'Crying With Laughter' is certainly a film that won't be for everyone. It's meant to be as tragic as it is funny. Stephen McCole plays a club circuit comedian, Joey Frisk, who is looking for his 'big break' while also succumbing to the excesses that come with even his minor 'showbiz lifestyle.' He's the very definition of an 'anti-hero' - someone who is completely flawed and doesn't always do the right thing and yet we can relate to him and root for him to overcome his demons in order to better himself.
During the film, Joey has to face all sorts of physical and mental horrors from his past, not to mention battling the effects such torment has had on his present day situation. However, don't expect too much 'happy-happy' comedy. The funny moments come with seeing the clips of his stand-up comedy and we - the audience - knowing how he bases his real life events on what goes into his act
The film does delve into some pretty dark places (and subject matter), so you'll need to be ready for it not to pull any punches. Also, there's a fair amount of bad language - both in and out of the stand-up routines, so this can hardly be described as a 'family film.'
I'm trying to be as vague as possible when it comes to the plot, as I don't want to spoil it for everyone. All I'll say is that you'll need to be in the mood for a strong, character-driven piece with plenty of adult content. It could be average, but, as with a one-man stand-up show, its strength lies with Stephen McCole himself, whose portrayal of a flawed man who you really do want to succeed makes you want to root for him all the way.
The old phrase 'tears of a clown' has never been more applicable when it comes to this film. Expect to laugh at him and also - hopefully - cheer for him. Uplifting... in a weird sort of way.
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