians that even includes the Smothers Bros. It doesn't border on disgusting, it's TERRIBLY disgusting, but that's what makes it hilarious. It's so outlandish and far out for almost every version, that bringing it back around to it's almost mundane punchline is far too perfect.

Some of my associates didn't exactly think so, and I don't blame them. This isn't the kind of movie to bring your mom to see, unless she likes jokes about people peeing on each other, incest, bestiality, and scatology. That's right, I said all of that in the same line. There's not much one can review about for the movie other than saying that it's rated 18A for a reason, and I'm surprised it actually even was received in as many theaters as it did. But that's not taking away from how funny I thought the movie was, even though I know a lot of the people that see this movie that don't already know what it's about when going into it are going to be caught completely off guard and wonder what the hell they're getting themselves into.

With every funny movie that crosses boundaries, there are standouts and letdowns. Though you're not going to believe me, I'm going to tell you that the best comedian in this movie is Gilbert Gottfried's version of the joke when he was losing the crowd at Hugh Hefner's Comedy Central Roast. Props go as well to Andy Dick, Bob Saget, Sarah Silverman, the mime, and the guy who does the card trick version, as the best versions of the joke, but there are other people in the movie that I dislike who were even making me laugh (besides Drew Carey. I cannot find that guy funny ever), which was fun. And that's what makes the documentary type feel of this movie go so well. It's fun to watch all of these comedians try their luck at the same thing.

So go spend your hard earned money on a movie that will definitely make you laugh, as long as you can find poo funny.

*** of *****
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A passé experience for one familiar with obscenity. Occasionally funny, but surprisingly thin on invention.
The Mogul7 February 2006
The premise: A hundred comedians chew over a dirty joke – a joke with unlimited scope for filthy invention. The pay off: surprisingly limited.

The Aristocrats is diverting enough, but it was not the procession of laughs I expected it be. Its principal flaw is, surprisingly, that simply not enough of its comedians tell the joke and well. One could, and others have, blamed intrusive editing: the film-makers cut away from many of their subjects mid-flow. However, I think that in a lot of cases their source material left the directors no choice.

The film's performers are, we know, fine comedians, but only a once-in-a-decade improvisatory genius advances over such well trodden ground without a prepared routine. Those that pull out such a routine, Sarah Silverman for instance, fare well. Those who haven't really thought about their interview before turning up, and who can't use material they've worked up before, just don't cut it.

Most of the comics fall into this category; they manage a lively, somewhat amusing conversation (although a few participants look like they just walked off a plane), however, when it comes to telling the joke, most just touch the main bases – sex involving all three holes, defecation, incest – without any real verve; a few buzz words delivered in forthright fashion apparently signifies a good effort.

Veteran George Carlin is one of surprisingly few who actually manage to expand upon the buzz words, and, when he hits virgin territory, his act becomes irresistibly funny (add the words polyp and "she gets it right most the time" to any defecation scene). It's not surprising that the camera keeps returning to him.

He also belongs to a seeming minority that understands the secret of this joke is in a matter of fact telling; if one delivers the smut with too much relish, it's the same kind of sin as laughing loudly at your own stuff before you even finish (which a number of comics do here).

Carlin is one of a small number of performers that carry this film: the rest are only there to make up the magic number one hundred; they are enjoying an off the cuff chat about a dirty joke for a low budget doco they think will never see the light of day; they are not at anywhere near top form. South Park's Cartman and Stan outdo all but a couple of their competitors; this duo's telling is, prima facie, prepared.

Others less jaded than I obviously find this film highly appealing. If you're not uptight; if banter about orgies, felching, and the dirty sanchez is novel to you; then, hey, you'll probably love this film. But, if you've already met the aforementioned subjects at university, then you may well find this doco passé. I've heard more offensive things on stage and on tape. Have a listen to a genuine boundary pusher like Bill Hicks; his recorded impersonation of Satan getting off: now THAT'S funny!

The Aristocrats fell rather flat in Sydney's bohemia (Newtown); I was the most vocal amongst an audience of fifty – and I didn't laugh very much. In a warmer room I might have enjoyed the film more; I certainly would have liked it had I snuck in at the age of sixteen.
13 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the worst movies ever
RedBaron-1024 February 2006
This has to be one of the crappiest movies I've ever seen. They tell the same joke over and over again. It gets tiring after 10 minutes. My friends had told me about how great the movie was, and that I would be laughing the whole time. To my surprise, I didn't laugh once. It's no different than you and your friends telling sick jokes and being general morons. There was only one slightly funny part in the first thirty minutes (I turned it off after a while) with a dummy. I cannot say enough about how terrible this movie is. There is no pluck to this stupid documentary.... I purchased the Aristocrats DVD and ended up with a new frisbee.
16 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
If you're 12 and dorky, then this movie is for you!!!
annbrauer29 January 2006
I've lost so much respect for all of the esteemed comedians that appeared in this film. They all got so caught up in the moment of trying to be cool and forgot to be funny. It's not funny to say "bad" words for no good reason. (or at least not since 6th grade) It was like watching a bunch of dorks sitting around telling an "inside joke" that was never really very funny anyway.The other thing I really hated about this movie was the horrible editing. The clips were cut too short and it was just annoying to watch. The one portion that didn't make me want to start a new crossword puzzle was the segment with The Smother's Brothers. All in all I would suggest doing anything else rather than watch this snore of a movie.
15 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed