Monday, June 27, 2011

Joan Rivers: A piece of work

I went to the documentary festival on Friday evening and watched Joan Rivers: A piece of work. When we went into the dark cinema, I knew very little about her, other than that she was famous for two things: being funny and being plastic-surgeried to the hilt. After leaving, I had those two things confirmed and had learnt a whole lot more.

She’s 75-years old and looks about 55-years old, but in a stretched and strained, far-too-much make-up, unnatural kind of way. Don’t get me wrong, she’s an attractive woman, but in a desperately clinging to youth manner, something I have never found graceful. When the credits roll at the end there’s a scene where there are two of her and one moves suddenly – it’s her. The other is her wax double at Madame Taussads (sp?). It provides the perfect analogy for her plastic surgery – she looks waxy.

The thing that struck me most, though, was her battle for perfection, her insatiable desire for recognition, not as a comedienne, but as an actress. She will never be satisfied with how well she’s done and she is so terribly sad for it. It’s also made perfectly clear that she’s lost friends because of it. Underneath her side-splitting funniness (and she is extremely funny), clear as day, is a creature so vulnerable, so terribly tragic that I longed to hug her and say: “It’s okay, relax, you’ve done well.” I think I'm going to write her a letter to say just that, even though I'm sure she hears it from far more important people than me, all the time.


Angela said...

Am I too late? I just wanted to say, No, write to her! There are no important people, just people. She will love to get your letter!

I knew that my favourite author Astrid Lindgren got so many letters from children, too, but when I was grown up and had learned Swedish, I also wrote to her, telling her how much my best friend Pippi Longstocking had saved my sanity when I was imprisoned in my TBC sanatorium at age 7. She even wrote me back, saying I was sweet. I still cherish that letter. Life is a back-and-forth-game.

Shiny said...

I loved Pippi too, how wonderful xx

Kristin said...

I never knew or thought much about Joan Rivers until I heard an interview with her on National Public Radio. I kind of love her now. I'll have to see the documentary!

Shiny said...

Kristin - you must, it's fascinating! x