Laughing Matters... More! Film Review - Screening at the 2007 Broad Humor Film Festival

           

Laughing Matters… More! is the second installment of a documentary series conceived by filmmaker Andrea Meyerson. Once again Meyerson has assembled an eclectic group of women who share their stories and make us laugh.

The structure of the documentary allows for getting to know each Comic through her comic work, in one-on-one private interviews, and interacting as a fabulous foursome. Together the women exchange horror stories of their best and worst moments on stage. Individually, they reveal their own personal experience of “coming out.” However, where their tales tend to echo the same themes, these women could not be more different when they take to the stage to make people laugh.

 

 “…Lesbians find cops very sexy… To do quite honest, I’ll tell you what I love most about the cops is their little costume. It is so cute!”

Southern Belle Vicki Shaw


Vicki Shaw was born in Beaumont, Texas. The Blonde bombshell embraces her femme status with tidbits in her routine like being innocently obtuse when dealing with police and “getting ready for bed” rather than just going to bed. She performs with a rich Southern draw, delivered with a healthy hint of inebriation. Her humor is a series of her experiences and observations, existing in the world as a Blond and a mother. Not overly self-deprecating, she is comfortable in stage, yet cozy with her audience as she leans in, covertly, playful and chatty as if her were dishing with fellow moms at the PTA meeting.

 

“I always figured that people knew just by looking at me…. that’s I’m gay… But I like to wait a couple of minutes for the tension to build… and then wait another few minutes until they’re thinking something like, ‘Does she know?’…”


Comedienne Sabrina Mathews

Sabrina Mathews spend a hot two minutes, or rather two days in Baltimore to be born, but has raised in Rye, New York by her mother and Grandmother. She recognizes her lot in life as a butch babe and she wears it well, particularly in her stand-up act. Mathews act is the least “performed piece” of the group, depending mostly on time and content, and that’s all she needs. She leaves the physical comic to the imagination of the audience, connoting images like her adventure as she tries to “whoosh” down the bunny ski slope. Her routine is light and genuine, just like that friend we all have, you know, the one who doesn’t know their funny.”

 

“For Black People, being Gay is a revolving door. Sometimes you’re in, sometimes you’re out…”


Comedienne Rene Hicks

Don’t call Regina Hicks a Black comic, or a Lesbian comic; she is here to teach everyone a thing or two. Born in San Francisco, this former accountant is a powerful presence on stage. Her humor is intelligent, topical and best of all; you never see the joke coming. She attributes the driving cadence of her performance to being the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher and her well defined political and social ideas to her strict upbringing. I particularly enjoyed her theory on the way to diffuse the stigma of the N-word: make it a snack food! “Barbecue flavored, crispy… Everyone loves snack foods, right?” My first impression was, ‘wow a female Martin Lawrence’. But now I’m thinking no, definitely Richard Pryor, because she does not just make you laugh, she makes you think.

 

“Some days I wake up and don’t feel like being as Gay as I’m supposed to be...”

Canadian Comic Elvira Kurt

Elvira Kurt is from Toronto, Canada, the Gayest place on earth. “Yes, even more gay than San Francisco…” She animated and agitated and questions everything since she notices that everything in the world becoming more and more absurd to her. She has the surreal ability to make the existence of pre-moistened cloth and bagged salad funny. She bears the yoke of her disappointed, berating Hungarian mother; a fact that permeated her act (and I assume her fabled therapy sessions). But her universe is fairly balances since she gets to do stand-up: the only job she’s ever had and it’s a job she loves.

The comic I identified with the most would have to be Vicki Shaw. She is the Southern Belle who realized she was Gay right smack dab in the middle of the heterosexual life she had built for herself, featuring three children, a loving husband and church every Sunday. What is most compelling about her story is that last point: She is a good, Christian woman in a world where most organized religion pits itself against Gays & Lesbians, dismissing orientation as a lifestyle preference rather than biology. Shaw’s segments put a face of a real person on the dilemma that Gays and Lesbians face when trying to reconcile one’s faith with one’s identity.

Laughing Matters… More! is more than a concert film, not quite a straightforward documentary and anything but Gay pride propaganda, Laughing Matters… More! celebrates two powerful common denominators of humanness: laughter and womanhood.

Laughing Matters…More! was recently screened in the Broad Humor Film Festival in Venice, CA.

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